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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
HR Strategic Revamp for a Global Cosmetics Brand


There are countless scenarios that require HR Strategy. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in HR Strategy to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. Let us analyze the following scenario.

Reading time: 9 minutes

Consider this scenario: The company is a high-end cosmetics brand that has seen rapid international expansion over the past 18 months.

Despite a strong market presence, it struggles with aligning its human resources with global corporate strategy. With a diverse and geographically dispersed workforce, the brand faces challenges in talent acquisition, retention, and development, which are critical to sustaining its growth and innovation in a highly competitive market.



Given the company's rapid expansion and the HR challenges it faces, initial hypotheses might include: 1) The current HR strategy is not effectively aligned with the global business vision, leading to inefficiencies in talent management. 2) There may be gaps in the company's cultural integration processes, which are essential for a globally dispersed workforce. 3) The existing HR policies may not be agile enough to support the dynamic nature of the cosmetics industry.

Strategic Analysis and Execution Methodology

The organization can benefit from a structured 5-phase approach to HR Strategy, ensuring alignment with business goals and enhancing workforce capabilities. This methodology is akin to globally recognized consulting frameworks that have proven effective across various industries.

  1. Assessment and Alignment: Review current HR policies and practices against the global business strategy. Key questions include: How do the current HR practices support the overall business vision? What are the gaps in talent management and development? Expected deliverables include an HR Audit Report and a Strategic Alignment Map.
  2. Talent Acquisition and Retention Analysis: Analyze the effectiveness of current recruitment and retention strategies. Key activities include benchmarking against industry standards and identifying high turnover areas. Insights into competitive compensation and benefits are crucial. Challenges often involve balancing cost with attractiveness to top talent. Deliverables might include a Talent Acquisition Plan and a Retention Strategy Report.
  3. Performance Management System Design: Develop a robust performance management framework that aligns individual goals with company objectives. Activities include defining key performance indicators (KPIs) and creating a feedback-rich culture. Insights into performance trends can drive better decision-making. A common challenge is ensuring system adoption across all levels. Deliverables often consist of a Performance Management Framework and a KPI Dashboard.
  4. Learning and Development (L&D) Program Enhancement: Create L&D initiatives that support strategic business needs and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Key analyses focus on skills gaps and future competencies required. Insights into learning preferences and modalities can tailor programs effectively. Challenges include measuring ROI on L&D initiatives. Deliverables typically include an L&D Strategy Document and a Training Program Toolkit.
  5. Change Management and Culture Integration: Facilitate the adoption of new HR strategies while nurturing a unified corporate culture. Activities involve stakeholder analysis and communications planning. Potential insights include understanding resistance points and leveraging internal change champions. Challenges often arise in maintaining productivity during transitions. A Change Management Plan and Culture Integration Guidelines are common deliverables.

Learn more about HR Strategy Corporate Culture Change Management

For effective implementation, take a look at these HR Strategy best practices:

McKinsey Talent-to-Value Framework (230-slide PowerPoint deck)
HR Strategy: Job Leveling (26-slide PowerPoint deck)
Human Resource Strategy (18-page Word document)
Building a World Class HR Operations (102-slide PowerPoint deck)
HR KPI Dashboard Excel Template (Excel workbook)
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HR Strategy Implementation Challenges & Considerations

Adopting a new HR strategy can raise questions about the impact on current operations and employee morale. Ensuring the continuity of business operations while implementing change is crucial. The methodology must be flexible enough to adapt to the unique aspects of the cosmetics industry, taking into account the fast-paced nature of product development and market trends.

Upon successful implementation, the company can expect improved talent acquisition and retention rates, higher employee engagement, and a workforce that is more aligned with the global strategic vision. While quantitative improvements in turnover rates and employee satisfaction scores are anticipated, qualitative outcomes such as enhanced company culture and brand reputation as an employer of choice are equally significant.

Implementation challenges may include resistance to change from employees, misalignment between global and local HR practices, and the need for continuous adaptation of the strategy to the evolving market. It is essential to manage these challenges proactively to ensure a smooth transition and to maintain operational excellence.

Learn more about Operational Excellence Employee Engagement

HR Strategy KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


You can't control what you can't measure.
     – Tom DeMarco

  • Employee Turnover Rate: to gauge the effectiveness of retention strategies.
  • Time-to-Hire: to assess the efficiency of the talent acquisition process.
  • Employee Engagement Score: to measure the impact of HR initiatives on workforce morale.
  • Training Completion Rate: to determine the success of L&D programs.
  • Performance Review Completion Rate: to monitor the adoption of the new performance management system.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Implementation Insights

During the implementation, it was observed that a significant driver of success was the integration of HR data analytics into decision-making processes. According to a Deloitte survey, organizations that use people analytics report 82% higher 3-year average profit than those who do not. Leveraging data helped the company to make informed decisions about talent management and to anticipate future workforce needs.

Another insight was the importance of leadership commitment to the transformation. Change management efforts were most effective when senior executives actively championed the new HR initiatives, demonstrating the critical role of leadership in driving organizational change.

Lastly, the company's emphasis on creating a culture of continuous feedback contributed greatly to the adoption of the new performance management system. Encouraging open communication between managers and employees fostered a more engaged and responsive workforce.

Learn more about Organizational Change Performance Management Talent Management

HR Strategy Deliverables

  • HR Strategy Blueprint (PowerPoint)
  • Workforce Analytics Report (Excel)
  • Talent Management Framework (PDF)
  • Employee Engagement Survey Results (PowerPoint)
  • Culture Integration Playbook (MS Word)

Explore more HR Strategy deliverables

HR Strategy Case Studies

A leading multinational corporation in the consumer goods sector implemented a similar HR transformation strategy. By realigning their HR functions with business goals, they achieved a 25% reduction in turnover and a 15% increase in employee engagement within two years.

Another case involved a technology firm that revamped its performance management system. Post-implementation, the company saw a 30% improvement in performance review completion rates, leading to better talent development and promotion decisions.

Explore additional related case studies

HR Strategy Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in HR Strategy. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and HR Strategy subject matter experts.

Alignment of Global and Local HR Strategies

Establishing coherence between global and local HR strategies is essential for multinational companies. The key is to maintain a delicate balance where global policies provide a framework that respects and adapts to local cultural and legal differences. This approach, referred to as 'glocalization' of HR, has been found to improve employee satisfaction and compliance with corporate standards.

According to a report by KPMG, companies that effectively align their global HR strategy with local practices can see up to a 70% improvement in employee alignment with corporate objectives. This alignment is achieved through consistent communication, local empowerment, and regular feedback loops that inform global HR policies.

Measuring ROI on Learning and Development

The return on investment (ROI) in Learning and Development (L&D) programs is not always immediately apparent, yet it is a critical area of focus for HR strategy. To measure ROI, companies should look beyond completion rates and assess the impact of training on performance and business results. Advanced analytics can help in correlating training programs with improvements in productivity and innovation.

A study by McKinsey shows that effective L&D programs can lead to a 25% increase in employee performance. However, the true measure of success for L&D is the closing of skills gaps that directly contribute to achieving business objectives, which can be tracked through pre- and post-training assessments.

Learn more about Return on Investment

Ensuring Successful Change Management

Change management is a pivotal element of any HR strategy overhaul. Success in this area demands clear communication, leadership buy-in, and a structured approach to managing the people side of change. Organizations must be prepared to address resistance by involving employees early in the process and by providing clear rationales for change.

Research by Prosci indicates that projects with excellent change management effectiveness are six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management. This statistic underscores the importance of investing in proven change management practices and training for leaders and managers who will guide their teams through the transition.

Integration of HR Data Analytics

HR data analytics plays a crucial role in strategic decision-making. By leveraging workforce data, companies can predict trends, make informed decisions on talent management, and identify the impact of HR initiatives on business outcomes. The challenge lies in establishing robust data collection and analysis capabilities.

Accenture research highlights that high-performing businesses are 33% more likely to make heavy use of HR analytics. These companies use analytics not just for reporting but as a predictive tool for strategic planning, thereby gaining a competitive advantage in talent management.

Learn more about Strategic Planning Competitive Advantage Data Analytics

Leadership's Role in HR Transformation

Leadership commitment is vital for the successful implementation of HR transformation initiatives. When senior executives actively support and engage with new HR strategies, they set a tone that resonates throughout the organization. Their involvement can accelerate adoption and enhance the credibility of the change.

A survey by Deloitte reveals that 92% of companies with strong leadership support for HR programs report significantly higher levels of employee engagement and performance. Leaders must, therefore, be equipped to champion HR initiatives, embody the desired cultural changes, and communicate the benefits of these strategies to their teams.

Cultural Integration in a Global Workforce

For a global organization, cultural integration is as important as strategic alignment. A unified corporate culture promotes collaboration, innovation, and a sense of belonging among employees. However, achieving this requires a nuanced understanding of the diverse cultural backgrounds within the workforce.

According to a study by EY, companies that prioritize cultural integration in their global operations see a 14% increase in employee engagement. By fostering a culture that values inclusivity and diversity, organizations can not only improve employee morale but also drive better business outcomes.

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Improved talent acquisition and retention rates, resulting in a 15% decrease in employee turnover.
  • Reduced time-to-hire by 20% through the implementation of a streamlined recruitment process.
  • Increased employee engagement score by 12%, indicating a more motivated and committed workforce.
  • Enhanced training completion rate by 25%, demonstrating the effectiveness of L&D programs.
  • Successfully integrated HR data analytics, leading to 18% higher accuracy in predicting workforce trends and needs.

The initiative has been largely successful in addressing the HR challenges faced by the cosmetics brand. The improvements in talent acquisition and retention rates, along with the reduction in time-to-hire, indicate a positive impact on the workforce. However, while the increase in employee engagement score and training completion rate are promising, there is room for further improvement. The integration of HR data analytics has provided valuable insights, yet there is a need to enhance the predictive capabilities to better anticipate future workforce needs. Moving forward, the initiative could benefit from a more comprehensive approach to cultural integration, ensuring that the diverse workforce feels fully aligned with the global strategic vision. Additionally, a focus on refining the performance management framework to better align individual goals with company objectives could further enhance the initiative's success.

Building on the progress made, the next steps should involve a comprehensive review of the cultural integration processes to ensure that the workforce feels fully aligned with the global strategic vision. Additionally, there is a need to further refine the performance management framework to better align individual goals with company objectives. The initiative should also focus on enhancing the predictive capabilities of HR data analytics to better anticipate future workforce needs and trends. Lastly, continuous feedback mechanisms should be established to ensure that the workforce remains engaged and motivated as the company continues to expand internationally.

Source: HR Strategic Revamp for a Global Cosmetics Brand, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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