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Our New Retail Employee Experience

Hector Camacho, Head of People for Retail

I recently joined Glossier to lead our People function for retail. As someone who has spent the last 15+ years working in HR across retail and hospitality, and has long been an admirer of Glossier’s magical stores, I was excited about the opportunity to help build the future of Glossier’s retail experiences for both our customers and employees. After learning more about the dialogues with former retail employees that took place last summer and fall, and all the work the team has done over the last year to deliver on the commitments we made, I knew I wanted to play a role in bringing to life a reimagined retail employee experience—one that’s equitable, inclusive, and cultivated in parallel with the exceptional experience we provide our customers.

After gathering and reflecting on all of our learnings, we committed to a plan of action that would reimagine our approach— from dedicated HR support, experienced store leadership, training on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and de-escalation, a new Code of Conduct, and more. We developed a people-first employee experience philosophy rooted in authenticity, integrity, inclusion, equity, and empathy. .

We are people-first. We celebrate authenticity, operate with integrity, and lead with empathy. We are unique individuals who flourish as a team. Our strength is in the collective. We are inspired by our community, fostering inclusion and belonging -- always. Learning is a constant. Joy is our language. We are impassioned storytellers, driven by our curiosity, reimagining the future of beauty one experience at a time.

We oriented our plans in core tenets that would shape our retail employee experience going forward— providing Connection, Leadership, Communication, Growth, and Engagement, each in a way that is equitable and inspiring. Now, as we prepare to reopen our stores—starting with Seattle, Los Angeles, and London later in 2021—we are excited to share an update on what we’ve been working on!  

Connection: Building a workplace that is welcoming, inclusive, and equitable. This includes:

  • Investing in dedicated & inclusive recruiting efforts: We built a structured and consistent recruiting process, and hired a Director of Talent Acquisition and Retail Recruiter to help us find an exceptional and diverse team for each of our stores. 

  • Fostering a culture committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion: Diversity, equity, and inclusion is woven into everything we’re building, and that starts with building a common language and frameworks. We’re committed to providing meaningful and ongoing training on diversity, equity, and inclusion for our team through formal and informal programming, with deeper dive programming for our leadership teams. To help us do this, we’ve brought on an external partner with subject-matter expertise in fostering inclusive dialogues and company cultures.

  • Setting clear standards for everyone who engages in our store experience: We're introducing a new Code of Conduct that provides clear expectations for employees and customers alike, that is focused on fostering inclusivity, self-expression and mutual respect. We are investing in training resources that better equip our teams to manage situations that fall short of these expectations. 

  • Building comfortable physical spaces: We’ve prioritized employee-dedicated spaces in all stores, bringing more consistency and intentionality to how we design for our team. This includes building improved back-of-house workspaces to allow for better workflows, providing on-site gathering rooms for training and Town Halls, and improved restrooms, changing rooms, and break spaces. 

  • Prioritizing safety: We have implemented safety measures into our operations (COVID-19), and all stores will continue to be staffed by security partners who will be trained on specific security expectations and escalation procedures.

Leadership: Engaging experienced store leaders and dedicated HR support to drive culture, inspire their teams, and identify new ways to improve the employee experience. This includes:

  • Hiring experienced store leaders: We’ve redesigned our store team structure, upleveling the leadership role at each location to Store Director (from Store Manager). We’re looking for leaders who are communicative, have deep people leadership experience and, most importantly, lead with an empathetic mindset and a “how can I help?” approach. And each store will have a team of Associate Store Directors who will provide on-the-floor coaching, development, and support to our retail team. 

  • Building expertise across retail: Our team of Associate Store Directors will have focused areas of responsibility (e.g., Visual Merchandising, Product Knowledge, Customer Experience) working as a collective group of subject matter experts. Editors will have opportunities to work with ASDs on each of these areas to continue to build expertise across retail. 

  • Investing in on-the-ground HR support: We’re building a team of HR professionals who will be dedicated to supporting our retail employees, and will have an onsite HR partner at each of our 2021 locations. They will work on everything from recruiting to onboarding to training to fostering an engaging and inclusive culture.

Communication: Facilitating ongoing opportunities for two way communication with store employees to promote transparency, accountability and an understanding of Glossier’s vision and business. This includes: 

  • Providing tools for ongoing and robust communication: We are excited to roll out a new internal communications platform that will provide space for employees to learn more about Glossier, receive company and store updates, and share ideas, feedback, and suggestions with colleagues in teams like product development. We’ll also host Town Halls where employees will have the opportunity to ask questions and share feedback on their experiences. 

  • Enhancing resources for escalating concerns: In addition to more experienced store leadership and a team of dedicated HR professionals, we’ve invested in a third-party platform that will make it easy for employees to report misconduct anonymously. We hope that this will provide another avenue to help us identify and action issues that arise. 

  • Creating standards for how we operate: All of our store operating procedures (from receiving inventory to store opening and closing procedures) will be guided by written standards, creating clarity and consistency for our team.

Growth: Investing in meaningful educational and development opportunities to support the continued learning and growth of our teams. This includes: 

  • Investing in ongoing training and development: We’ve revamped our training curriculum, creating onboarding and ongoing learning experiences focused on everything from DE&I, product knowledge, and retail operations. Our curriculum design combines content and application (e.g., in-person training, role-playing, online resources), and we will continue to invest in these opportunities to set our team up for success, at Glossier and beyond. 

  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities: We’ve been thoughtful about where we could introduce structure to help store leadership and Editors have more clarity and transparency, and mitigate confusion and bias, about what is expected of them— including updated job descriptions and improved performance management processes. 

  • Engaging team members in our future growth: As we continue to grow our retail presence in 2022 and beyond, we’ll share opportunities for retail Editors to grow into more senior store leadership positions and to help build out new stores as we expand. 

  • Enhancing benefits and compensation: We are enhancing our benefits to strengthen our commitment to our employees’ health and wellbeing (e.g. mental health benefits, paid parental leave.) In addition, we are combining strong compensation packages with more structured, equitable, and transparent opportunities for pay increases going forward allowing for more process clarity and less ambiguity for our team.

Engagement: Fostering a culture that is inspiring, engaging and enjoyable! This includes:

  • Creating opportunities to foster team building: Each store will have a calendar of store events to build camaraderie and team spirit! This will include sponsoring community initiatives where employees will be able to engage with local nonprofits through our Smile Wave program. 

  • Recognizing and celebrating every day wins: We’re creating thoughtful and ongoing opportunities to recognize the contributions of our team members every day— including peer-to-peer appreciation, store awards, and surprise moments of delight! 

  • Understanding the employee experience: We will check in with our retail team regularly, including through employee engagement surveys, to solicit feedback on their experiences as team members and continue to evolve our programs to support employees. 

We believe that the work we’ve done over the past year will improve the employee experience for our future retail teams, including former retail colleagues who apply to join us on this next chapter. And, we know this culture is built and cultivated over time. We’ll continue to build upon these areas and further expand our efforts to ensure we are being thoughtful, committed, and invested in the strongest asset of our teams: our people. We can’t wait to welcome you to our stores— first-stop: Seattle! If you’re interested in joining us, apply here