As vice president, compensation and employee benefits, for L’Oréal USA, Alan Sefcik and his team are constantly working to enhance the company’s rewards program and its many initiatives. A primary focus is on the health and wellness of the company’s employees.
All the initiatives fit into L’Oréal’s global employee benefits program, Share & Care—which is designed to enhance the company’s commitment to employees. Sefcik says the Share & Care program, launched in 2013, “aims to achieve a common foundation for social protection in all the countries where the group has subsidiaries. It is designed to provide a strong foundation of programs under four key pillars.” Those pillars are: protect, care, balance, and enjoy.
The company’s annual Save Our Skin initiative that has been in place for about a half-dozen years is a prime example of the benefits program in action. “We are able to leverage the brands within our company to provide unique offerings to our employees,” Sefcik says. In collaboration with the company’s dermatological skincare brand, La Roche-Posay, the Save Our Skin event gives employees access to a free skin cancer screening with a licensed dermatologist. This year, more than 1,100 employees received a free screening, he says.
The company, whose US subsidiary is based in New York’s Hudson Yards, is a world leader in beauty products with annual revenue over €26 billion. It has a presence in 150 countries on five continents. The company’s thirty-four international brands include Kiehl’s, Lancôme, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Ralph Lauren, Maybelline New York, Diesel, Garnier, L’Oréal Paris, and more. But Sefcik found himself far away from the beauty industry at the beginning of his career.
He started his career as an actuary, utilizing his affinity for statistics and mathematics. He then moved into the HR space. He worked for AT&T for fifteen years, managing benefits strategy, planning and design and from there moved to Aon, where he was a human capital consultant. He followed that post by serving as benefits leader for Alcatel-Lucent, before joining L’Oréal in September 2011.
Along with preventive measures like Save Our Skin, Sefcik is also deeply involved with providing twenty-first century healthcare treatments to employees and is particularly intrigued by innovations in telemedicine. “In recent years, the L’Oréal employee benefits team has incorporated a number of new technologies to improve the lives of our employees and their families,” he says. L’Oréal implemented virtual doctor visits in 2016, allowing employees and their families to video call a licensed doctor, receive care, and obtain their prescriptions for routine medical issues. “We believe that programs such as virtual doctor visits can ensure employees receive the most efficient care whenever it is convenient for them,” he says.
That care includes mental health coverage as well. This year, the company introduced teletherapy, which gives employees access to FaceTime or Skype for therapy sessions. He feels personally connected to this offering; his nephew committed suicide, and he has since been very active in suicide awareness, with groups such as Out of the Darkness, outside of L’Oréal.
“L’Oréal recognizes the importance of mental healthcare, so we’re excited to provide employees and their families access to a mental health professional and receive personalized care from anywhere,” he says. “This offering is not only convenient but also quick and cost-effective, as virtual visit provider groups are expected to deliver care within thirty minutes from the time of a patient’s request—day or night. As someone who has suffered a personal loss to suicide, I am proud that L’Oréal is implementing these programs and prioritizing the physical and mental health of our colleagues.”
Although virtual therapy sessions are available to employees as a mechanism to help manage stress, Sefcik and L’Oréal recognize the need to look at the underlying issues that can cause stress. “Through internal research, we found that employees strongly agree that concerns about personal finances distract them from their work,” he says. “Using these insights, the team is currently reviewing the types of programs that can help support L’Oréal employees to improve their financial wellness.”
In the coming years, Sefcik hopes to see all these efforts expanded, as well as employee benefits offerings overall. “These innovative programs, like virtual doctor visits, virtual therapy sessions, and events like Save Our Skin, have the potential to expand internationally and improve the lives of our eighty-nine thousand employees globally,” he says.
Congratulations to Alan Sefcik on all your success in evolving L’Oréal USA’s Wellness program experience for your workforce.
On behalf of Willis Towers Watson, it has been a privilege and pleasure working with you and your team throughout the years.
We look forward to our continued partnership!