The Cotton On Group this year further strengthened its position as one of the most dynamic and innovative global retailers, with the appointment of highly regarded ethicist and author, Dr Pippa Grange as General Manager of People and Culture.
Now considered one of the fastest growing retail groups in the world, with over 19,000 passionate people operating in 17 countries, the Cotton On Group is continuing its focus on attracting world class talent to further support its global growth strategy.
With a pioneering approach to development, leadership, wellbeing, culture and ethics, Dr Grange's vast experience is driving the ongoing development of the Group's renowned employee initiatives, development programs and its continued focus on high performance culture.
"The Cotton On Group continues to pave the way in innovative retailing practices, with a focus on its people and their personal and professional development, which traditionally hasn't always been a priority within this market sector," she says.
The past two years has seen the Group invest significantly in its people, with the rolling out of a $30M educational platform, Cotton On Group Uni (COG Uni), in conjunction with Deakin University. Ms Grange is leading this global strategy in addition to the Group's Recruitment, Human Resources, Health + Wellbeing, Ethics and Workplace Safety functions.
Dr Grange says the expansion of the COG Uni platform to the Group's global hubs has been an important achievement in the past twelve months. Already established in Australia, Singapore and South Africa, the expansion will continue in the coming months to include the United States and New Zealand.
"COG Uni is an essential element of our strategy to create an engaged and happy workforce by empowering our people in their professional and personal development," Dr Grange says.
"It also gives us the opportunity to grow our own leaders by providing practical, insightful knowledge aimed at challenging and encouraging our people to be the best they can be."
As the business continues to rapidly grow its global footprint, Dr Grange says having initiatives in place that fosters the unique Cotton On Group culture across all countries is more important than ever.
"We currently have stores in 17 countries and global support hubs in South Africa, Asia, the USA, New Zealand, Germany and Latin America so our programs need to translate across borders whilst maintaining the core focus of deepening our great people-centric values," she says.
New retail engagement strategies, the further development of the Group's ethical practices framework and the roll out of health and well being platforms are just some of the initiatives Dr Grange says are being planned and implemented to improve a sense of belonging across the business.
"No matter what part of the business our people are in, or where in the world they are located, we want them to feel connected and valued as well as understanding the important role they play in the broader Cotton On Group story," Dr Grange concludes.