Analysis of Human Resource Management Practices of Coca Cola

Executive Summary

Most organizations manage its people through the Human Resource Department. Coca Cola Company is one of the leading international companies in the world whose HR teams perform the roles of managing the organization’s personnel. The HR department of Coca Cola attracts the best performing personnel through effective recruitment and selection processes. In order to improve the performance of employees and attain the objectives of the overall organization, HR teams should adopt good leadership and motivation styles. Human resource management should develop good performance management measures. The performance of employees should be monitored and measured regularly in order to enable personnel to work effectively towards the attainment of strategic goals and objectives of the company.

This paper will outline various HR practices of Coca Cola. First, the report will introduce the case study company and highlight the purpose of the entire report in the introduction part. The report will then explain or provide a suitable selection process for a new employee in Coca Cola plc. A job description and person specification for the new employee will also be outlined in the report. The management team also needs some skills in order to manage new and existing employees effectively. This report will highlight some of those skills and identify the difference of a leader and a manager. It will also explain three ways in which the organization’s managers can lead different teams and recommend motivation techniques for the teams to attain organizational goals and objectives. The report will also identify different skills of a team member and a team manager, supported by an explanation of how conflicts between the two parties can be addressed if they ever arise within the organization. A management performance proposal will finally be produced in order to enable the manager to develop employees. The report will then be summarized to highlight the main points of interest for the report.

  1. Introduction

The main purpose of this report is to inform the manager of Coca Cola about the HR operations of the organisation. This will include the job details for a new store operator. It will also explain details on teamwork, leadership, and performance management. The report provides a suitable selection process for the new store operator, including the legal and ethical issues concerned in the process. A job description and a person specification for the new employee will also be provided in order to show how the HR meets the employment needs of its employees and selects the best employees for the available job positions. The report will also highlight some management skills required for the management team to effectively manage new and existing employees. This will include providing the differences between a leader and a manger using a diagram. The report will also recommend motivation techniques that can be used to enable teams meet organisational goals. Furthermore, this report will highlight the differences between being a team leader and a member of the teams. Finally, the report will provide a performance management proposal that enables the HR department to maintain standards and build a skilled team.

The current team ethos of quality of Coca-Cola is important and effective in contributing to the achievement of organisational goals. The ethos of the company is based on the organisation’s commitment to achieve quality excellence and to provide customers with best quality products. The organisation understands that every customer wakes up to a thirsty day, so the company should always refresh its customers (Coca Cola, 2012). The company’s core task is to enhance the availability of Coca Cola and other products, making them affordable and acceptable for customers to quench their thirst and get the best moment to relax. The company believes that if it can enable 5.6 billion customers across the world to escape thirst, it will attain success for many years. To provide the best quality products for customers, the company attempts to maximize profiles, develop people, and optimize the utilization of assets. The company also engages in shared values for its teams: valuing and respecting people, communicating openly, and working through integrity. These commitments promotes the success of the company’s ethos, and leads to satisfaction of the customer’s needs and improving its market share and sales revenue across the world markets where it operates.

  1. Recruitment and Selection

As part of the roles of the Human resources management, it is important to satisfy the staffing needs of the company. This can be done by adopting a suitable selection process which involves recruitment either internally or externally, in order to attract the best talent and qualified and skilled staff for a given task (Harzing & Ruysseveldt, 1995). This can apply for all positions including the position of store operator considered in this report. Coca Cola uses both internal and external mechanisms of recruitment.

  • Internal Recruitment

Internal recruitment involves the recruitment of people within the organisation (Martin, 2009). In this case, an existing employee within the business can be selected to fill the existing vacancy in the organisation. For instance, the new position (store operator) in the organisation can be replaced by a sales person within the organisation. There are various methods of announcing a vacancy internally within the organisation: intranet, in-house newsletter or magazine, meetings, internal memos, personal recommendations and employees’ notice board.

  • External Recruitment

This involves the recruitment of personnel from outside or external sources. External recruitment/selection process requires quite a number of steps which the human resource manager pursues competently and without bias or prejudice. Announcing vacancies for external recruitment can be done through the following methods: media advertisement, placement agencies, employee reference, employee referrals, educational institute, and labour contractors (Martin, 2009).

  • Selection process

The selection process for new employees in Coca Cola Company varies from one position to another. However, there are selection activities that are common in the selection for all positions: recruitment documentation, job advertisement, interviews and Group exercises. The following selection process steps are applicable for the position of store operator.

Step 1: Recruitment documentation

Recruitment documentation involves development of two documents in order to plan for the selection process and ensure that the best talent is selected for the new position. These documents are: Job description and Person specification. Job description involves drawing up of the vacancy in terms of the requirements of the person filling the position, including roles and responsibilities (Stone, 2002). A job description for the new position of store operator is provided in the appendices section of the report. The person specification accompanies the job description and contains the skills, aptitudes, attitudes and qualifications required of the potential candidate to perform the new task and carry out the job’s responsibilities successfully. A sample of person specification is also found in the appendices section of the report.

Step 2: Job advertisement and application

Once the recruitment documentation is done, the job is advertised through various mechanisms: media advertisement, internet, placement agencies, employee reference, employee referrals, educational institute, and labour contractors. The advertisements contain person specification and job description for the position. The potential candidates are required to apply for the job by sending emails or application letters, or applying online. In the application, the candidates are required to provide their CVs, cover letters, referees and supporting certificates and other relevant documents such as recommendation letter from former employer. The recruitment team then goes through all applications and chooses several applicants who best match the job specifications, and then invite them for an interview.

Step 3: interview

An interview is carried out by the recruiting staff to provide applicants with the opportunity to prove that they are capable of taking the job. This is a way of confirming what the applicants have indicated in their CVs (Mondy et al, 2005). During interview, candidates are asked questions to determine their abilities, skills, and qualifications for the job. Some of the interview questions for the position of Store Operator in Coca Cola are provided in the appendix section of this report. This step also enables potential candidates to know more about the company, ask questions regarding the company, and understand the nature of roles played by the staff. The best candidates then proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Group Exercises

Team work is a key element in Coca Cola’s workplace. Potential candidates are given a chance to participate in Group exercises in order to determine their abilities to work in a team. Some of the abilities tested in this stage are: communication skills, participation, level of influence on others, and leadership qualities.

Step 5: Psychometric tests

This involves timed exercises which are used to evaluate the abilities of potential candidates. The company informs the potential candidates about the psychometric tests in advance and allows theme enough time to prepare.

Step 6: situational exercise

At this stage, the candidates who proceed from the psychometric tests are subjected to a situational exercise. In this case, the potential store keeper is put into a test store and given stock to receive and dispatch to various retail shops of the company. This is intended to determine how the candidate is able to receive stock, handle stock in the store, dispatch stock, and keep records. From this point, the best candidate is selected for the position.

  • The Selection process Chart

  • Ethical and legal Considerations

There are various legal and ethical issues that are considered in the selection process of Coca Cola. First, the process considers the ethical principles of fairness and transparency. All candidates are treated equally and candidates are chosen based on their qualifications and abilities. In order to achieve fairness and transparency, all requirements are stated clearly and each candidate is subjected through the same selection process in a transparent manner. The process also concerns non-discrimination practices as a legal and ethical measure to ensure that candidates are chosen not on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity and physical appearance; but on the basis of qualifications and abilities. This is a legal way of complying with labour laws that require equal opportunity employment.

  1. Leadership and motivation
    • Skills needed by management team to effectively manage new and existing employees

The management team of Coca Cola should possess specific skills in order to manage new and existing employees effectively. These management skills should reflect good leadership qualities. Effective management of new and existing employees requires team managers to possess strategic management skills. In this case, managers should be able to develop strategies in order to guide new and existing employees towards the achievement of organisational goals and objectives (Adair, 2006). For instance, the Supply Chain manager should guide the new store operator and his/her teammates to achieve the organisational objectives by setting a strategic focus to minimize loss of inventory in the supply chain and enhance faster movement of stock.

Another skill required by the managers of teams in the organisation is communication skill. This skill enables the manager to coordinate and control activities within the team effectively. The manager should be able to communicate the shared value of the organisation and pass the right information to all members of the team at the right time. The manager should also be able to persuade and motivate employees to take a specific course and work harder in order to improve performance at the workplace. A good team manager should also be able to communicate effectively with external parties in order to connect the team with the world and source sufficient resources for the team to work effectively.

Thirdly, the management team should possess modeling skills. They should be good role models for employees and set good examples for the new and existing employees. This motivates employees to perform better in their duties and meet the organisational goals and objectives. They should also set good and achievable standards for employees, lead and motivate them to achieve such standards. As a role model, the management team should participate in the actual job performance to encourage employees and demonstrate how to perform the job.

The management team should also demonstrate trust, respect and empathy as transformational leaders (Rosen & Brown, 1996). They should promote an environment of respect and trust between the management and employees. This leads employees to perform their jobs as required in harmony and dedication. It also promotes a good working environment which enhances greater performance and productivity of employees at the workplace. Managers should give employees the chance to express their opinion and participate in decision making. This leads to development of better operational and strategic decisions for the benefit of the organisation at large.

  • Differences between leaders and managers
Managers Leaders
Managers are performers (execute tasks) Leaders are strategic (set milestones)
Planning Inspiration
Controlling Motivation
Monitoring Involvement and participation
Communicating Envisioning
Performance evaluation Modeling


  • How the manager can lead different teams in Coca Cola Company

The manager can lead different teams through three ways: team leadership, technical/functional leadership, and project leadership. In terms of project leadership, managers coordinate and control project activities performed by a project team. Project managers set tasks for project teams to perform. They allocate resources for various phases of a project and control the work performance of employees at every phase of the project (Rosen & Brown, 1996). Such managers also monitor and evaluate the work performance of the project team.

Team leadership involves management of activities through teams. Employees form teams to perform specific tasks and a manager leads each team. For example, the store operator of Coca Cola may join a team of supply chain operations to manage inventory, led by the manager of Supply chain department. In terms of technical or functional leadership, the manager can act as a functional leader in a functional unit or department. Employees from the supply chain department including the new store operator may be led by a single manager e.g. the manager of supply chain department. Such a manager will control and coordinate activities in a specific department or functional unit.

  • Motivational techniques for teams to meet organisational goals

There are various motivational techniques that can enable teams to meet organisational goals. These motivation techniques vary from one employee to another because each employee has his/her attitudes, interests and perceptions. Herzberg theory of motivation suggests two factors of motivation: motivators and hygiene factors (Rollinson, 2008). The manager of Coca Cola should use these two motivation factors as motivating techniques that can enhance the achievement of motivational objectives for the company.

The hygiene factors that the manager should adopt to motivate employees include: job security, good working conditions, and compensation and benefits packages (McGregor, 1966). If the store operator is assured of job security, he will be motivated to perform better at work. Good working conditions include: peaceful working environment, minimal pollution, minimum exposure to health and safety risks, and avoidance of a lot of work. In terms of compensation and benefits packages, Coca Cola provides good salaries and allowances for its employees. However, the manager should enhance other benefits such as: sick leaves, holidays, work-life balance, risk allowances, hardship allowances in hardship countries, and flexible remuneration packages.

Motivators that should be used in the company include: sense of achievement, responsibility, nature of work, recognition and personal growth and development. The manager should recognize employees for their performances and reward them accordingly. This will motivate them to perform even better and achieve organisational goals. Employees who meet Coca cola’s shared culture of quenching the thirst of customers (customer satisfaction) can be recognized or rewarded in various ways: congratulating them, giving them a day-off, rewarding them with gifts or cash, taking them for trips or holidays, or sponsoring the education of their siblings (Stacey, 2003). Such motivations will enable employees to meet organisational goals.

  1. Teamwork
    • Differences between team leaders and team members
Team leader Team member
Delegates duties Performs/executes specific tasks
Effective communicator Good listener
Modeling behaviour (acts as a role model) Has good learning skills
Directs and controls team operations Takes instructions and supports team members
Managing diversity Appreciating and supporting diversity
Good at creativity and innovation Good implementations or execution
Effective coordination Maintaining good relationships in teams
Team managers are good decision makers Team members support decision making


  • Conflict resolution

Conflicts may often arise between team leaders and team members, and it is necessary to handle them professionally and appropriately. It is possible to solve conflicts between the two parties if the team member has skills of being a team member and the leader has the skills of being a team leader. If a conflict arises between the two parties, each one of them should demonstrate their skills and participate in the conflict resolution process.

The first step in conflict resolution of Coca Cola begins from the management. A good working environment that promotes integration and participation should be enhanced. The team leader should then exercise his/her skills of being a leader by delegating duties effectively to people who are able to perform the tasks. If conflict arises, the leader should understand the team member and communicate the duties and responsibilities of the team member effectively (Dessler, 2001). He should use his/her communication skills to persuade the team member to carry out his/her responsibilities and avoid actions that can cause disagreements. The team leader should also use his/her skill of managing diversity to ensure that all the needs and requirements of team members are met according to their cultural backgrounds. The leader should encourage participation and interaction among cultures, such that team members appreciate various cultural differences.

Team leaders should also demonstrate their decision making roles by making appropriate decisions when conflict arises between them and team members. Furthermore, team leaders should also act as role models and set examples for the team members by acting right in times of conflict (Armstrong & Armstrong, 2009). If the team leader handles the conflict with integrity, the team member will also handle the issue prudently; but if the leader shows anger and becomes furious, the team member will also act furiously.

Regarding the team member, listening skills is important in conflict resolution. In this case, a team member should listen carefully to the team leader as he communicates to him about certain issues and conflict resolution mechanisms. The team member should also be supportive of team leaders in decision making rather than being defiant. Furthermore, a team member should participate in conflict resolutions by taking instructions effectively and developing good learning skills.

  1. Performance management
    • Performance management proposal

Performance management involves the assessment of employees’ performance against the standards and performance measurement of the company. Performance appraisal approach should be used in Coca Cola to determine the motivation technique necessary for the employees. In this performance management approach, the manager should determine whether the employee’s performance meets the ethos of the company; quenches the thirst of customers. The manager should discuss with employees about their duties and responsibilities, achievements, development skills, and the organizational objectives of the company. From the discussion, the company’s management will establish whether the employee has met the performance standards and expectations of the company. For example, for the case of the new store operator the manager can discuss with the employee and his supervisor about his performance. This will determine whether the employee has been able to minimize inventory losses and increase the speed of stock movement. The performance management process should follow the steps in the flow chart below:

HR practices

From the above flow chart, it is clear that the company should follow specific steps in order to determine the performance of employees. The company should provide appraisal forms for employees to fill, and then conduct an appraisal interview. Finally, action is taken depending on the results of the appraisal interview. If the employee is found to have performed well, he/she is rewarded with increased salary or promotion; and if he/she has performed poorly, he/she is recommended for job improvement or training and development.

  • Performance appraisal method for the store operator

Several performance appraisal options are available for Coca Cola Company including: self-appraisal, upward appraisal, peer appraisal, 360 Degree Appraisal, and supervisory appraisal (Dessler, 2000). Coca Cola should adopt a 360 Degree Appraisal mechanism whereby various groups within the company give their well-evaluated opinions about the performance of the store operator. Different employees, supervisors and managers from various departments will appraise the store keeper by feeling and appraisal form (Jain, 2002). Actually, the appraisal form should be available for all employees and managers to appraise all other employees and managers. This will lead to broader views that provide the best conclusion. Different groups will view the store operator differently.

In order to achieve a reliable performance measure from the appraisal, it is important for the appraisers to be honest in providing their opinions as much as possible (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, 2011). This should be communicated to all appraisers before appraising starts. They should also be allowed to instruct and make requests of the person being appraised. They should be constructive and positive in their criticisms. Appraisers should also choose relevant parameters to appraise the employee. Furthermore, the store keeper should be informed about when the appraisal will take place and the process involved in the appraisal. The appraised employee should also be told about the purpose of the appraisal, and should be allowed to question and answer questions.


  • Assessment of the proposed performance process

The process of measuring and managing performance using performance 360 Degrees Appraisal is an appropriate method because it allows different groups of people within the organisation to provide opinions and views about the employee based on a wide range of perspectives and performance parameters (Tomal, 2007). The method also gives the employee being appraised the opportunity to defend his/her performance by asking questions and answering questions asked by appraisers.

The disadvantage of this performance process is that it may intimidate the person being appraised. If fellow employees provide negative feedback, the employee may feel intimidated and discouraged. Furthermore, it may give an opportunity to people with personal differences with the person appraised to provide negative feedback even where he/she does not deserve. Furthermore, the appraisers from other departments may not understand the nature of business undertaken by the store keeper; hence he/she may receive undeserving feedback from people who don’t understand his/her business. In order to make the performance process successful, the appraisers should use uniform parameters and should be trained to be honest and non-biased in their appraisal.

  1. Conclusion

This report has provided appropriate tools and mechanisms for Coca Cola’s manager to illustrate how the company’s Human Resource activities are being carried out and how they should be carried out. It includes areas of selection and recruitment, leadership and motivation, teamwork and performance management. The report has shown that HR’s selection process of Coca Cola involves six steps: recruitment documentation, job advertisement and application, interviews, group exercises, psychometric tests and situation exercise. It is also clear from the report that managers in Coca Cola should develop skills that can enable them to manage new and existing employees such as: communication skills, controlling, modeling, and strategic management skills among others. Team leaders should also develop certain skills such as decision making skills, delegation skills, modeling, and creativity and innovation. On the other hand, team members should have such skills and attributes as: appreciating decisions, learning skills, taking instructions appropriately, and good listening skills. These skills can be used to solve conflicts between team leaders and team members whenever they arise. Coca Cola should also use various motivation mechanisms to motivate its employees: salaries, job security, recognition, etc. In terms of performance management, the report has established that 360 Degrees Appraisal should be used to determine the performance the new store operator of Coca Cola. This approach leads to the use of a wide range of opinions and views from different groups within the organisation.


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