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Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Coca-Cola HBC (CCHBC) is a leading bottler of The Coca-Cola Company with a sales volume of more than 2 billion unit cases. It has a broad geographic footprint with operations in 28 countries, serving a population of approximately 600 million people. CCHBC offers a diverse range of non-alcoholic ready to drink beverages in the sparkling, juice, water, sport, energy, tea and coffee categories. The brand is well known for its dedication to quality in all areas and has been a recipient of many excellence awards. In 2017 it was named sustainability leader in the beverage industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices assessment for the fourth consecutive year.

The Culture Excellence journey

Needless to say, we were very excited to start working with this company when they first approached us at the end of 2017. The scope of our project was to roll out the assessment at the company’s Italian plants and then if the pilot proved successful, to continue with the whole group. We are now very happy to roll out the program to the rest of the company by September this year. This will include additional translation of the assessment into a further 9 languages (which will bring our total languages available to 32) and coordinating across more than 5 time zones. A challenge for sure – but what a great one!

Many of our clients decide to measure their culture either after a significant development has taken place, or during a period of change. This of course makes perfect sense as you want to make sure that during a time of transformation, you hold on to what works well in your organization, and make plans to change what doesn't.

Currently, CCHBC is undergoing many significant changes as it works with The Coca- Cola Company to develop new beverages, flavours and packages to meet the changing needs of consumers, while evolving its recipes to provide more options with fewer calories. At the same time, it is working hard to support customers as the retail landscape and shopper preferences evolve. CCHBC has experienced remarkable growth since its founding, but is conscious of the importance of doing so in a sustainable and responsible way.

Committing to core values

So, deciding to measure their company culture went hand-in-hand with the strong commitment that the company has toward its employees and brand name. Vitaliy Novikov, the General Manager for the company in Italy, shared his views:

Growth and innovation are key elements for us and to sustain our strategy we need also to focus on strengthening our quality culture and people’s values. Thus, we decided to use the instrument of the culture assessment to measure our level of awareness and put in place actions to further enhance it. Our products are promises of perfect quality and to keep this promise every day we need to leverage our people, and make sure they are proud to make our products every day.”  

Our assessment measures company culture across four main categories: People, Process, Purpose and Proactivity, or the 4 Ps for short. Each category has 5 dimensions, and while CCHBC scored higher than average in every category, in particular one stood out: Purpose. The high score wasn’t very surprising considering the company’s vision and mission statements, as well as the many accolades it has received internationally in the various areas of its operations.

Planning for the future

But how do they do it? Focusing on consistency and their employees has been key. Alessandra Girolami, Country Quality Assurance Manager expands:

“Our vision and strategy are communicated consistently throughout the company at all organisational levels. We continuously grow our people and engage them to contribute to company goals with their day-to-day work. This in turn,  empowers people, creating awareness and boosting performances.”

The key now is to plan for the future. We always encourage our clients to not forget to celebrate their strengths, while working on their weaknesses. CCHBC has created a specific action plan based on the improvement areas that were highlighted analysing the results of the culture assessment and are currently in the process of rolling these out. The company will repeat the assessment annually, to make sure that they are progressing as planned in the desired focus areas.

As to our own mission, we couldn’t be happier with the feedback:

This tool will help us to continue building a culture where everyone’s contribution counts and everyone plays an important role in building a true quality and food safety culture excellence!