Coca-Cola Human Resources – a Case Study

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Human resource, which is commonly known as HR, refers to the people that have been employed in an organization or company. Companies incorporate departments that are meant to specifically deal with HR the duties of the departments are the management of resources, hiring, training and generally catering to employee needs (Dozier, 2006).

Human resource management on the other hand refers to the management of HR. This is the management of the employees of a company. It deals with selection, training, rewarding etc (Dozier, 2006).

The Human resource system is a set of requirements and parts that need to be careful factored in to ensure maximum output from the employees. In this report, the key areas that will be focused on are job design, the training process, employee benefits, promotion strategies, selection, promotions, recruitment and supervisory styles. The report will carefully analyze these parts in relation to the chosen company, which is the Coca-Cola Company. The report will then end with a list of recommendations that will focus on the organizational efficiency, productivity, climate and culture of the organization as well as the work and life balance.

The Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola Company is a beverage company that was first formed in 1886. It origin is the United States. Its products are sold in stores, clubs, food courts and vending machines worldwide. Its product expansion has reached more than 200 countries. Throughout the years, it has come to position itself as the world’s leading Brand. It has over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and it has employed tens of thousands of employees (Bell, 2004).

Coca-Cola Job Design Issues

Job design issues are handled very thoroughly and carefully in the job description. The company has a clear outline of what is entailed from each employee in the job description. This document has all the requirements for each job. It has all the details needed in case there is need for clarification of any issues in any job. It has the job title. It has the ranks of each employee from the C.E.O to the junior employees, clearly outlining ones management power over the other. It also has a clearly stated section that has the responsibilities and duties of each employee, and a set of goals and responsibility that the employee is expected to fulfill (Pollitt, 2007).

Job description is an important element to any company as it prevents work overload and provides certainty of the job to an employee. This in turn prevents things like staff retention, as the employee will be comfortable knowing the boundaries of his or her job. Through job design, the company becomes more efficient and productive because each employee will work towards meeting his or her objectives. It also makes an employee certain of the work hours hence; he or she is in a better position to balance work and his life (Outlaw, 1998).

Coca-Cola Training Activities

The company offers mandatory training to all its employees. This is from the senior employees such as the managers to the junior employees.

Mandatory training for managers and employees focuses on key issues that the company regards as very important. One training field consideration is on diversity awareness, which is done company wide. This is aimed at encouraging diversity in its routine practices and programs.

There is also a training program for employees to learn how various systems within the organization work. Managers are trained on coaching, how to handle employees and get feedback from them. This is important because effective teamwork plays a huge role in the success of any company. That is why leadership training s also mandatory for all senior employees. This is to enable them to be in a position to be better leaders to the junior staff members under their wing (Dessler, 2000).

The junior employees are trained on various work related policies. Mentoring is also a common training method for junior employees. This is whereby a senior staff member may take a junior employee under his or her wing and then train them with an aim of improving their skills and preparing them for future tasks. Mentoring can also include a group of employees. A self-study program is also available to the staff members to help them develop their skills for growth.

The training techniques adapted by the company are meant to make the company more efficient and productive, as they will serve to improve the employees’ skills and relations. The improvement of relations due to proper conduct training and ethics will make the climate at the office more conducive to the employees as it will lead to a favorable work environment. Mentoring will boost the employees’ morale as the more personal approach and positive feedback will motivate them (Anantaraman, 2004).

Coca-Cola Recruitment Activities

Recruitment refers to the process of seeking people to employ so that they can fulfill a certain task.

The company uses the normal system whereby the HR department identifies the position that needs to be filled. The job specifications and details are carefully analyzed and specified before the senior management also confirms the details (Mondy, 2009).

The details include the job specification, tasks, responsibilities, skills, qualifications, needed experience and main role. It should also outline the salary grade, the date the job is to start and whether it is permanent or temporary. The job is then advertised in the appropriate source that can reach the potential candidates. The source can either be the newspapers, magazines, internet sites etc. as per the appropriateness of the post. The concerned parties are then given a chance to send their applications. After receiving the applications they are carefully analyzed and filtered out and in as per the preferences and qualifications (Outlaw, 1998).

After the candidates have been attracted, the screening stage starts. The candidates are filtered out leaving HR department with a higher chance of choosing the most suitable candidate. Screening assesses the candidates based on a criterion, which includes the qualifications and skills. This can be done through a number of angles one being the use of resumes, job applications etc. In the job applications, the candidates’ skills and qualifications are analyzed. Backgrounds checks are also done to ensure the credibility of the candidates (Heneman, 2006).

The other methods of screening are interviews; this is a form of preliminary screening. The candidates are contacted and then asked questions that are meant to determine if they can fit into the company based on their answers on specific issues. Selection is then done after which the most qualified candidate after all this stages is then hired. This is one of the approaches used by the company to hire people (Mondy, 2009).

Some elements that the company has adapted to aid and which are considered in this stage are; the candidates’ selection must be diverse in terms of both race and gender. The company looks for employees from different sources. The company also targets college recruitment. It focuses more on universities with minority enrollment (Pollitt, 2007).

For internal recruitment, the company uses various approaches. One approach is the use of an automated job posting procedure. All vacant positions at salary grade 13 and below are posted there. A candidate pool in this system consists of three or more people. At least one of the candidates must be a woman or a person from the minority group. The employees have the chance of self-nominating themselves for the posted positions or they are free to appeal any decisions that are made.

This process allows the opportunity to hire managers to aid in job specification and requirements. The talent acquisition group then scrutinizes this data. The job profiles for the vacant posts will also be included. Other relevant information such as the skill set needed, knowledge and requirements for each position will also be included.

The company also uses a talent acquisition strategy meant to aid in staffing. This involves the talent pool of internal employees meant to fill the vacant positions. This process is centrally controlled and coordinated by the human resource department. The corporate policies are then made public to the whole company.

Succession planning is a common strategy. This happens when a senior post, which is vacant, wants to be filled. This could be because of factors such as retirement, death, resignation or for the purposes of management continuity. The concerned party identifies a pool of suitable employees from within the company who hold junior post and are capable of filling the post. The candidates are then assessed and the most suitable candidate is then given the job (Hays, 2004).

One method of succession planning is talent review. This is whereby an employee’s potential for rising in the company is assessed. This process takes time as the senior employees talk and assess the identified candidates. This method entails the use of information from the performance management system.

The recruitment exercises pick the best candidate who will fit the company and produce the best results in any field hence making their role more effective. Recruitment through talent review motivates the employee to perform harder as his morale is boosted because he or she has been promoted because of his or her hard work. It also maintains the culture of the organization of promoting diversity by factoring in diversity in recruitment (Dozier, 2006).

Coca-Cola Selection Approaches

Selection refers to the technique used to choose the most appropriate candidate. They are picked based on the appropriateness by the panel, which is given the responsibility of firing. They are varied and they depend on the post applied for.

One approach is panel interviews. The company calls the applicants who have passed the screening stage, and then they are asked a set of questions that are meant to assess them, and determine their qualifications. Presentations are sometimes used to evaluate the candidates (Heneman, 2006).

Work samples and portfolios are sometimes requested and analyzed to determine the candidates’ qualifications. Tests are also used to find out the applicants skills, aptitude and his or her abilities. The common types of tests are the ability tests, this are used to determine the knowledge of the candidate as well as the cognitive skills. Personality tests are used in instances where the company wants to test the potential new employees’ honesty and preferences. Medical test are used to determine the candidates health, physical fitness, the psychology of the person as well as if the person uses drugs.

Employee leasing is also used whereby the company opts to use a shorter process to get an employee. This is where the company HR department can just acquire an employee from a third party, this may be another firm, and then hire them depending on the agreement with the company this can be on either a temporary or permanent basis. This method is shorter and effective.

Another selection approach is participative selection; this is whereby the subordinate staff plays a direct and active role in the choosing of the co-workers. This strategy ensures that there is quality in the workforce. The subordinate staff member will choose the candidate who is most suitable to fill the vacant post.

An advantage of this strategy is that it increases the morale of the selected employee as he or she will be motivated by the fact that the decision of selection was made by the subordinate.

Internal selection is also very common in the company, it mainly happens when a senior management post is left vacant. A pool of candidates is identified from the junior employees of the firm. A pool of candidates is identified and assessed, after which the most suitable candidate is hired.

Selection ensures that the best candidates suited for the job is employed hence guaranteeing productive output. Through participative selection, the chosen employee develops a sense of loyalty and is motivated to work hard as he or she knows that the choice made was by his or her direct superior. Selection through the diversity policy also ensures that there is diversity in the office hence making the office climate comfortable. It also maintains the companies’ diversity culture (Mondy, 2009).

Coca-Cola Performance Appraisal Systems

The company does the performance appraisal system annually. It focuses on the employees’ job performance. In addition, this useful procedure is used to communicate the companies’ job expectations and provide performance feedback regularly. This all add up to the end year performance rating (Mondy, 2005).

In the US, the company has adopted a performance management system to be used in evaluating all its employees. The main aim of this process is to ensure a fair evaluation. All data relating to the employees performance is documented, and the evaluation is done based on specific measurements that are job related. This process also provides internal oversight and control.

Each employee meets with the manager in charge of his or her department, at the start of the year to be given the years objectives. The employer will also give the employee a list of competencies required to achieve the targets.

This provides a platform for performance feedback for the whole year, which is reflected in the end of year annual performance ratings. Development opportunities are also focused on and development is monitored for the whole year. At the end of that, year employees provide a self-assessment report to the employers and this is what the managers use to assess the employees use. The manager then presents a copy of the performance appraisal form, which has a segment that is meant for employee comment as well as a section that the employee can appeal in case the results are not as per his or her expectations.

The annual system also has a mid-year review in which there is a mandatory training that is to take two days for the manager and the employees. The manager is trained on coaching and giving back feedback whereas the employee is trained in fields such as tracking, planning and is given a chance to review his or her own performance. When the review ends, the manager is also trained on how to be able to make accurate readings and how to use the rating scales.

Through the recognition of the employees performance and hard work which evident in the performance rating. The employee feels motivated to strive to perform better and raise the performance index more the next year. The other employees also feel the need to perform better to also be recognized. This creates a positive competitive environment, which in the end makes the objectives and work to be done in an efficient and productive way (Mondy, 2009).

Coca-Cola Promotion Systems

One of the most used systems in this company is career development. This system is meant to aid the organizations employees define their objectives and skills. A career development program was developed to boost the employees in pay grades that are 13 and below. This strategy will provide the employees with resources that are needed for their growth.

Succession planning is a common promotion technique. This is in line with talent review, in which the employees’ potential of rising is factored in. This consideration is because the candidate has shown over a period that he or she is in a position to handle a higher post. The senior employees are the ones who asses the candidate then decide to promote him or her to fill the vacant post.

Coca-Cola Mentoring Program

This promotional method is all about using a coach to sharpen the skills of an employee. The coach in this case is not the supervisor. The main task of the employee is to identify a suitable employee and aim at developing the skills and expertise of the candidate. Mentoring can be between a coach and the individual or it can be between a coach and a group. The company has adopted a program that uses mentoring to make all employees to share similar experiences that will offer them the same opportunities for professional development and growth. A self-study program is also included here for those employees who do not want to participate in formal programs.

Through the promotion of an employee, the other employees feel the need to perform better so that they may also rise in ranks. This means that the employees would go out of their way to produce excellent results thus benefiting the company. The promoted employee will also feel the need to rise even higher and to prove that he or she deserved the promotion. Mentoring also serves to make the output of an employee more efficient and effective and boosts the morale of the employee (Mondy, 2009).

Coca-Cola Benefits for Employees

The company has a number of strategies put in place to compensate and benefit its employees. The company periodically revises its employee’s salary structure to match the other market based pay packages. It also increases the salaries of its employees based on merit.

The Coca-Cola company offers health and welfare benefits to its workers. The company pays for some of the employees fees when it comes to this. It pays either the full bills or a fraction of it. These benefits are medical which include vision related issues, dental and insurance fees in line with what may affect the employee when undertaking in the company’s activities.

Financially it offers rewards and recognition to its employees who have performed better than average. This includes pay packages such as competitive compensation, annual merit review etc. It offers equity plans for workers who are in specific pay grades. It also has the Red Tag program that gives redeemable points to employees based on their performance. The points can be redeemed and used to do things like travelling or buying merchandise. It also caters or covers education expenses for dependants of employees of the company these are benefits such as giving out scholarships. It gives discounts to its employees. It also gives retirement benefits to its employees. This is through the retirement plan and the 401(k) company plan.

The benefits are meant to make the work climate for the employees comfortable as it aims at making the employees to be relieved from some problems. The employees are given ease by knowing that things such as the retirement package will be handled after they retire. The benefits also serve to motivate the employees to perform better so that they may also get things such as the bonuses. This in turn leads to improved output from the clients.

The benefits also help in trying to solve some of the employees’ issues out of work as a sign of general gratitude from the company and to ensure the employees welfare.

Coca-Cola Supervisory Styles

The company is divided into departments depending on what it is meant to be done. Each department has a senior employee who is in charge of the junior ones. The manager is responsible for supervising everything that is under his department. This can be either directly or indirectly depending on factors like the type and size of the department.

If the department is too big, a supervisor may be appointed to oversee all that is going on in the company. The supervisor is in charge of everything that goes on and all decisions concerning the aspects of the organization are done after he or she has given the go ahead. The supervisor also makes sure that each employee does the job required of him or her (Lepak, 2010).

Another supervisory style is the use of mentors. This is where a senior employee identifies either an individual, or takes on a group of employees and slowly trains the individual or individuals. This supervisory mode is more personal and aids in the employees growth.

Supervising and mentoring complement each other in that they rely on each other for increased productivity. One aims at improving the skills while the other serves to ensure that the skills are used efficiently. What the employee has been taught in the mentoring stage is put in practice by the supervisor.

Supervision helps to increase the companies’ productivity by ensuring that things are done at a certain standard that assures good results. In mentoring, the employee is made to develop more career wise through the tutoring and improvement of his or her skills and is motivated more (Lepak, 2010).


The organization should have policies that are meant to strictly monitor the different fields that relate to the organization of the company, work and life balance, the morale of the employees as well as the climate and culture of the organization.

There should be a strict implementation process that can serve to ensure the implementation of a strategy. There should be close and regular monitoring of the employee-supervisor processes. The supervisors and employees should also adequately be trained so as improve the atmosphere in the workplace.

More group retreats should be put in place so that the employees are given a better chance of mingling to improve office relations and so that people can appreciate diversity more.

The company should also regularly review the policies it uses such as training policies and come up with modifications and alternatives meant to make the policies more effective.

There should be a more effective way of comparing analysis data that can provide an avenue where the employees can compare their skills and competencies, and a system should put to ensure that equality is practiced more e.g., women and minorities should also have effective career development opportunities.

The managers should also be regularly trained so that they may be in a better position to use the resources and tools of the company as well as to have a systematic plan to ensure career development.

Factors that may hinder the realization of results should be dealt with in as little time as possible. There should be an effective department that serves to deal with issues and complaints from the employees.


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Bell, L. (2004). The story of Coca-Cola. North Mankato, MS: Smart Apple Media.

Dessler, G. (2000). Human resource management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Dozier, J., Jackson, J. H., & Mathis, R. (2006). Human resource management: Test bank. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-western.

Hays, C. L. (2004). The real thing: Truth and power at the Coca-Cola Company. New York, NY: Random House.

Heneman, H. G., & Judge, T. (2006). Staffing organizations. Middleton, WI: Mendota House.

Lepak, D., & Gowan, M. (2010). Human resource management: Managing employees for competitive advantage. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Mondy, R. W. (2009). Human resource management. New Jersey, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Mondy, R. W., Noe, R. M., & Gowan, M. (2005). Human resource management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Outlaw, W. (1998). Smart staffing. Chicago, Ill: Upstart Pub. Co.

Pollitt, D. (2007). Recruitment. Bradford, England: Emerald Group Press.

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