How Coca-Cola Amatil keeps employees engaged

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In July, Coca-Cola Amatil achieved its second consecutive Best Employer accreditation from Aon Hewitt – here, HR head Graham Robertson explains how the company keeps its staff so happy.

“First of all, we decided that engagement was an important thing that we needed to focus on so we brought it to our senior leadership team and decided to give it some air,” Robertson tells HRD.

“We ended up adopting a pretty simple model – listen, consider, act – and we treated the survey as a listening tool,” he continues. “We weren’t particularly fussed about the numbers but we were quite fussed about what our people were saying.”

With help from Aon Hewitt, Coca-Cola Amatil analysed the survey responses and separated the areas it wanted to focus on into fairly small teams.

“If we saw that we had an engagement issue within a team, we asked those teams to come and present to our leadership team as to how they proposed to address some of the issues,” he explains.

“That wasn’t a hard process at all – it was a collaborative process which was about finding out how we could help.”

After cycling through the process for a couple of years, the company started achieving impressive engagement results and was invited to apply for Best Employer accreditation.

“We did that the year before last and got the accreditation,” says Robertson. “Then we rinsed and repeated the process again last year and we were lucky enough to be accredited a second time.”

With employees suggesting possible solutions, some organisations may fear the proposals would be impractical or unfeasible but Robertson says Coca-Cola Amatil is on board with most ideas.

“If we had a team come to us and say; ‘These are the engagement issues we’re facing and this is what we think needs to be done about it,’ I’m fairly confident that we’d be able to support them in that,” he says. “There’s not a lot of can’ts  that we come across.”

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