Coca-Cola’s Sue Lam on the Future of Work
Get a sneak preview of what Sue Lam, Global Head of People Analytics, Strategy and Culture at The Coca-Cola Company will be talking about at UNLEASH America in Las Vegas on 25th-26th May.
Hear about Coca-Cola’s flexible, empowering and collaborative approach to an effective and safe future of work.
Understand how to balance trust, instinct, personalization, and data-led decision-making when taking employees on a culture shift journey.
UNLEASH brings you a sneak peek of what will be a full session at UNLEASH America in Las Vegas on 25th-26th May. Looking ahead to a future of work that is increasingly hybrid, uncertain, and remote, Sue Lam, Global Head of People Analytics, Strategy and Culture at The Coca-Cola Company revealed why failure, leaning into ‘not knowing’, as well as using data and research, can create a more innovative, collaborative and personalized future of work.
Watch on-demand to:
- Understand how Coca-Cola is using trust to make HR processes more efficient and work more personalized
- Learn about how data is being used to underwrite big decisions about where working structures should go next – and why HR research is key
- Get the inside track on how hybrid work might impact culture and DE&I and how to get employee buy-in to any change
Principles over policies: a way to manage the future of work
It will come as no surprise to many in HR – as they might be going through a similar process in their own organization – that Coca-Cola has used the pandemic to reimagine and reassert their relationship with employees and work structures. With the company looking toward a hybrid work future, much the same as many other businesses, they want this to be built to empower employees to make the right decisions for themselves and the organization, with values of collaboration and wellbeing as a foundation.
Yet this future of work will be uncertain. With the pandemic affirming to many organizations that this future of work will be, to an extent, unpredictable – Lam noted that even during the pandemic, it was hard for businesses to know when new Covid-19 variants or government restrictions would affect usual working practices – Coca-Cola is looking to manage this future of work using principles rather than line-in-the-sand policies. This, Lam added, also helps them to manage work as a multinational organization and deliver against personalization, an aspect of work that is increasingly coming to the fore. It means Coca-Cola lays out values they think individuals and teams should use to guide decisions, rather than creating multiple versions of the same policy.
How the future of work might impact DE&I at your firm
With many firms talking about hybrid work as if it were the panacea to all workplace issues, Lam noted that whilst it is useful, HR must understand the impact it might have on different demographics within an organization’s workforce. She used research to showcase that certain employee groups, such as people of color or women, might want to work from home more often in order to circumvent microaggressions and balance caregiving. These needs, Lam added, must be considered when creating new working structures or values and cannot be copied from other firms. As Lam said: “There is no one true answer.”
Here, Lam added, that preferences for where work takes place – in a central workplace location or other – shouldn’t reinforce bias about what good work or good work behaviors look like, as this bias can impact future organizational capability and individual career development. Lam explained that firms need to be aware of the fact, especially when looking at promotions and developing next-generation leaders, that proximity or office attendance doesn’t necessarily equate to better leadership potential. This way of understanding people can also negatively impact the DE&I agenda, too.
Rather, Lam added, behaviors and skills are a much better metric to understand future capability. To help this, HR and business leaders need to get better at effectively communicating company goals and what individual and organizational success look like. As such, HR needs to ‘get a seat at the table’, Lam explained, to help organizations understand that their next biggest business issues are people issues.
What can you learn from Coca-Cola at UNLEASH America?
To learn more from Lam and Coca-Cola you can join her session on Thursday 26th May where you can hear about:
- How Coca-Cola is preparing for the future of work using a mixture of data and HR instinct
- Where the multinational beverage corporation use digital tools to reinforce good cultural practice and allow employees to understand change in an increasingly hybrid or remote working world
- Why the drinks giant isn’t scared of trying new things and finding their own answers – but keeping safety at the center of this
To see the complete rundown of what is in store at UNLEASH America, including sessions from Bolt’s Chief People Officer, the SVP of Human Resources at L’Oreal and the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at YouTube, view the full agenda here.
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