Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. (CCBPI)—the local bottling arm of Coca-Cola and one of the major employers in the country—announces its free comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination program for its 10,000 associates— this plan extends to their families as well, as the company vows to source vaccines for their employees’ immediate family members.
With the move, the company underscores that its People-First policy, which prioritizes employee welfare, is still the best support and recovery strategy for the business. Coca-Cola is currently working with partners to ensure that the program will be rolled out immediately and efficiently. This also seeks to support collective efforts to revive the national economy.
Expanded pandemic support
“Our People-First commitment means that we are responsible for our employees and their families especially during these most challenging times,” says Gareth McGeown, President and CEO of CCBPI. He adds, “2020 really tested us as a company—tested our policies, our culture, the way we do business, and I am extremely proud to say that we came out of it stronger as one Coke family. We intend to do the same this year and the years to come.”
Supporting the government’s plan for an economic reboot, Coca-Cola’s vaccination of its employees will help increase their activity and mobility, which will positively impact the conduct of business and uphold continued job preservation within the entire Coke value chain. The move is also seen to contribute to a virtuous cycle of job generation, as for every direct job at the Company, seven more indirect jobs across its value chain are produced—thus supporting thousands of small businesses through livelihood programs and financial support.
With the well-being of its people at the center of Coca-Cola’s commitment, the company allocated Php 2B for its employee assistance fund to ensure that all its employees receive their salaries, their jobs secured during the pandemic.
“Our biggest achievement is that we did not have to let anyone go because of the pandemic” shares McGeown. “Creating and championing a People-centric culture is not the job of one person alone. Every single person in the organization made this possible, a shared responsibility among the company’s 10,000 employees.”
Coca-Cola has in place a comprehensive HMO coverage for employees and dependents, and employs strict safety and sanitation standards across all its 20 manufacturing sites, 70 distribution centers and sales offices. Via its people development policies, the company also facilitates employee-driven initiatives for mental well-being and health, ensuring that all of its associates—whether they are working from home or serving as industry frontliners—are protected.
Commitment to gender inclusivity
Women are the most affected by the economic demographic of the pandemic. Studies compiled by UNWomen.org state that 510 million of women globally are working in the hardest-hit sectors, with women employment being 19% more at risk, and mothers facing a rise in unpaid work.
Many global companies saw an exodus of women from their roles due to the pressure of work and childcare. CCBPI recognizes the responsibilities and challenges that women are experiencing, within and outside of their professional careers. It is therefore imperative for organizations like CCBPI to take it upon itself to ensure that it is taking extra steps to support women associates.
To strengthen job security for the women members of the organization, CCBPI has fostered open communication among employees, sustaining dialogues on personal and professional concerns, and has supported them through people development programs and assistance addressing their welfare.
“It is very important for companies to be aware of this additional challenge for women, and to consciously make policies that will help women succeed in their roles professionally and outside of the workplace,” says Thelma Meneses, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Bottling Investment Group (BIG), of which Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines is a member. “At Coca-Cola BIG, this outlook and the support are imperative. And it is a continuous journey of improvement, because we want to make sure that our policies are not just words but will truly have an impact on every single individual.”
CCBPI’s People-First culture makes it an ideal setting for any individual to succeed within and beyond the workplace, as it continues to uphold and further its gender-inclusive culture and implement policies for the personal and professional development of its employees.
Coca-Cola has been helping accelerate the growth of its female talents through various programs and training, such as Leveraging and Inspiring Female Talent (LIFT). Through LIFT, associates learn from a holistic set of topics, from balancing professional and personal life, to strengthening one’s business acumen. The company also conducts initiatives to help raise awareness on women’s health, and supports the forming of communities within the company—one of which is a dedicated online community for working moms where they can share tips, stories, and help fellow parents in the workplace.
The company strives to cultivate a culture that values support beyond the workplace through policies such as expanded maternity and paternity leaves, extended health coverage to same-sex partners, and the implementation of a solo-parent policy that allows single parents to have more flexibility with their work schedule to take care of their families.
“At Coca-Cola, all teams are working toward a unified goal of providing equal opportunities and supporting everyone to thrive and grow, especially during these times. Our people have been integral to the company’s achievements throughout our 108 years of service in the country—with them, we are able to move forward and continue to serve for a hundred more,” shares Gareth McGeown.