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HR leaders bridge the gap between business and employee needs

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ORLANDO — More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, business and HR leaders are still adapting to the changing needs of their operations and employees.

Coca-Cola Co. has seen its business slow down during the pandemic as consumers stopped attending sporting events, going to movie theaters, and shopping where Coca-Cola products are widely distributed. It was suffering from significant challenges in the process. At the same time, the company’s employees began working from home, creating a new challenge of how to establish a hybrid his workplace.

Coca-Cola, the Atlanta-based beverage maker, is rethinking its business strategy, looking for direct-to-consumer options and ways to be more involved in food delivery orders, according to Lisa Chan. I had to go from “offline to online” because of this. , Senior Vice President and Global Chief of Coca-Cola and his People Officer. Chang spoke at her discussion keynote panel held Wednesday at her Workday Rising, her annual user conference for her vendor of HR and financial software.

The company is also looking for ways to meet the needs of both business leaders and employees when it comes to work.

find the right balance

While some leaders may think that working in an office is better for their business, Chang believes that employees’ rights to where they work are what’s best for both the business and their employees. He said he was able to focus on

Now that we have all the freedom of choice, it became a very personal question.

Lisa ChanGlobal Chief People Office, The Coca-Cola Co.

“We got all the freedom of choice, so it became a very personal question,” Chan said, working from home during the pandemic and working with her mother, who is undergoing cancer treatment. She pointed out her own ability to be

“It’s hard to give it up,” she said.

Chan sees himself as an “intermediary,” helping Coca-Cola and its employees to understand “what it means to co-create a workplace.”

She said employees are aware some companies aren’t equipped for 100% work-from-home functionality, and executives are urging employees to staff offices like they were before the pandemic. He said he understands that there is no such thing as a compromise, so a compromise is needed on both sides.

“We’re really trying to understand what’s good for the business, what’s good for the employees, and how the two work together,” she said.

That’s a challenge that Bobbie Byrne, CIO of Advocate Aurora Health, based in Downers Grove, Illinois, also faces. Byrne attended his Workday Rising panel with Chang.

Byrne tells her IT team that some routine tasks cannot be accomplished with video. Byrne added that side conversations as she went for her coffee or took a break “could make a difference” in the communication and energy between her teammates, she said. .

For Byrne, finding the right format for employee hours is key. How often employees come to the office and how long they stay in the office.

Byrne said the challenge in getting employees to stay in the office is when office tasks are finished, no one stays.

“One of the things that surprises us more than we thought is that we all get together in the office for a period of time, but people go home to finish their work for the day.” she said. .

The role of HR leaders takes on new meaning

According to Chan, the job of an HR leader five years ago was very different than it is today.

HR’s role is not limited to handling core processes such as employee payroll. Since the pandemic, HR has also been tasked with becoming the “heart of the organization.”

Her role has shifted from back office work to creating an environment that attracts talent, she said.

“I consider myself the custodian of that culture, making sure that everything we do through our business, our employees and our customers leads to that purpose,” Chan said.

Makenzie Holland is a news writer covering big tech and federal regulation. Before she joined TechTarget’s editorial, wilmington star news crime and education reporter wabash plain dealer.