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By Anna Tatarzynska, Associate Services Director EMEA, The Coca-Cola Company
By Anna Tatarzynska, Associate Services Director EMEA, The Coca-Cola Company

How the Coca-Cola Company is responding to Covid-19 outbreak

Covid-19 outbreak is a challenging time for all of us and has a significant impact on how we balance our work and life whilst staying at home and taking care of our loved ones.

At Coca-Cola we have, and we always will, put the health, safety and security of people first. Our approach is grounded in our Company’s purpose: refresh the world and make a difference. Not just in a physical sense but also in a spirit. And not just regarding to our people who are always in the center of what we do, but also to our communities.

We believe special circumstances call for special measures. In the past few months, we have taken extra precautions to protect employee’s safety, health and well-being by restricting travel and encouraging every associate to work from home and even closing offices in many countries.

Now when we all are locked down at our homes, it is extremely important for us to stay strong; informed; listened and connected – we’re in this together: apart, yet never closer.

In times like this our associates need to be supported as much as possible to keep the spirit high, therefore we have implemented several actions to help.

Communication

First, we make every effort to keep our employees well informed and aligned on what matters the most from the business standpoint through regular conversations with managers, virtual team meetings, special routines, Town Halls and Q&As with leaders. We share with them special videos, newsletters and dedicated content in intranet. Additionally, we actively use internal communicators and social media. We also guide our associates how to use these channels of communication, so they have a clarity what to do and where to go if they want to have a discussion regarding most critical priorities for upcoming month; get a recent business update from their region and simply post a recipe for a healthy lunch or a picture with their families or pets.

Protecting Employee Health and Well-being

Our second priority is to offer our employees support in their physical, mental and social health. All our associates have access to various on-line platforms and resources where they can find advice how to enhance their well-being and build their resilience, including Employee Assistance Program, which is a confidential, professional counselling service available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also offer extra flexibility in our employees working schedules to help them balance both professional and personal life.

Special support is also offered to our people managers as their compassion, optimism, resilience and leadership is key. We have just introduced the People Manager Toolkit to provide guidance, support and various resources including online learning courses for managers to help them lead and inspire in a time of crisis.

To drive a team spirit and sense of belonging we also encourage our employees to leverage internal communication channels and technology and create own groups to connect with people from across the globe who share the same passion or simply want to drink a cup of coffee or have a lunch together. Our

associates also organize virtual Happy Hours; various quizzes and games to create connections and to have some fun.

Supporting Our Communities

Coca-Cola is very committed to focus resources and actions to make a difference for our communities. From 1st of April we will be putting our commercial advertising for all our brands on hold as we strongly believe that it would be highly inappropriate to continue with the planned marketing campaigns during these uncertain times. That’s why we will be redirecting resources towards the most critical priorities, doing everything possible to ensure our people’s safety and wellbeing, as well as focusing our efforts on how we can make a tangible difference for our business partners and in our communities.

The Coca-Cola Company, our bottling partners and The Coca-Cola Foundation are donating over 120 million dollars globally to support Covid-19 relief efforts in the affected communities. Our immediate support is directed towards the provision of protective equipment and drinks for health workers and the delivery of food supplies to vulnerable groups.

In Poland and Baltics, we are providing our beverages to medical and hospital professionals who work on the very front-line in the hospitals for infectious disease treating patients affected by coronavirus. As one of the first companies we proudly supported WOŚP to buy 157 cardio monitors for Polish hospitals.

Finally, we know that when disasters strike, sometimes unexpected expenses come up, therefore The Coca-Cola Employee Disaster Relief Fund was created several years ago so employees could help employees who are experiencing a disaster, like Coronavirus.

This fund is another way how associates can help each other through individual donations and get the support they need due to quarantines, illness or caring for loved ones during this difficult time. For a limited time, the Coca-Cola Foundation is matching every donation at a 2:1 ratio.

We are doing this because it’s the right thing to do and because we know that by working together and being there for each other we can make a difference.