May 20, 2015

Expert Interview: How The Coca-Cola Company Helps Drive Talent Performance

Andrea Ehresman, Senior Manager of National Foodservice Strategy & Development at The Coca-Cola Company, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share her experience about PeopleMatter’s Collaborate ’15 Conference. The series, hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Clark Buckner, explores the business technology landscape through conversations with industry leaders.

Andrea joined Buckner to discuss employee engagement, HR technology, and social collaboration.

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Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation:

TechnologyAdvice: Something we’ve been hearing a lot about is employee engagement. It seems that if you can figure out what motivates employees, they’re not only more dedicated but also more loyal to the company.

Andrea: Eighty-five percent of people’s first job is in hospitality. And for a lot of people, the work does turn into a career because it’s a great field. One of the big themes we kept hearing was, meet them where they are, as we have so many millennials coming in to this.

I’m such a technology geek — it’s super exciting to see what PeopleMatter is doing. I love finding companies like PeopleMatter and figuring out how can Coca Cola, such a stoic and historic brand, can infuse some of those things into what we’re doing, and share that with our customers.

But I love it even more that it’s not just, “Hey, we’ve added technology and this is where we’re going to be,” but that we’ve add technology and we’re continuing to think about how we’re going to innovate, and keep pushing the envelope and adding more and more things to what they are offering.

TA: I just talked to David Russell from PeopleMatter, and he said “What we try to do at PeopleMatter is just enable companies, and so if that’s the story you’re hearing, that makes me happy. It’s fantastic.” Enabling customers in their own unique way — that’s a really big theme with this series.

Andrea: That’s amazing.

TA: A lot of the companies that talk to us – especially about HR software – are just trying to work. They want to be more efficient, but they don’t want to have to change their entire process to fit a program.

Andrea: You want the HR software to fit the customer, versus the customer having to drive into the solution.

TA: When you said, “Hey, I’m here from Coca Cola to see how we could benefit from these innovations,” it all makes sense. How can PeopleMatter enable you? That’s the way I think every business should look at software.

Andrea: The role I play is one of a mediator. We have a team of sales, marketing, and operations people that are all across North America. We strategically place them, so that they can call on restaurant headquarters. Prior to me being in this role, I was in Denver, and called on companies like Chipotle and Smashburger, and now I am serving all of those teams out in the field.

As I listen to the feedback they provide about what’s keeping their customers up at night, it’s: “How can we continue to be more efficient with solutions?”

That, to me, is the beauty of partnering with PeopleMatter. I say, “You know what? Mr. and Mrs. Food Service Operator, you guys are still doing everything through paper, and you’re having to constantly go back and work through that process. Why not offer you this partner, PeopleMatter, to help make your lives easier?”

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes. You can also listen The 12 Best Takeaways From PeopleMatter Collaborate ’15 (Podcast).

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