Coca-Cola Company Career Development and Planning

Globalization has made employment a fundamental aspect of people’s lives today. As people engage in various activities for the purposes of generating an income, they build what is referred to as a career. Noe (2012) provides a working definition of the concept ‘career’. Noe (2012) views this concept as a collection of work related activities that an individual is engaged in. The said activities are usually sequential and distinct.

However, the work related tasks are related to each other. The current paper examines the element of career planning and development. Coca-Cola Company is used as the case study in this paper. Interviews were conducted with personnel from this company to come up with this report.

Career development is regarded as a series of activities that are in line with an individual’s skills and career objectives (Greenhaus, Callanan & Godshalk, 2009). It takes into consideration future opportunities in an individual’s work life. On its part, career planning is the identification of an individual’s skills and knowledge and aligning them with career goals (Greenhaus et al., 2009).

Importance of Career Development and Planning

According to Noe (2012), the growth of an organization relies on its abilities to formulate policies touching on career development and planning. The benefits of career development accrue both to the employer and to the employee.

The Perspective of Employees

Greenhaus et al. (2009) suggest that career planning and development is beneficial to the growth of individual employees. Growth is realized in the manner through which individual skills are developed and promoted. The importance of this concept is seen in terms of performance. Greenhaus et al. (2009) argue that career development and planning policy is essential in improving performance of the employees. In addition, this concept enhances satisfaction among employees.

The Perspective of the Employer

Career development leads to improved skills among employees. Noe (2012) points out that improved skills imply enhanced organizational performance. The concept allows the employer to increase the number of staff. The reason is that motivated employees tend to remain in the organization.

Career Development and Planning: A Case Study of Coca-Cola Company

A Profile of Coca-Cola Company


The mission of this company addresses its core objectives against which all activities are measured. Following are the goals of this company:

  1. Creating value and making a difference.
  2. Refreshing the world.
  3. Inspiring moments of optimism and happiness.

The mission helps to gauge the company’s performance in terms of career development and planning. According to Noe (2012), organizations are expected to develop career development and planning policies based on their mission statements.


To realize sustainable and qualitative growth, Coca-Cola uses its vision in order to develop the necessary policies. The vision guides all the company’s activities (Coca-Cola Company, 2013). The following make up the company’s vision statement (according to Coca-Cola Company, 2013):

  1. To be a great place to work wherein the employees are inspired to be the best they can be.
  2. To provide the world with a variety of quality brands of beverages, which respond to the demands of their customers and satisfy them in equal measure.
  3. To maintain a network of winning clients.
  4. To exercise responsibility in providing support to the community as a way of making the planet a better place.
  5. To strike a balance between profit maximization and meeting responsibilities.
  6. To improve productivity and maintain the company’s competitive advantage.

Organizational structure

The company has a three tier organizational structure as shown below:

Organizational structure
Source: Coca-Cola Company (2013)


Statistic Brain (2012) illustrates that Coca-Cola is one of the most recognized brands in the world. The company has a huge workforce. The organization is a significant point of reference when it comes to global expansion. Studies on the company’s market capitalization are taken very seriously in the financial market. As at 2012, Statistic Brain (2012) estimates that Coca-Cola had a cumulative workforce of 146,200 people.


Since 1886, Coca-Cola has consistently produced and supplied beverages (Coca-Cola Company, 2013). The organization operates in the manufacturing sector. Statistic Brain (2012) estimates that the Coke brand of soft drinks is familiar with 96% of the global population. The same affirms the company’s dominance in the manufacturing sector.


Coca-Cola is engaged in several activities that are in tandem with the company’s mission and vision statements. Besides being a market leader in soft drink production, the company is engaged in other activities meant to give back to the community. Some of these undertakings include environment conservation and nurturing of talent through sports (Coca-Cola Company, 2013).

Workforce Planning and Staffing at Coca-Cola

How the Program Supports the Mission and Vision Statements

According to Greenhaus et al. (2009), a company’s career development and planning programs are meant to mirror the organization’s mission and vision. Coca-Cola has a three-point program when it comes to career development and planning. The programs are as follows:

  1. Identifying the career objectives of employees alongside their general aspirations.
  2. Identifying the capabilities of staff alongside their delegated duties.
  3. Continuous analysis of career opportunities.

Noe (2012) points out that career development relies on the individual’s skill development. The process of identifying career objectives, as outlined above, helps to nurture the skills of employees. The same is in line with the company’s vision of providing an environment conducive for employees’ functioning. On its part, continued analysis of opportunities brings in an element of freshness. The same is in line with Coca-Cola’s mission to refresh the world.

Policies Related to Career Stages

According to Noe (2012), careers can be classified into different stages. They include early, middle, and late stages. A proper career development and planning policy is expected to respect these stages. During the early stages of a career, Coca-Cola is aware of the scarcity of skills. Consequently, the company has formulated a mentorship policy. The policy is crafted in such a way that new employees are paired with others who possess similar skills but who have more experience.

Many employees are undecided on whether they want to advance in their field or not (Noe, 2012). To address this, Coca-Cola has formulated a policy to ensure that employees are matched with the tasks they are best suited for. As for the later career stage, the company has put in place a policy framework that makes sure staff members are guaranteed of a retirement package when they decide to leave employment.

Role of Employees, Managers, and Organizations in Career Planning

At Coca-Cola, the entire organization works as one unit in carrying out all the activities. Greenhaus et al. (2009) point out that an efficient career plan must bring together the employee, the management, and the organization at large. Employees at Coca-Cola fill out forms to participate in the career development programs. The management assumes the task of evaluating each application.

The Role of Learning and Development at Coca-Cola

Role of Employee, Manager, and Organization in Employee’s Training

An employee should be willing to enter into a training program to improve their skills (Noe, 2012). Coca-Cola has designed application forms for this purpose. The role of the management is to provide the necessary training. The organization acts as a facilitator for the process by availing funds.

Identification of Competencies

In the training program, the organization relies on the management to evaluate those participating (Noe, 2012). Through a series of tests and tasks, the management can determine the competencies of each member of staff

Tools for Identification of Competencies

According to Greenhaus et al. (2009), the best way to identify the competencies of employees in an organization is through a series of tests. Coca-Cola uses these tools to gauge the expertise of the personnel on its payroll.

Exploration Opportunities

At Coca-Cola Company, employees are given the opportunity to select the internal departments in which they would prefer to work (Coca-Cola Company, 2013). The same is in line with the organization’s objective of matching personnel with their skill levels.

Role of Employee Relations

Coaching and Counseling

Noe (2012) suggests that employees seeking to improve their skills and grow their career must engage with their trainers. In this regard, Coca-Cola ensures that there is a mutual co-existence between the staff and the trainers. The trainers in reference are the coaches and counselors.

Working-Life Programs

Greenhaus et al. (2009) illustrate the importance of having a healthy lifestyle that is not interrupted by work. To this end, Coca-Cola advices employees to take breaks from work to socialize.

Creating and Maintaining Employees’ Morale

To boost staff morale, the human resource department at Coca-Cola has put in place a number of incentives. The incentives include increased salary for employees who perform well in the training tests (Coca-Cola Company, 2013). Such incentives encourage employees to perform better.

Individual Career Plans: Conclusion

Strengths of Coca-Cola’s Policy

The company’s career development and training policy has significantly improved the morale of employees (Coca-Cola Company, 2013). In addition, the policy has enhanced service delivery in the organization.

Weaknesses of Coca-Cola’s Policy

The policy has one major weakness. An increasing number of trained employees leave the company. As a result, the company loses a significant chunk of its human resource. Similar sentiments are echoed by Noe (2012).


The current report recommends that companies should embrace this concept of career development and planning. According to Noe (2012), companies that have embraced this policy record a tremendous growth.

Lessons Learnt

The information gathered in this report is beneficial in improving the morale of employees. As Noe (2012) puts it, motivated employees perform better. The author of this report intends to put this lesson into good use in improving their career.


Coca-Cola Company. (2013). Coca-Cola journey. Web.

Greenhaus, H., Callanan, A., & Godshalk, M. (2009). Career management. London: Sage.

Noe, R. (2012). Employee training and development. New York: McGraw Hill.

Statistic Brain. (2012). Coca-Cola Company statistics. Web.