Despite being the leading bottler in the Coca Cola system, Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) knew that being complacent about talent in a packed marketplace could jeopardise the company’s future.

But through a highly successful coaching and mentoring scheme borne of this insight, Coca Cola HBC demonstrates how nurturing highly sought after talent by utilising pre-existing resources can agilely future proof a business.

The Motivation Informed mentoring scheme praised for its “impressive rigour and scale” was developed in 2012 (and revamped in 2017) after an untapped pool of leadership expertise was identified.

It works by identifying mentees after talent review annual processes, and a 60-minute virtual training session is organised for both mentors and mentees covering topics such as the roles and responsibilities of each party, critical mentoring skills for both, and how it works.

Importantly, employees are able to take charge of their own development thanks to self-paced online resources, videos and reading.

Some countries also lead successful mentors’ clubs where they gather the mentors on a monthly basis to exchange experiences and upgrade their skills and there is a global online community hosted on a platform for both mentors and mentees, where further learning resources are shared, and live Q&A sessions conducted.

Now fully integrated with all talent development processes, including talent programmes, redeployment and succession decisions, the company-wide scheme is seen as the most valuable building block of all talent programmes.

Evaluation data such as surveys and structured interviews tracks the progress of both mentees and mentors and the results testify to the scheme’s success.

Almost all employees (91.5 per cent) say the sessions are either very effective or effective for boosting business acumen, and in 2018 84 per cent said they felt more prepared for their next level role thanks to the support.

Based on over 150 responses total in 2019, mentees said they were receiving tangible knowledge, with 80 per cent of them describing mentoring as a worthwhile investment in career development. They stated they were also able to apply the learning (80 per cent).

Mentors also saw the benefits too: almost all (95 per cent) said they felt they were boosting leadership skills, and 85 per cent said they were satisfied with the overall programme.

The company said: “Looking ahead, we will continue reinforcing Mentoring into the overall organisational culture and continue connecting the programme with other important initiatives for example as part of our D&I commitments.”

Judges commended Coca-Cola HBC for its “innovative” use of different types of mentoring, and said both the scale and rigour of the programme were “impressive”.