I think it’s very important to also accept that even though you’re the Line Manager you don’t have to know everything better than your team.

Tell about yourself and your career at Coca‑Cola HBC.

My name is Hennig. I’m 31 years old. I’m working as a Plant QSE Manager in plant Dietlikon. So, I’m responsible for the areas of quality, safety and environment.

Which was the assignment during the Trainee programme with the biggest learnings and why?

For me it was actually the variety of different assignments that I took the biggest learning from. I had one assignment in sustainability where I was working on the European Water Stewardship which is a water standard. Actually, my current position I’m oughted in that standard so this was a really good preparation for my current position. Then I had an assignment in procurement which was also very, very interesting and I learnt a lot of basics and background. Now I have an own cost center, so it was really good to pick up the basics. Also, for me it was a very good learning because I noticed that the procurement is not the department where I want to work in later. 

Which are in your opinion the benefits to do a Trainee programme?

From my perspective the Management Trainee Programme is very, very valuable because you get to know a lot of different departments and I think it was actually the time when I did most networking within the company. So I got to know a lot of different people and departments. Nowadays, that I’m working on my job, I already have these contacts and I know who to approach in case I have a question.

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Which elements do you think are important to develop Trainees to a Line Manager?

Being a Line Manager is probably always a big challenge in the beginning. And whenever it’s the first time that you will lead a team it will always be challenging, and you can never be prepared a hundred percent to that. But for me it was very helpful, on one hand, to have a leadership workshop like we had the passion-to-lead workshop. On the other hand, to have some practical knowledge. So practical knowledge in my example was working on projects which was for example the EWS. The European Water Stewardship project. But also, which was from my time before I came to Coca‑Cola, that I was also leading projects, so I already know how it is to lead a part of a team and to lead people. So, it’s not only the theoretical but also the practical experience.

Which challenges do you face as a Line Manager and how do you solve them?

For me it’s also that I came into a team where there were people that were working in this position for twenty years or more. And from one point without experience in this very specific field I had to be their Line Manager. So, there were always some challenges. I think it’s very important to also accept that even though you’re the Line Manager you don’t have to know everything better than your team. It’s very important not only for you but also for your team to understand that they are specialists, the experienced ones and you’re the one that leads them to working towards the results that you want to achieve.

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