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Human resources was not Lisa Brignall’s career plan. She left university with a Psychology degree and thought it was the field she would go into. But, as she began to explore her transferable skills, Lisa realised she had a passion for organisational and cultural change, which led her to a profession within the HR business function.

Lisa started with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) 16 years ago and is now working as the Head of Talent Acquisition in the GB business unit, where she has been since January 2021.

Question: Describe your role and how it has evolved

I joined CCEP as an HR Manager, starting in Field Sales in North East England, then moving into Supply Chain in Wakefield, which is our largest site in Europe, and also the biggest soft drink plant in Europe  producing around 420,000 cans and 116,000 bottles per hour. At CCEP, I’ve enjoyed honing my skills in business partnering and working alongside different business leaders to implement high-performing integrated human resources practices.

Working remotely and the Covid-19 outbreak made me thoughtful about the next steps in my career, so I started to explore other roles within Human Resources, and in particular Talent Acquisition. I applied and was delighted to get the role of Head of Talent Acquisition for GB.

I saw this new job as an opportunity to create change and to bring a new perspective to the GB team. In my new role, my ability to build relationships with key business stakeholders and my passion for inclusion and diversity have been critical to building a strong team around me.   

Question: You spoke about how the outbreak prompted you to consider your career pathway, so how has Covid-19 impacted CCEP’s business?

We’ve always been empathetic as an organisation, but Covid has driven an even stronger sense of organisation and structure around how we engage with and support our people. We are delivering some great programmes which provide wellbeing and mental health support which have been really impactful. We continue to grow, acquiring Coca-Cola Amatil in 2021, which has introduced CCEP to partnerships with new markets globally and has expanded its reach. That said, while the acquisition hasn’t changed my day-to-day role much, since I mostly work between local operating business units, it’s been very exciting for me. This acquisition has allowed us to connect and work alongside the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific teams, and we’re able to share our best practices across the globe.

Question: How would you define the culture at CCEP?

The CCEP culture has really grown over the last five years or so, and you can authentically be yourself here. You can put new ideas forward easily and receive support from the people around you. The brands are a huge selling point to Coca-Cola and make us all proud to work here. I’ve definitely spent 16 years here for the people and culture!

Question: What would be some advice you would give someone thinking of applying for CCEP?

Think about your strengths, what gets you out of bed in the morning? Your career is yours alone, so really dig in to what makes you tick, and try not to compare yourselves to others’ - your peers and friends. A colleague once said to me, ‘’your career should complement your life plan’’ and this advice has really stuck with me –  I think it’s a great piece of wisdom – to check in regularly, take on new opportunities and ensure that your work and your career remain enjoyable - and you thrive.

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