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Thabang Tshabangu

Team Leader HR Services
Uxbridge, Great Britain

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What have been your biggest challenges in this role?

The biggest challenge is the fact that we are working for Belgium and the Netherlands, but we are over here in Uxbridge. So, there is a fair distance between us. Not that it makes the job more difficult, but it's a challenge because it is always more difficult to interact with people when you've never met them or seen them. I would say the distance and cultural difference between Dutch and Belgian people is sometimes interesting, in a good way. Sometimes trying to find a way to get the communication going without people misunderstanding what you said, I would say is the biggest challenge in the role.

“ I like the combination of doing operational work and managing a team ”

What is the most inspiring moment you’ve had at CCEP?

I would say for me personally was when in HR Services they merged the General Operations Team, that was only dealing with emails and web requests, with the Customer Service team, which was dealing with phone queries only. This might not seem very exciting, but it was really inspiring to me, as it created this Team leader role. This gave me the opportunity to learn management, and it gave me the opportunity to work for Belgium, getting to know their rules and regulations as well. So, it was inspiring because it gave me opportunities, and I always want to grow and learn more things, and now that I'm in this role I have the opportunity to grow as a manager, but also to see more of the business and to meet other people within CCEP.

How does your role work within your team and with your leaders?

As I'm the Team Leader, if there's anything they want to discuss the team will come to me. If there is an issue that goes beyond my position I will then contact my manager to discuss it with her, on an operational or management type of question. My manager reports directly into the Director for HR Services and urgent issues she can discuss with him immediately. We have, I would say, a very open communication line. So it wouldn't be a problem if one of my team members would go directly to my manager. So, people do know where they can go if they have a question or need help with something. They usually will come to me first and I see from there what needs to be done.

When I look at my own management, the communication is very open too. We have a new Director since January of this year and that has been a major change, as he comes to the desk to see us and informs about how we are doing. It makes you feel more involved, which is really good. The same is true with my manager, she used to work in the team as well, so she knows what she's talking about. 

What do you tell your best friend about work on a Friday evening?

To be honest with my best friends we never talk about work! When I talk about work to my partner, I usually talk about the daily activities, what we've been up to, what funny things happened on the work floor, as with a team of girls there is always something funny or some drama going on that you can relate afterwards!

What is your main responsibility within your current role?

At the moment I'm a Team leader for the HR First Contact team.  More specifically for the Dutch and Belgian team, so we deal with queries from Dutch and Belgian employees. 80% of my role is still operational and 20% is management, I do team meetings, discuss the objectives with my team members, help them with career developments and do the online talent management review. So, it's quite a diverse role. I like the combination of still doing the job myself and on the other side be the manager of the team, as this allows me to stay grounded and up to speed with what happens with the team. It's a very good combination.