Anjanette Murfet starts every day with music.
“Music really gets me motivated,” said Anjanette, who rocks out on her morning commute to work as human resources director at Coca-Cola South Pacific.
“Frame of mind is important. I have a philosophy that you always bring your A-Game to work.
“If I’m not on my A-Game what do I need to do to shift it? I think about whether I need to work from home for the day. Or can I rearrange my calendar so that I have minimal impact on other people. We try to use that same philosophy company wide,” she said.
Finding out what motivates others is part of what Anjanette loves about Human Resources.
She was drafted into Coca-Cola in early 2016 and sees her role as helping to grow a corporate culture that encourages exceptional performance.
“I think that culture is created often by what people see and observe.
“If you have a senior leadership team that are committed to creating a culture that’s inclusive with a high-performance winning mentality, that starts to infiltrate the rest of the organisation,” she said.
Anjanette believes great workplaces create a high performance environment via factors like cutting-edge training and development, and celebrating great work.
One of her proudest achievements at Coca-Cola so far is initiating a program that rewards and recognises great work.
“Rewarding employees in the moment for good work is always a great place to start in creating a high-performance culture,” Anjanette said.
“The ‘Celebrating You’ program was launched in June last year. It aims to bring recognition in the moment to all of our associates trying to drive high performance and self-confidence,” she said.
Building self-confidence as part of high performance has a special relevance to Anjanette. “You know what, I’m a textbook introvert,” she said.
“I grew up in Hobart on my parents’ farm and I rode horses a lot. I really had to force myself to push outside my tendency to be the shy retiring type,” she said.
The biggest push came when Anjanette, her husband and her then four-year-old son Harry packed up and moved abroad for work.
“When you move overseas you really have to put yourself out there, that was one of the motivating factors.
“It was a really big thing to move away from everybody I’d grown up with and put myself in a completely different environment,” she said.
What Anjanette learnt by moving overseas led to her becoming an avid advocate of ‘flip thinking’, a practice that prompts employees to find innovative solutions to everyday challenges.
“I think that big organisations over time can become bureaucracies. Sometimes people get swept along by the day to day and forget to step back and ask ‘Why are we doing that? What’s the purpose? Is this adding any value?
“With flip thinking, if you have a business problem, you turn it on its head. You ask what would be the traditional way I’d approach this issue and then you take all those conventions away,” she said.
But being a great employee isn’t all about what you do at work. As the mother of a 13-year-old boy, an avid reader, a less-avid runner and a self-confessed music geek, Anjanette knows that the right frame of mind is very much formed at home.
“I think the whole concept of work-life balance is really hard to achieve,” she said.
“It’s important to have a sense of what really replenishes you, what invigorates you. It’s important to be connected outside of work so you don’t become too narrowly focused. It’s about knowing your own boundaries, and knowing those things that make you feel good,” she said.
Anjanette also knows that sometimes the best attitude to work and life isn’t necessarily a serious one. She’s the first to admit she gets lost in her music and forgets she isn’t really in a rock band.
“I’ve had people tap me on the shoulder and ask me whether I know I’m singing. Quite loudly,” she said.
Anjanette makes sure to use whatever she can to bring the comfort and fun of her personal life into her work – and spark up the odd conversation.
“When my son was little and there was an event on at work, he and I would sit down together and make a hat for the occasion,” Anjanette said.
“So I have an array of hats. For the Melbourne Cup I’ve got a straw hat with green felt, a little fence, and some racing horses stuck on to it and a cup on the top.
“It’s quite delightful! You can tell it’s home-made, too, if you know what I mean,” she laughed. “It’s certainly a way to open a conversation,” she said.