BrewDog updates on progress following ‘toxic culture’ allegations, appoints consultancy to conduct ‘full, unbiased’ review: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has appointed consultancy Wiser to conduct a “full, unbiased” review of culture within the business and intends to share the high-level findings before the end of the year. The review follows allegations by former employees of the company fostering “a culture of fear” in an open letter that was signed by more than 300 people. BrewDog has also given all staff employed before 1 January 2021 a 3% pay rise and is looking to recruit an additional 100 people to its team. Co-founder James Watt said: “Last month, we set out a plan to review the culture of BrewDog. We have been making steady progress and I wanted to share an update. We want to be an employer for which our amazing team are truly proud to work, and we believe the actions we have taken – as well as those we are still working on – will help us meet that objective. We have appointed Wiser to conduct a full, unbiased review of culture within BrewDog. Wiser is one of the leading culture consultancies globally. It has a wealth of experience working on employee research projects for Nike, ASOS, the BBC, Pret and many more, where its experienced team immerse themselves in a company to listen and learn about the things that matter. To give you an indication of the timelines involved, we intend to share the high-level findings internally and externally before the end of the year. As part of this culture review, we will reach out to former employees as well as our current team to get the fullest picture we can. We sent the anonymous staff survey to our teams on 29 June. This survey is one of the key steps on our way to making BrewDog a place to work that we can be truly proud of, and our team’s input will shape BrewDog going forward. The survey is being conducted by Opinyin, and the findings will be fed into the independent review process and communicated as part of it. We completed the structural review quickly. It was immediately apparent we are under-resourced in certain areas. Volumes have grown significantly and, due to the economic impact of covid-19 on our business over the past 18 months, we have not been able to add to our internal resources in line with that volume growth. We recognise the need to change this so we are currently working to add approximately 100 new people across the business to make sure we are fully resourced in all areas. The recruitment process is already well under way and we are confident this will make a material difference very quickly to those colleagues who have been under pressure. We have committed to creating an employee representative group to ensure our crew have a clear voice and connection to the decisions we take as a business. All representatives will be elected, so every crew member will play a crucial part in this initiative. A key component of the independent review will be the exit interviews with all team members who have left BrewDog over the past 12 months. We have reached out to them already to ask them to participate. The input of our recent leavers is key to ensuring we get the fullest picture possible. We are absolutely determined to ensure that, in future, the experiences of every crew member who leaves the business are considered to help us continually improve. A full review of our international team benefits is under way, and we’ve appointed Mercer Marsh Benefits, an expert partner in this field, to help us navigate the complexity and legal issues involved – we want every BrewDog crew member to enjoy the brilliant benefits we offer, no matter which country they work in. We have appointed Navex Global to manage a new ethics hotline and this has now been launched internally. This line will enable any employee in any country to report in absolute confidence any allegation of misconduct. It will help ensure any issues are dealt with in a systematic, transparent way. Our strategy for career development and training has been revised and we’re currently in the process of appointing some key roles to deliver this so that you are able to access first-class career development within BrewDog. These include a beer trainer role, which is now in place, along with a training manager for retail and a group learning and development manager. A full salary review has been undertaken and every colleague who joined us before 1 January 2021 has received a 3% increase in salary, with all of these being applied no later than 1 July 2021. Our priorities now are to listen, learn and take the actions required to address the issues that have been raised. We are far from the finished article and are still learning as we go. We will continue to keep you updated as we deliver on the actions we set out in June. And finally, I would like to thank all of our amazing team for all their hard work – we are extremely lucky to have them helping us build this business.” When the letter was first published, Watt apologised and promised to take action and said the situation was “100% my fault”.
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