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Interview

Wellbeing has been high on our agenda for a long time. We have dedicated Mental Health Champions in all our teams and most recently we received a silver accolade from MIND in their annual Workplace Wellbeing Index.

Introduce yourself and tell us about your organisation  

I’m the HR Director for Molson Coors Brewing Company in the UK & Ireland and have held this position for just over two years now. As one of the UK’s largest brewers we make some of the nation’s best loved beers, including Carling and Coors Light, and employ more than 2,200 people. We’re a big company, but it doesn’t feel that way because at our heart we’re a group of people who share a likeminded passion for making great quality beer and cider. From aspiring trainee brewers to innovative marketeers, we’ve got some of the most exciting talent in the industry.

Our HQ is based in Burton upon Trent (the home of British brewing). We have six breweries in total, including Franciscan Well in Ireland and Sharp’s down in Rock, and our nearly 300-year old Aspall cyder house in Suffolk. Alongside favourites like Carling, Coors Light and Doom Bar, our growing premium beer and cider portfolio includes Pravha, Staropramen, Blue Moon, Offshore, Rekorderlig and Aspall Cyder.

What do you think defines an organisation as a top employer today?  

For me, being a top employer today means creating an environment where people can truly be themselves and that allows them to thrive. That’s the culture we are continuing to foster at Molson Coors – we don’t want our people to walk through our doors and think they need to be anyone other than who they really are.

By encouraging people to show up to work as themselves, without feeling any pressure to be different than they would be at home or with their friends and giving them the flexibility they need, employees can thrive and will enjoy coming into work each and every day.

Tell us about a recent initiative that you have instigated within your organisation that you are most proud of?  

Wellbeing has been high on our agenda for a long time. We have dedicated Mental Health Champions in all our teams and most recently we received a silver accolade from MIND in their annual Workplace Wellbeing Index.

In line with this, our people asked us to help them with their work life balance, so an initiative I’m proud of is our new Life Leave policy, launched in July. The programme offers all employees up to two additional weeks of paid leave per year for the significant moments in life, outside of holidays. We wanted to introduce this as there’s often things going on in people’s lives which, traditionally, they’ve been using annual leave to sort out, and that eats into actual down time. We wanted to change that and give people the ability to take care of what matters in their life without running down holiday which is when they are meant to be relaxing.

This could be anything from taking time to settle in a new puppy at home, integrating a blended family, studying for exams, significant moments in your children’s lives, or the days leading up to a wedding, as well as the other moments in life such as supporting family members through serious illness or life changing events. We want to help our teams be there for those moments in life that are important to everyone, both planned for and those that can happen quickly. By using Life Leave to sort out these other things in their lives, our employees can have the headspace to focus when they’re back at work.

What is the next objective in your organisation’s journey to keep improving the employee experience?  

Life Leave sits within our new Moments that Matter programme, which is a much wider scheme dedicated to improving employee wellbeing and driving inclusivity. So far this has included things like offering summer hours for those whose roles allow it. Looking forward, we’re going to look specifically at what really impacts parents and carers and how we can best support them. Moments that Matter is a really collaborative process – we want to hear from all our employees about what we can do to make their working lives easier. We’re constantly looking at ways we can support our employees and improve their overall wellbeing, so Moments that Matter gives us a great framework to imbed change into our business.

What is the biggest challenge facing your organisation today and how are you planning to overcome it?  

One of the greatest challenges facing any organisation is ensuring that you attract and retain great people. We want to make sure that those new to the industry, as well as our experienced people, want to work and grow their careers with us. That’s why it’s crucial we nurture all talent within our business by offering excellent opportunities for learning and development.

Working in the drinks industry provides huge variety, which means there’s plenty of opportunity within the sector, whatever your role is. The challenge for us lies in showcasing the breadth of our portfolio, from our Burton brewery all the way to our cyder house in Suffolk, and the variety of roles available, from brewing and engineering through to brand management and sales.

How will your organisation have to adapt to meet the changing future workplace?  

In tandem with taking a more flexible approach to working, employees are becoming more open to letting employers know what works best for them – gone are the days of a strict 9 to 5 and that’s a great thing. If we want to remain a top employer, we know that we must listen to our employees, as they really do know what’s best when it comes to how they work.  Each individual works differently and we need to continue to create an environment where people have the ability to work at their best.

We work with our employees to build and develop a workplace and initiatives that work best for them, and this will continue to be our driving principle.

 

This interviewee was kindly introduced to us by ‘Top Employers Institute – the global authority on certifying excellence in employee conditions.’ Their organisation is certified as a Top Employer.

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