Recently the craft beer world was rocked by negative publicity tied to cultural issues—specifically a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This problem has been brewing for years, and the net result for craft breweries is a lack of engagement that negatively impacts revenue and performance.
During his opening remarks at the recent Craft Beer Conference in Denver, Bob Pease, CEO of the Boulder-based Brewers Association—the industry's leading trade group—called for an awakening.“This scourge of discrimination and inequity has festered and held us back," he told attendees.
Ultimately, the impact of employee disengagement hits the bottom line in the form of declining sales and high employee turnover. Simply put, as employee engagement decreases, the bottom line suffers.
Fixing the Culture Problem by Increasing Employee Engagement
We define employee engagement as the emotional commitment and willingness to give your best at work. When people are engaged, they'll give their best at work, all day, every day.
While admitting the problem exists is a positive first step, fixing the problem and improving employee engagement will take time and ongoing effort.
Beth Sunshine, Up Your Culture Engagement Specialist, explains,
"The stronger your culture, the higher your employee engagement will be. Culture is powerful, and you’re going to have one whether you like it or not. The question is, are you intentionally working to create the kind of culture in which employees thrive, and business grows? Companies with strong cultures have 5xmore revenue, and they're 3x more likely to retain their employees. Without that kind of focus, organizations suffer from lack of engagement, increased turnover, absenteeism, office gossip, poor communication, and a lack of growth."
Transforming a dysfunctional company culture in the craft beer sector is not impossible and it hinges on improving culture and in turn, increasing employee engagement. It takes some effort, and it involves focus on these four areas:
- Shared Mission
- People Development
- Valued Voice
- Earned Trust
Four Engagement Elevators
At Up Your Culture, we call these areas engagement elevators. Here’s some information on each area plus some questions to ask yourself. You can determine if your elevators are going up or going down in each.
Shared Mission is your company mission—your why. It tells your people why the work they are doing is important and guides them to engage in a cause bigger than themselves.
Questions to ask yourself about Shared Mission:
- Does your company have a clearly defined mission statement?
- Do your people know why their work is important to customers and the community?
- Do your company leaders routinely share stories about mission to keep it alive?
People Development focuses on how leaders care about their people, build individual relationships, transparently share information, and coach and train.
Questions to ask yourself about People Development:
- Do you have a plan in place to develop each person on your team?
- Do you provide meaningful feedback to people on a regular basis?
- Do you recognize and acknowledge successful behaviors on a regular basis?
Valued Voice occurs when employees trust co-workers and leaders enough to participate in open and honest, two-way communication.
Questions to ask yourself about Valued Voice:
- Does your company seek opinions from employees?
- Does your company demonstrate a sincere desire to listen and take action?
- Do your people feel comfortable sharing thoughts, ideas, and concerns?
Earned Trust is evident when employees believe their company is authentic because they are what they say they are. Trust is fundamental to high performance and high engagement.
Questions to ask yourself about Earned Trust:
- Does your organization live its core values even when times are tough?
- Do leaders hold themselves accountable to what the company stands for?
- Does your organization communicate and demonstrate a commitment to your people?
After reading this information and answering these questions, are the engagement elevators going up or going down at your craft beer company?