It’s more important than ever to spend time focusing on the company culture. Whether you intentionally cultivated a culture or not, your craft beverage business has one. It encompasses your overall workplace environment. The company culture is driven by your core values. It’s shaped by your leadership and team. It creates a sense of alignment and establishes a connection between employees.
More often than not, a company’s culture forms organically — but it can be crafted and shaped if it isn’t naturally becoming what you want it to be. Building a strong company culture at your brewery or winery allows you to form deeper connections with your employees and your customers as it becomes the core of who you are, what you offer, and why you matter. Let’s dive in to see why having a strong company culture is important, the benefits it provides beverage companies, and how to create one.
Why Is a Strong Company Culture Important?
At the end of the day, your business cannot operate without a team. You need a team that is bought in and believes in the future of your craft beverage business. A recent survey by Deloitte found that 88% of employees believe a distinct company culture is important to a business’s success. There are a variety of ways you can positively impact workplace culture. Here are a few factors to consider when determining how you want to cultivate a strong company culture for your craft beverage business.
No one wants to go to work everyday at a place where they don’t feel valued or motivated to get their best work done. Maintaining a positive and engaging workplace atmosphere is the first step to creating a healthy company culture. Consider the environment. Are there ample areas to comfortably get work accomplished? Is the space aesthetically pleasing? Does management give off a welcoming vibe where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and asking for feedback? Your goal should be to create a positive work environment where your employees enjoy coming in day after day. As a result, you’ll have employees that are excited to come in and promote your products;
The easiest way for negativity to creep into your company culture is a lack of work/life balance. Throughout the year, you may experience surges in sales, which result in your team working around the clock to fulfill orders and generate inventory. But if long hours and stressful days become the norm, your employees are likely to experience burnout on the job. This leaves them feeling tired and unmotivated, preventing them from putting their best self forward.
As part of your company’s leadership team, it’s important to encourage your employees to get their to-do list done during the workday so they can enjoy their personal time when off the clock. Having a healthy work/life balance often results in increased productivity from your team. In light of the recent pandemic, remote work has become more commonplace. While remote work may not be in the cards for the team members working in the taproom or brewing the beer, members of the team handling more behind-the-scenes roles, such as marketing or accounting, might be able to work part-time from their homes.
At the core of a healthy and strong company culture is the employees. If your team doesn’t get along or enjoy working together, it will be nearly impossible to cultivate a healthy workplace environment. Creating an environment that encourages your employees to foster relationships with their colleagues helps build a strong foundation that is trusting, collaborative, and welcoming.
When creating the schedule for your taproom, rotate which coworkers are working with one another so everyone on the team gets a chance to know each other. Attend craft brewing or wine industry conferences together. Host team outings over drinks — or incorporate activity-based events that promote team bonding such as an escape room. Hold an annual company party celebrating your company’s anniversary. Finding ways to encourage relationship building will instill a strong bond throughout the entire team.
The Benefits of a Strong Company Culture
Along with creating a safe and welcoming environment for every member of your team, a strong company culture provides countless benefits, including:
- Increased engagement – When your company follows its core values and cultivates a positive workplace culture, you’ll have motivated and inspired employees that want to do their jobs well. The happier your employees are, the harder they’re going to work and the more effort they’re likely to put into their assigned responsibilities.
- Reduced turnover – Nothing will make an employee leave a company faster than horrible company culture. If an employee feels undervalued, disconnected, or taken advantage of, they aren’t going to stick around. Cultivating a motivating environment that supports its values and mission statement will lead to happier employees and, as a result, reduced turnover.
- Strong brand identity – Although your company culture may have more of an impact on your team itself, it also reaches your customers. The more connected your team is to the brand, the better they’ll be able to respect and promote your craft beverage business. Strong company culture will be evident to your customers through their interactions with your employees, which will make them more likely to give you their business in the future than a competitor that may lack a strong culture.
- Healthy environment – At the end of the day, most employees want a healthy work environment where they feel included, heard, and seen. Fostering an inclusive, diverse, and supportive work environment should be of the utmost importance for your brewery, cidery, or winery. By including your employees in important business decisions and listening to their ideas and feedback, you’ll help them find their purpose within your team.
How to Build a Strong Company Culture
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to building a strong company culture. Take note of where your culture currently sits — and do this without any bias! It’s alright if your company culture needs work. Here are a few ways for you to build a strong company culture.
When it comes to workplace satisfaction, few things are more important than strong communication. Miscommunication, or a lack of communication, between leadership and employees is often a major pain point that can quickly deteriorate a once healthy culture. Encourage open communication at the workplace where information is shared in the clearest way possible to avoid any confusion. Tension and stress amongst the team are often a result of miscommunication or gossip being passed down through the grapevine.
When your employees have concerns or ideas, make sure they feel heard and validated. If they are constantly shut down, your employees will eventually stop speaking up at all. Not all employees will feel comfortable speaking up in group settings, which is why you should also hold one-on-one meetings. Creating a safe space for employees to speak up about business ideas, share problems they’re having with colleagues, or report sensitive issues will encourage them to come to you on their own when something is going on.
It can be easy to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective way to run the company. As your craft beverage business grows, you’re going to need to make improvements and tweak your processes. Sit down with your employees and show them that you value their input and opinions by encouraging them to share their feedback. Getting their buy-in on new processes will make it a lot easier to roll out any changes that may impact their day-to-day.
You know your company the best. Although there isn’t a straightforward plan to create the ideal company culture, you know what core values are at the heart of your business. Stay true to your company’s core values and you’re already headed in the right direction.