People and Culture

In a difficult year for everyone around the world, we also witnessed the incredible commitment, resilience and creativity of our team.

Beefeater Lemon Ginger bottle

As we evolve our relationship with our people, our focus will be on engaging and leading our teams with effectiveness and positive impact.

Our number one priority was to keep our people safe and connected. While most of our office-based employees worked from home the entire year, people at the Ungava Spirits plant, Foreign Affair winery and Hiram Walker & Sons distillery and our commercial sales force and merchandisers continued as usual, albeit in difficult circumstances with strict health and safety protocols and personal protective equipment in place. The situation called for new policies and practices, as well as tools and resources to help people manage the stress.

Danielle Yoon, Assistant Trade Marketing Manager
Amanda Grondin-Stocks, Senior Manager, Trade Marketing
Rohan Ingale, Senior Revenue Growth Analyst

To help as best we could, we dialled up communications and focused on employee well-being. This included, for example:

Quarterly newsletters and town hall meetings, as well as small-group, virtual coffee chats with executives

An ongoing blog from our Director of Human Resources who shared her personal pandemic experiences

Extending our vacation policy to allow unused days to be carried over to the next year

Curating a series of resources and tools for balancing work and family

Conducting surveys to check in on people and find out how they were feeling about returning to work

Ensuring that leaders prioritized conversations with their teams and shared their own vulnerabilities

We also found creative ways to bond and connect through virtual parties that included home-delivered food and drinks, and well-known musicians and other entertainers.

With input from employees and public health guidance, we plan to make the return to our offices voluntary until we can implement a comprehensive return-to-office plan. That said, we’ve already introduced a flexible work policy that increases employees’ choice and flexibility as to where they work, while still encouraging teamwork and conviviality. In line with this policy, we intend to renovate some of our offices, creating more open spaces for connecting and collaborating.

As we evolve our relationship with our people, our focus will be on engaging and leading our teams with effectiveness and positive impact. This will mean continuing to emphasize flexibility and employee well-being, but also strengthening leadership capabilities and practices to be more transparent and drive better alignment between business objectives and the work people do every day.