BrewDog to initiate independent review of its culture

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

BrewDog to initiate independent review of its culture

Related tags Brewdog Staff mental health

BrewDog is enlisting the services of a third party to carry out an independent review of its culture and HR practices following accusations that it fostered a toxic working environment.

In an open letter published last week by a group calling itself ‘Punks without Purpose’, it was claimed a 'significant number' of former staff had 'suffered mental illness as a result of working at BrewDog'​.

More than 100 former BrewDog staff have signed the letter, including at least 45 'who did not feel safe to include either their names or initials'.

Responding to the letter, the brewer and bar operator said that having begun to take stock of 'a difficult, but important few days', its focus was now on taking action.

BrewDog said: “For those ex-employees we clearly let down, we can’t and we won’t leave things at an apology - they spoke up to see change and we will make that happen.

“And for the fantastic people currently working at BrewDog, we intend not just to make incremental improvements here, but to build a programme of cultural and leadership and development that not only inspires a better culture at BrewDog, but sets an example for our industry.” 

Over the next 10 days BrewDog is to conduct an anonymous staff survey, exploring the themes laid out in the letter, and others, so that it gets a comprehensive picture of the company’s culture on every level, and can then 'build a programme of positive change'.

“We are ensuring all team members know of our existing anonymous channels of escalation, and the independently managed crew support helplines, offering access to counsellors and specialists for anyone affected by the events of or issues raised this week. We’ll also be implementing listening groups to work with our team members and hear their feedback,” it said.

BrewDog has also made several recent appointments, including a new chairperson to lead the board, Blythe Jack. She is the managing director at TSG, BrewDog’s investment partners and joined on 3 June.

While Ren Navarro has been appointed as an independent beer industry diversity specialist to help develop employees’ personal and professional growth. She has given talks on diversity and inclusion at several colleges and countless festivals, panels, radio shows, and podcasts across North America.

BrewDog is also looking to appoint a mental health and wellbeing ambassador.

A version of this story first appeared on MCA, BigHospitality's sister site. To subscribe to MCA, click here​. 

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