How To Boost Morale At The Brew House

Hey, guys/gals! This might seem off-topic, but I have a buddy that is a master brewer in San Diego, and the stories he has been sharing with me have been somewhat unreal. We sit down for a pint of beer every two months and catch up when either of us is in the other neighborhood. As I have been working on building a product, brand, and working with freelancers on a part-time basis, my goal is to produce an epic IPA that I can sell locally eventually, and then if lucky, regionally. So here I am, and instead of mastering my craft, I find myself being drawn into the business side of things, learning more about management, employees, equipment, inventory, and many other rather uninteresting aspects of running your own brewery. This is one topic I have thought about publishing for some time now, and it’s now time. When he tells me about six guys that are working in a beer warehouse together, brewing amazing beverages, my initial thought is of a giant beer-man-cave where guys are coming together to share knowledge and experiences to grow a line of beer into the desired product. What I didn’t expect to hear was that at this specific brewery, these guys fight like siblings, dislike the owner, and feel they aren’t appreciated. Well, that’s a joke if you ask me, and regardless of how tasty your beer recipes are, angry employees is a recipe for disaster. So here is my take on boosting company morale at the Brew House.

Boosting Brew House Morale

First, let the guys get drunk a few days a week! Actually a bad idea, that was a joke!! There are plenty of accidents in brewhouses each year. We need to avoid that like the plague. On a serious note, though, hold my beer, I’m about to type out some excellent reading material for those of you looking to start your own business as a brewer.

In a typical office, it’s natural for morale to dip every so often. With everybody working in close proximity to what can be a high-stress environment, it’s no wonder that colleagues fall out, and employees feel a little demotivated sometimes. However, it’s the way that an office reacts to adversity that really matters. If you’re looking to improve your management, become a better leader, or simply help the brewhouse morale get a boost, here are some tips for you!

Always Communicate 

This is something my wife has been beating me over the head with for a year, but it’s true if guys are holding everything in, then the tension builds, and someone is bound to react. In business, it’s all too easy to only communicate about work-related topics. Have you brewed that last batch? Have we shipped that previous order? Are we having that meeting after work today? As mental wellbeing becomes a more prominent topic in the workplace, we’re encouraging questions like the following:

  • How do you feel?
  • What are your main challenges at the moment? 
  • Is your team lacking energy?
  • Can I help in any way?
  • Do you need help clearing some tasks?  

Often, communication is the most significant thing missing in any brewery. Sometimes, employees crumble under the pressure of several different tasks when one conversation with a manager would immediately alleviate some of this pressure. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to encourage communication when employees are struggling.

Allow for Anonymous Feedback

Brewhouses are typically small, so any inner office turmoil is something almost everyone will be aware of. However, if you are the owner, you need to give your people an easy way to pass the information along to you in privacy.

For many employees, they’re afraid of saying how they really feel in front of upper management. Even when managers rely on them too much and give them too much work, they would rather suffer than have an awkward conversation. Therefore, we also recommend allowing employees to provide feedback anonymously to help avoid any unnecessary conflict. In a world full of technology, a simple piece of paper and a box is all you need here.

Suddenly, you get to learn all the real problems in the office. Once you know the issues, you can work towards a resolution and boost office morale.

Create an Incentive Program 

What better way to improve office morale than to reward staff for their hard work? Especially as more Millennials enter the workplace, we’re finding a workforce that wants to be appreciated and recognized when they put in lots of time and effort. What’s more, they don’t want a simple bowling trip with colleagues. Although these sorts of events are still crucial for morale and bonding, modern employees are looking for rewards that will allow them to evolve and improve.

As an example, some companies are sending their employees on courses, buying Kindles and filling them with career-focused books, and other similar rewards.

Listen and Act 

As well as being rewarded for hard work, modern employees also want to feel as though their voice is heard. If they suggest a change, whether it’s to operations or something simple like tea bags in the office, listen. If you don’t act on their advice, at least show them the decency of explaining why.

Tell the World Your Pride

It’s one thing praising an employee in private, and it’s another doing it on social media where the whole world can see. Imagine the excitement of your employees upon learning that you’ve publicly thanked them for a specific achievement or for helping the business to grow.

Other Helpful Tips For Brewers 

Pour a pint and consider these tips for boosting brew house morale: 

  • Have some fun in the office and allow for some relaxed time to ease tension during busy periods. Put together after-hours beer tastings with your team so you can enjoy your product together and brainstorm on new brewing strategies.
  • Remove the outdated company policies and encourage your team to get involved with the business.
  • Provide a clear path of progression for all employees 
  • Eat lunch together as a team, and enjoy a beer on occasion
  • Encourage the sharing of personal milestones 
  • Allow employees to submit new recipes or seasonal recipes. Imagine if their beer recipe won and was brewed as a holiday special.

Simple things like this to involve employees at the next level is a great way to retain good brewhouse employees. A Brew Master is an essential part of your long term success, so make sure you are taking care of your people.