BrewDog has forked out £9million to try to solve its culture problem and ease pressure on staff after facing allegations that workers were ‘exhausted, scared and miserable’.
The Scottish brewer said it had made a “significant investment” in human resources during the year, increasing its workforce from 1,507 to 2,346.
He said he spent £9million over the year on people, including a “thorough culture review” and improving staff pay and benefits.
BrewDog said its plans are aimed at accelerating growth, but are designed “to relieve resource constraints in certain parts of the business.”
It comes nearly a year after the company became embroiled in controversy over its culture, with a group of ex-workers called Punks with Purpose writing an open letter accusing chief executive James Watt of creating a “toxic” environment. “.
Mr Watt apologized after the allegations and BrewDog launched a review of the claims.
He later said he would bolster his HR resources, although the review found there was a “distinct perception gap” between those who worked for BrewDog and current staff.
Mr Watt told the Telegraph there was a mismatch between expectations of what workers were looking for and his culture. In an interview last year he said: “Listen, we should have been clearer about the culture of high performance.
“The problem we had was that a lot of people joined us, and they wanted the excitement and the momentum, the opportunities that come with a high-growth business, but at the same time they wanted the steady state. , the perks and benefits that come with a mature business.You don’t get both.
“The mismatch of expectations led to the challenges we faced with former staff.”
Details of his investment come just weeks after Mr Watt announced plans to hand over just under £100m of his shares to employees, to help shake off the controversy.
Mr Watt said the move, taken alongside a new scheme that will give bar staff a share of their workplace profits, “would ensure we are all in this together as we seek to write the next chapter. of BrewDog’s history”.
BrewDog outlined its staff costs when reporting results for 2021, in which it said revenue rose by more than a fifth for the year, to £286million, even though Covid restrictions continued to affect his bar area. It sold 23% more beer, by volume, with growth driven by the UK, Germany and Australia, and more customers buying its beers in supermarkets.
Improved trading has reduced losses from £6.8m in 2020 to £5.5m in 2021.
BrewDog said its bar division has since returned to profitability, after Covid restrictions were lifted earlier this year. He also pointed to rising inflationary pressures, saying transporting beers and CO2 was more expensive.