Some benefits will always be dictated locally, says Brown-Forman’s Tanya Thornber
Brown-Forman is the global spirits company behind brands such as Jack Daniels, Finlandia and Woodford Reserve. From our roots in Kentucky, we employ more than 6,000 people in nearly 40 countries. We’re in the process of introducing global principles around reward and benefits to demonstrate our strong family values. I’m aware that there may be challenges getting some of the policies to stick on a local level.
Central to this is a new global grading structure, setting out reward and benefit entitlement. Some benefits will always be dictated by local markets, but we want to create a philosophy around core benefits such as life insurance and pensions.
This exercise uncovered anomalies in benefit provision, including two countries – Germany and the Netherlands – where there was no life insurance.
As well as filling these gaps, we are also looking at the ways the company supports employees. We’ve introduced global policies on product allowance, where all employees receive the equivalent of one bottle of Jack Daniels a month, and plan to introduce a minimum holiday allowance of 20 days a year.
I expect some resistance, especially where there has been a more hierarchical approach to product allowance or a country has a lower minimum for holidays. We want our approach on product allowance to be consistent: all of our employees are brand ambassadors.
Similarly, with our holiday policy, we want all of our employees to be able to spend quality time with their families; this is important for the company and enables everyone to bring their true self to work.