Tag Archive: brewing

The following post is an excerpt from a paper I wrote about training and advancement issues. This addresses how to create internal opportunity through job enrichment and communication.

Creating Opportunity

“To create more opportunities for employees to advance it would be possible to move laterally within the company, however, this presents issues of KSA (knowledge, skills, abilities) compatibility. The unique KSA’s of a brewery production worker do not easily translate into a job in the sales department, marketing department, or administration and employees may not be interested in these types of jobs. Also, employee motivation is a factor since brewers tend to be intrinsically motivated. According to Johnson, intrinsic motivation can be external in nature such as work-life balance or internal as in how an employee enjoys their job and associated tasks (2005). Some veteran brewer’s describe the reason brewers do their work as a passion, which may be because they can readily identify their part in creating the product since they experience the progression of beer produced from raw materials to the glass. So, with advancement opportunities for production workers often being limited, another method to obtain employee satisfaction may be met by implementing job enrichment.

Greenburg describes job enrichment as performing additional tasks, including tasks requiring increased knowledge, skills, and accountability (2010). Job enlargement was ruled out as a method due to it being deemed more of a short term fix since job enlargement focuses on completing more of the same tasks, which does not include increased responsibility (Greenburg, 2010). Special care would need to be taken in redesigning jobs to be enriching to ensure job tasks were aligned with company and departmental strategies, which can have the added benefit of enhancing employee performance (Garg and Rastogi, 2006). Also important to job enrichment is a channel for employees to provide feedback about job enrichment.

Thomas, Wells, & Willard discussed a program endorsed by British Petrol Exploration (BPX) utilizing upward feedback to promote communication between employees and managers, promote team work, and as an added benefit help managers enhance their management skills (1992). The first year of the upward feedback program at BPX was so successful that the company increased the amount of staff participation in the second year (Thomas, Wells, & Willard, 1992). So, this would be another instrument besides surveys to obtain valuable information from employees to monitor satisfaction levels concerning not only job enrichment, but other business related issues as well.

Some examples of how job enrichment for production workers could be achieved would be through the formation of teams or assignment of individuals to perform functions such as interviewing, safety, preventative maintenance system management, and production planning. These types of tasks would increase responsibility and potentially make the job more interesting. Also, production workers could take part in marketing activities where interaction with the public is needed and is generally well received and expected by customers of the brewing industry. “

Are you “Brewtrinsic”?

The following is an excerpt from a paper I wrote  titled “Changing Mechanistic Manufacturing”, which focuses on the culture metaphor inherent in many breweries. Of particular interest is the intrinsic (motivated by the nature of the work) characteristic of brewery workers.

“The culture of the organization consists of a shared passion of employees for providing consumers with high quality full flavored beer. More specifically, the brewer’s passion for their work is such that their intrinsic needs tend to outweigh their extrinsic. For example, although compensation is relatively low upon entry into the brewing field, workers are motivated by the nature of the work and the prestige associated with working for a brewery. This is further verified by Fahrendorf who indicates that brewing provides a way to identify yourself with your work through the creation of a product from the beginning to the final product (n.d.). Brewers also tend to maintain strong social relationships with brewers within the organization and from other brewing companies.

Beer festivals are essentially marketing events that allow breweries to showcase a select amount of their products to the general public. Brewery workers also attend these events due to platonic relationships with other brewers, to evaluate products from other breweries and generally enjoy the festivities at festivals. This is not a required part of the job for each employee, however, many brewery employees still choose to attend. This demonstrates a unique cultural element and the author has coined the term “brewtrinisic” as a play-on-words to describe the intrinsic nature of brewers, which even tends to be a bit eccentric.”