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The glass is definitely half full for staff at drinks company, Diageo Scotland. “They make sure that people get more out of their job than just their pay packet and have something to get out of bed in the morning for,” says human resources manager Deirdre Donovan. Donovan should know. She was able to enjoy her 29th birthday with a celebratory drink at the well-stocked company bar in the Edinburgh head office after work and a weekend at Gleneagles hotel at reduced rates, owing to the fact that the five-star luxury resort is part of the impressive Diageo portfolio. “I think it is a company that is very good to its staff,” she says.
The firm ranks 20th overall for giving staff a Fair Deal and 19th for Wellbeing. Workers are pleased with the pay and benefits, earning the firm a 73% positive score in our staff survey, the 12th highest, stress levels are low (81%, ranking it 12th again) and they are not under so much pressure they can’t concentrate (78%, a top 10 score). Formed in 1997 following the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness, Diageo is best known for its iconic brands such as Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Gordon’s, Bell’s and Baileys. The Scottish operation is part of the global supply arm of the company. It produces more than 30m cases of Scotch whisky a year and 12m cases of vodka and gin in its 27 distilleries. Another will be added later this year when the company opens a £100m malt distillery at Roseisle in the north of Scotland. This investment and emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Mexico give staff plenty of reason for optimism. “For us these are exciting times,” says David Pollacchi, a decision support manager in finance. “People are passionate about being part of something that is so intrinsic to Scottish industry. By building the new distillery we are building for the future.” Staff are indeed excited about where the organisation is going (73%) and are proud to work for the company (82%).
More than 1,750 of the 3,967-strong workforce have been with the firm for 15 years or more— testament to the good conditions and attractive remuneration package. Perks include free shares, an annual allowance of £265 to spend in the staff shop, subsidised restaurants and a pension to which Diageo Scotland contributes 15% of employees’ pay. “The pension is excellent,” says June Elder, who works in the bottling hall at Shieldhall in Glasgow and has been with the company for 32 years. “I hope to retire in my fifties and reap the benefits,” says the 49-year-old who encouraged five members of her family to join the firm. Her 16-year-old son has started as an apprentice and her two brothers, sister-in-law and nephew also work here. “There are a lot of families and a lot of couples,” adds Elder, a convert to the new on-site gym, opened in January by Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton. The racing star’s team is sponsored by the Johnnie Walker brand.
The company encourages staff to adopt healthy lifestyles and is leading the way on green initiatives including a new bioenergy plant at its largest distillery, Cameronbridge, in Fife, that will turn 90,000 tons of spent wash from the production process into steam and electrical power. Staff believe that the company is doing enough to protect the environment (77%, a top 15 score). “I love my job”, says Diane McKay, a dispatch administrator. “I have a good work-life balance.” Employees agree and say they don’t think they are spending too much time at work (62%), say work doesn’t interfere with responsibilities at home (74%) and that deadlines are realistic (70%). They also don't feel exhausted when they get home from work most days (54%).
Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here
Companies where employees are offered share options
Companies offering a minimum of 25 days annual leave
On-site gym or subsidised gym memberships
On-site nursery or vouchers
Companies offering a final salary or non-contributory pension scheme
40% of employees with more than 5 years' service
At least 10 weeks' leave on full pay
Full family cover
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