It has to be a merry place to work when Old Thumper, Bold Forester, Boondoggle and Huffkin are all part of the team. The 78 employees at Ringwood Brewery can get on even closer terms with the real ales they produce — including the examples above — with a tax-free allowance of £75-worth of beer every year.
Based in Ringwood, Hampshire, at the brewery and two managed pubs, staff get a real sense of satisfaction from what they do — giving the firm a positive score of 91% for the pride they feel in working there, one of the top 10 scores for this question.
Established in 1978 to serve the local area, Ringwood still distributes more than 90% of its beer within a 70-mile radius, sources ingredients locally where possible and delivers more than half its products to customers itself.
The firm works hard in the local community, sponsoring the New Forest Show, a county event, since 1995 and supporting Oakhaven hospice in nearby Lymington. It also funds young people in the area for voluntary overseas work. Employees feel supported in their efforts to help good causes outside work, with the firm matching employee donations; they give it a positive score of 85%.
People admire managing director David Welsh, who has been with the firm for 28 years. Staff are inspired by him (88%), have faith in his leadership (89%) and feel he runs the firm on a sound moral basis (89%), the latter score bettered by just 10 other SMEs.
Employees have been with Ringwood for an average of five years and have a good sense of job security (87%). There is a contributory pension, tax-free bonuses for good ideas and treats such as a two-day trip to Dublin to visit the Guinness brewery and Jameson distillery. There is informal flexitime for everyone, as well as job-sharing and reduced hours.
The firm has a £500 annual budget for each person for courses including cello lessons, an advanced driving course and sailing instruction.
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