By Maude Haney
For the Oregon Beer Growler
The business world is constantly changing; each week, new products debut, regulations change and consumers hunger for the latest and greatest. This is particularly true in the continuously evolving and lively brewing industry. Many top brewers are pushing the edges of taste and style. This experimentation is fueled by a profound understanding of and constant quest for deeper knowledge. Just as developing a better beer requires continued learning, so does maintaining the health and growth of your business.
Brewing better beer isn't just about selecting the right hop variety or pushing style guidelines; it's also about maintaining a healthy business. The HR Group, an organization that manages workforce administrative functions, recommends one solid strategy to all of our clients (no matter the size or industry): all employees need professional development, not just the management team. Taking time to invest in knowledge and better business practices sends a strong message that you not only care about performance and providing the best product; you also want to help your employees grow professionally.
According to Forbes, investing in employees’ development has multiple benefits: “It helps builds loyalty, and loyalty increases productivity ... taking an honest interest in someone builds loyalty. Loyal employees are more engaged. Engaged employees are more productive.” Considering that one of the greatest challenges any business faces is employee retention, loyalty matters.
In addition to having happy, productive employees and a knowledgeable management team, continued education provides best practices in the industry. From developing a solid Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety plan to managing a workers comp claim and increasing your company’s shelf life through better supply chain relationships, continued education helps your company stay fresh and relevant.
This was the impetus behind The HR Group and the Oregon Brewers Guild launching the Oregon Craft Beer Industry Workshop Series.
So far the workshops, which started in February, have featured a range of industry leaders, including University of Portland associate professor Dr. Sam Holloway, brewmaster Ben Edmunds of Breakside Brewery, founder of Beer Connections Nicole Kasten and safety and health consultant with Safety Northwest Joe Mullens.
Attending events like these can help build your knowledge base and add valuable tools to your toolbox. They also happen to be a fantastic way to network with other individuals who may be facing similar challenges or have been in your shoes.
Oregon is rich with opportunities to learn more and increase your skill set. Networking groups like B.I.N.G., business associations and even personal advisors — like your CPA or insurance agent — offer opportunities to improve your business practices and your business acumen.
Whether you are a brewer at the largest craft brewery in Oregon or an attorney working on employment issues, you can always learn something new about your industry that will improve your skills and help you better serve clients, customers and even employees. We recommend taking advantage of any opportunity you have to learn from trusted sources!
To learn more about the Craft Beer Industry Workshop Series, visit: facebook.com/TheHRGroupInc/events
Maude Haney (Ross Island Brewing/The HR Group) focuses on creating better business practices and support for the beverage industry.