Staff empowerment the key to Interbrew profitability

Interbrew UK has generated a ten-fold increase
in its year on year profitability in the last three years through introducing a
new approach to performance management.

Peter Radcliffe, the brewer’s HR director, explained that in
1997 the company – which was formerly Whitbread – decided to create a culture
where all employees were accountable for performance.

He told delegates at the CIPD National Conference in
Harrogate today that the main reason for the performance focused approach was
due to the uncertainty that Whitbread faced prior to its takeover by Belgium
based Interbrew SA.

“We faced two years of change and uncertainty. A lot of
people were not sure that there was a future for the business. We had to
perform to preserve our business,” Radcliffe.

Working with consultants Nextra, the brewer started by
ensuring all employees were aware of its four main priorities which were brand
leadership, to cut costs, growth and people development. Radcliffe told the
conference that the company, which was taken over by Interbrew in May of last
year, set targets for individuals and teams in the business to help it achieve
its objectives. 

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