12 Jul Wormtown Town Hall Notes, July 12th, 2021
Wormtown Update: David Fields, CEO / Scott Metzger, General Manager
To Our Staff:
Thank you for your attendance and participation in our town hall. Based on the vibe in the room and the enthusiasm of our team, we are excited for the future! For those who could not attend the meeting and for future reference below we have summarized the meeting, underscoring our plans for the future.
All of the actions that we discussed below are a start, but they do not fulfill Wormtown’s cultural mission. To truly achieve the workplace we all want takes commitment from each and every single one of us. We need a united commitment to a respectful workplace; to treat one another with the dignity and respect we deserve; to work in good faith to always move the company forward; to be part of the Wormtown team. We cannot achieve our cultural mission with only a handful of people dedicated to it. It takes full and total commitment from our whole team.
This has been a difficult period of time for all of us and we continue to be very troubled by the allegations of harassment and discrimination shared on social media and in the press in addition to those overcovered by our own internal processes. We want to continue to stress two things – one, harassment and discrimination are not and will never be acceptable, and two, that we are committed to substantial actions to improve our workplace culture.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity efforts
The following is not a comprehensive list of all of our efforts, but an update on key topics:
· Prior to the widespread news reporting the culture issues facing the craft beer industry, an internal team, led by Katrina Shabo, identified some key recommendations:
o Update policies and procedures concerning reporting instances of harassment or inappropriate work conduct
o Provide training and education around proper workplace behavior, including enhanced leadership training for those in a supervisory or management position, including ownership
o Implement improved HR resources to better serve our team
· Committed to investigate all reports of workplace misconduct brought forward and incorporating these efforts into our core business.
· Updating our handbook to clarify policies and procedures and to set expectations for the work environment and culture.
· Creating the foundation for hiring our first-ever, full-time HR professional. This individual will be a vital member of our leadership team, providing insight and guidance to ensure that Wormtown is fulfilling its cultural mission and obligations to our employees.
· The first in a series of training and education programs, designed and run by an HR consultant, starts July 13 with mandatory Respectful Workplace Training, for all individuals in a management or supervisory role.
· Further training sessions are scheduled for all team members. These trainings will be ongoing, not a one-time occurrence. A respectful workplace is not just something to be talked about once a year but something we expect to live day in and day out.
· The investigatory process proceeds. Appropriate disciplinary action has been taken.
o Two employees were dismissed.
o An owner has agreed to permanently separate from any day-to-day involvement with the company.
The ownership team took a step back from day-to-day involvement to allow this process to take place without any bias or influence. We now look towards the future and put our energy into what we want Wormtown to be.
David Fields is taking on the role of CEO, with Kary serving as CFO. David has great confidence in this team and as Wormtown enters into a critical transition period, he expects that his leadership will provide an extra layer of support for the team with a focus on helping every individual’s talents flourish. Throughout this, we have come through feeling confident knowing that we have a very good team who is creating a path ahead to being a better workplace.
We announced that we would be forming an advisory board, and that process continues. The board will include some combination of owners, in addition to a diverse slate of unaffiliated professionals who will provide their own perspectives and expertise to help drive the company forward.
Strategy & Vision
Along with these organizational changes, comes a new, clear strategic direction for our brewery family members so that we are all on the same page and understand where the company aspires to go.. We started this company believing that our beverages can bring people together and inspire happiness and we are excited about our future.
With a strategic vision in place both for our business and our Cultural Mission, we have set some goals for the next decade and laid out investments in our people and capabilities that we will make to achieve them. But as we all know, we get to 10 years one day at a time. The next decade will almost certainly not be exactly how we laid it out in our meeting – objectives, strategies and tactics will adapt and change, as necessary. What will not change, however, is our unwavering commitment to a workplace based on mutual respect, passion, and making the world’s best beverages.
As David said at the town hall, Wormtown is made up of amazing people, we value your skills and talents and look forward to a great future as we strive to make Wormtown the company that people love to interact with.