A company should be measured by the culture it creates. Despite what its advertising may boast,
it is what’s inspired in the life of its people that is the most important
indicator of how noble a venture that company may be.
-Stephen Mansfield, The Search for God and Guinness
We believe that good businesses are good citizens. They take ownership of both the brilliant and broken of their communities, leveraging their brands and their hands to serve both their neighbors and their employees. Our people take such remarkable care of our company; we therefore want to take remarkable care of them in return.
Having been the recipients of some flattering attention lately in regards to our company culture—here and here most recently—we wanted to summarize the many ways we seek to support our staff. We wanted to answer the question, “Why work here?”
In the end, we aspire to make Creature Comforts not simply one of the great breweries to work for, but one of the great businesses. To borrow from Mansfield, we hope to inspire something unique and extraordinary in the lives of our people.
To become, eventually, what is regarded as a noble undertaking.
The mission of Creature Comforts is to build an industry respected craft brewery that helps people navigate the beautiful and complex world of beer.
Perhaps more important than what you do is why you do it. The reason we exist is to create opportunities for human connection.
Creature Comforts offers a competitive health benefits package, which includes covering 75% of medical premiums (including dependents) and 100% of dental and vision insurance. Additionally, we offer robust, optional short- and long-term disability coverage, AD&D, as well as life insurance policies.
Health goes beyond the physical body. Moreover, we recognize a strain at home impacts an employee at work. Therefore, we invest in our team’s emotional health through what is typically known as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). We have an EAP contract with a local counseling agency who provides every employee bank of counseling sessions every year. These sessions are transferable to an employee’s spouse or children as well.
Beyond a 401K retirement program—and company match—coming online in 2019, we have a company-wide subscription to SmartDollar, a robust, easy-to-use financial wellness program offered by Ramsey Solutions, which includes a paid subscription to the best budgeting technology available today: EveryDollar. In short, we want to offer our staff a deluxe retirement program, but also sound financial advice on how to reach retirement with peace and dignity.
All managers at Creature Comforts are now offered monthly one-on-one leadership training through GiANT Worldwide. As far as continuing beer education goes, employees take a 10-week Sensory Training course offered by our Quality Assurance Team, and new Tasting Room staff undergo Cicerone Certification. And that is to say nothing of our staff-wide Beer School education and brewery visits! We also maintain 6 voluntary internal teams—addressing everything from diversity to sustainability—that provide employees an opportunity to participate in the future direction of our company. As noted above, we believe the best ideas can come from anywhere, so we want to invite as many voices to the table as possible.
We want our team to be good professionals and good neighbors. Through our three impact programs, Get Comfortable, Get Artistic, and Brew For One, we create opportunities for our staff to serve their community in the hopes of making volunteering as simple and as strategic as possible. Additionally, in 2020, we introduced our first-ever Community Match Program. With every dollar donated by a CCBC employee to Get Comfortable or Get Artistic, Creature will match that donation, doubling our employees’ impact. We also host the Athens Farmers Market every Wednesday, during which our staff is given an allowance to support our local farms and artisans. We have a strategic partnership with The Giving Kitchen as well.
We aim to create a minimum of 20 social touch points for our employees every year, which include monthly outings we affectionately refer to as Creatures of the Night—bowling, movies, game nights, as well as block tickets to concerts and sporting events—but also bi-monthly Town Hall get-togethers, an annual staff camping retreat, Friendsgiving, anniversary and holiday parties, and group visits to other regional breweries.
We believe that moderation matters—that in life, as in beer, being balanced is best. The team here gives their blood, sweat, and tears to make our company the vibrant place it is. In return, we want our employees living lives characterized by a healthy work-life balance, thus full-time employees receive unlimited personal time off.
We believe that a thriving creative community lends itself to good citizenship. So, we’ve created the Get Artistic Local Arts Booster (LAB) to allow Creatures to purchase (or subsidize) a piece of local artwork: a painting, a print, a book of poetry, even a live experience.
Employees have a clothing allowance, whether it’s used to look sharp in the marketplace or for new boots to use in the brewhouse. We’ll also pay to have anything embroidered with the company logo. We offer a 50% discount for all Creature Comforts merchandise. And given our wonderful retail relationships with a variety of venues and sports teams, tickets are often made available for staff use.
We want our team to enjoy the fruits of their labor. So in addition to staff—and their significant others—enjoying our taproom for free, every full-time employee gets two 6-packs of our core brands every week, as well as special allocations of our seasonal and limited releases. Furthermore, we want our staff to continue exploring the beautiful and complex world of beer, so $15 worth of non-Creature beer purchases every month are reimbursable.