With the growing importance of email and the widespread use of the internet throughout the brewery business, Young’s Brewery (famous for its ‘Special’ bitter) decided it was time to review its ‘acceptable usage policy’ for Internet and email use.
The volume of email was rising and Young’s could see that many staff were in danger of becoming slaves to their inboxes. Young’s had a policy but it hadn’t been reviewed for nearly 4 years. During that time technology has advanced rapidly and email and the internet has become one of the primary methods of communication between their public houses, employees, suppliers and customers. Indeed some of their pubs now run local e-Marketing campaigns.
Young’s were also aware that many people were not using the software as well as they could because they were not familiar with its newer capabilities. To ensure it remained a key business tool they decided to create an easy to understand policy accompanied by training that could be rolled out across their business.
Young’s wanted something that would protect its employees as well as the company but which was short, simple and to the point. In other words it would be a ‘Special’ Charter – named after Young’s Special Bitter.
Young’s selected Mesmo Consultancy because of their proven experience in the field of email management and successful track record in helping companies create and implement usage policies.
First the acceptable policy was reviewed, updated, approved by the Board and re-issued to all employees. Mesmo Consultancy then worked with Young’s in-house IT team to develop the charter and training materials. The charter was launched to all employees at the Wandsworth Brewery and their pubs through a road-show of ‘Special’ email best practice’ workshops.
Torquil Sligo-Young (IT Director of Young’s) says “It is early days, but over two thirds of the people attending the workshops felt they had learnt something new. Informal feedback indicates that the majority of staff members feel they now have a much better understanding of the scope of email, its appropriate uses and its legal obligations. For example, most people now understand the limitations of email contracts. People are also using many more features of the software to save time. Our perception is that the volume of email both sent and received is reducing but more importantly people are using the medium much more effectively and precisely than before. Because of this there is less inappropriate usage of email and much less unwanted email in the system.”
Commenting on the contribution of Mesmo, Torquil Sligo-Young adds; “It was very useful to have external help and particularly helpful to understand how other people had made their charters stick in people’s minds and get them to willingly apply these principles.”