Employee Relations

Our employees are the people who build our brands and are essential to our success. They are also the heart, soul, and face of our company. We aim to nurture a work environment that enables all our people to grow continuously, thrive in their careers, and succeed to their highest potential. As a global company, we want Brown-Forman to be diverse and inclusive, truly reflecting our consumer base and allowing employees to bring their best selves to work each and every day.

We’re focused on creating rewarding career experiences for all our employees, regardless of how long they’ve been with us, and providing opportunities to improve all aspects of their well-being. We promise our employees that they are “better for being here” and believe we’re living up to that promise. Our people are engaged – giving more than is required and producing more than is expected.

We are proud to be a company where people want to stay. On average, our employees in the U.S. stay with us for 11–12 years, three times the national average. Our ability to retain employees over many years is evidence that we are fulfilling our promise, and gives us the expertise we need for our company to thrive and endure.

Download our full Corporate Responsibility Report 2015-16


Our commitment to corporate responsibility is anchored in our culture and values, but we can better achieve our purpose of enriching life by leveraging the expertise and capabilities of others. Local partnerships make a difference in communities and can scale up to address social and environmental problems more widely.


We actively engage stakeholders – from employees and community members to governments and non-profit organizations – in our corporate responsibility efforts. The case studies below highlight our work in action and demonstrate how we are having a positive impact and enriching life for generations to come.

Reducing Hand Injuries

Hand injuries can be a significant risk in our production facilities if safety precautions and guidelines are not followed correctly. To reduce hand injuries, we launched an ongoing campaign in Fiscal 2013 called “Safety: It’s In Your Hands”. The campaign aimed to discourage our employees from taking unnecessary risks during activities such as rolling barrels and operating machinery by constantly reminding them of the dangers. Each quarter we introduced a new element to our communication campaign, for example, video interviews with three employees who had suffered a hand injury explaining the impact it had on their lives.

In Fiscal 2014/15 we introduced color-coding to our training barrels and barrel ricks at Jack Daniel’s to remind employees on every barrel they roll where it’s safe to place their hands and where it’s not. This has been so successful that we are expanding the program to all our other barrel houses. We also introduced color-coding to help our wood mill employees understand where to place their hands while working. All mill employees have been trained on the color coding and Jack Daniels warehouse workers will receive further training during the summer of 2015.

The campaign has been very successful, and we have seen a reduction in hand injuries as a result of our efforts. The next stage is a new training video that blends the nostalgia for our craft with the modern process improvements that ensure safety. This will be introduced to all our current and new employees throughout our barrel warehousing operations.


Live Well was launched in our Central, Northern and Southern Europe (CNSE) region in November 2014 with around 20 of our employees in Istanbul, Turkey, and their friends and family running a marathon crossing the Europe-Asia border. With more than 10 offices in the region spread from Finland to Turkey, the challenge is to develop a Live Well strategy that is relevant across all locations.

To help us identify the opportunities and interests at each local site, we recruited Live Well Champions from each office who communicate directly with their colleagues, raise awareness, and host activities onsite. Our 20 volunteer champions identified a number of themes that resonated across the region, which was turned into a five-week poster series on topics such as the importance of drinking water, eating fruits and vegetables, using the stairs instead of elevators, reducing stress, and quitting smoking.

We’ve also used social media and the hashtag #LiveWellCNSE to engage our employees and highlight the relevance of the campaign in their region. All communications have been in local languages, and our Champions have been submitting photos and blogging regularly from their localities. So far, we’ve seen great levels of engagement across the region.

“With the #LiveWellCNSE movement, we are aiming to make our Live Well brand relevant to and part of our people’s lives, touching their families and creating the highest engagement possible. The enthusiasm of our local Champions has been key to getting the message across. For example, one of our Champions in Hungary took it upon himself to turn our water poster into a label for water bottles that he handed out to each of his colleagues. I’m delighted to see our Champions take ownership like that, it helps our employees see the relevance of Live Well for them personally.” – Ceren Bayraktaroglu, HR Coordinator