Q&A with Jo Grant Head of Resourcing at Edrington

Q&A with Jo Grant

What does it mean to Edrington to be the Marketing Society’s Employer Brand of the Year? 

In a “war” for talent it’s never been more important to articulate your employer proposition to potential employees, differentiating yourself in the marketplace and articulating your offering to people who have more choice in who they work for than ever before. We believe that we’ve got a unique offering and that regardless of people’s areas area of expertise, or what motivates them in their career, Edrington has something for everyone. Whether it’s an international career, working with our leading brands or working for a company who genuinely makes a difference we believe we have a culture and value proposition that pulls people in. 

Winning the Marketing Society’s Employer Brand is fantastic recognition of this and a huge accolade for Edrington. 

Tell us about your company cultures and values?

The DNA of Edrington has 4 component parts

Great People

We ask our people to inspire,collaborate,engage,deliverand create a climate that is open to change.

Leading Brands

Our brands anticipate consumer needs. They are transparent and honest. They are relentless in the pursuit of quality. They create an affinity with consumers. They strive to perform in their category.

Giving More

Our commitment to giving more is built on five principles: Progress, Purpose, PartnershipSustainability, Humility.

The culture of the business is most uniquely defined by Giving More. 

The culture of Edrington is strongly influenced by the structure of our shareholding, which is unique in the industry. Edrington has one shareholder, The Robertson Trust, that to date has given £252 million to charities in Scotland.

Within Edrington, employees and encouraged to champion causes that they feel truly passionate about. Every £1 raised for charity becomes £3 after additional contributions by The Robertson Trust and Edrington. In 2017/18 the total raised and donated by Scotland based employees was £585k, up +9% on the prior year.

In recognition that Edrington is now a truly international company with 60% international employees, Giving More International was created, which donates 1% of pre-tax earnings to charities chosen by international employees. Since 20012/13 £7 million has been donated. 

For me personally when people ask about what our culture is like I tell them that our ownership structure has ensured that we retain a family ownership feel, where we work with the utmost integrity at all times. But our leading brands and international presence mean that we are a highly commercial business with lots of ambition, where our people have every opportunity to succeed. 

What are three key aspects of creating a positive working environment for staff?

Giving people the opportunity to be the best that they can be every day, and ensuring that they feel valued

Being an inclusive employer where people bring their best self to work, where they are challenged every day by the great people that they work with but where everyone can see the diversity that different people bring to creating and driving a successful organisation.

People want to be recognised for what they do and rewarded for their achievements. While we offer competitive salaries we feel that we have more to offer employees to make them feel rewarded, such as our Edrington Achievement Awards. People also feel valued through our Giving More initiatives where employees individual fundraising efforts are double matched for their chosen charity. 


People want to receive regular communications from our leadership team and feel informed about business decisions, ambitions and challenges. As our organisation has grown internationally maintaining communications has remained a key focus for us to ensure that our employees feel engaged.  

Giving people opportunities to progress

We’ve focused a lot on developing our talent, and empowering employees to drive their own development. We encourage talent to pursue promotional opportunities but also ensure that this is not the detriment of people broadening their skills and experiences and seeing the value in lateral moves which enrich their learning. This can also be offering people international opportunities to develop their cultural awareness, which has led to over 40 international/ departmental secondments in the last 18 months. All of our employees have development plans. 

In the last 12 months, all of our roles have been openly advertised to internal employees ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to put themselves forward for roles.

How important is a good working environment in building a team that delivers results? 

People perform best when they are happy. Ensuring that we have a good, and positive, working environment ensures that people can be their best every day. 

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to other employers?

Be true to who you are as an organisation. People will quickly learn when they join your whether or not you live up to being the organisation that you portray so make sure that your proposition is authentic, but make sure that you challenge yourself to bring in diverse backgrounds and experiences that challenge your way of thinking and skills or experiences that compliment your teams to make them collectively stronger. 

People make your business! The talent that you have in your organisation is how you build brands, what influences your culture and what drives your ambition. Invest in your people, listen to what they need, communicate with them and make them feel valued and you will have a proposition for both attracting and retaining talent.

What principles or practises can other companies introduce to ensure a positive working environment for their staff?

Our commitment to Great People, Leading Brands, and Giving More has delivered one of the strongest financial performances of any Scottish business. We have remained unwaivered on this being our focus and ensures that we consistently have a positive working environment for staff. I think organisations that lack this strategic clarity struggle to maintain a consistent message to their employees, resulting in frustration and uncertainty with negatively impact working environments for staff.