From extra apples to extra money for schooling, Monarch Beverage Co.’s company-wide focus on employees’ well-being extends far beyond fair pay.
The state’s largest distributor of beer and wine offers perks to its workers ranging from an on-site health clinic and gym and more than 1,000 pounds of complimentary fruit each week to a subsidy for education (which needn’t be related to work) and professional development courses.
“I actually just stepped out from a leadership development class,” says Ashley Johnson, an Indiana wineries brand manager for Monarch who has worked at the company for nearly three years. She also has taken a Beer 101 class.
“People really care about who you are as a person, and we want to better everybody personally and professionally,” Johnson says. She says the company takes a responsible team-based approach to selling and distributing about 60,000 cases of beer and wine daily.
She describes the company culture as exciting and infectious — a cordial, collegial atmosphere where ideas flow freely among employees. “Everyone has an opportunity to make our business better,” says Johnson, who adds that she never could have imagined loving working at a place as much as Monarch. “Everything’s not top down here.”
Monarch CEO Phil Terry says that for employees to be high performers they must feel their employer cares for them, and the company goes to lengths to show that. That includes offering free legal counsel and outside financial advice to deal with the unexpected, whether it be a car accident or tax questions.
“Just life issues in general,” says Terry, a former attorney who once represented Monarch. “We try to help employees manage these as a way of showing we do care about them.”
But Terry says the company, which doesn’t allow alcohol consumption on-site, expects the highest level of professionalism and isn’t interested in creating a party atmosphere for employees.
“This product we sell is a socially sensitive product, and it can cause a great deal of problems if abused,” he said. “There is no happy hour here.” The company checks driving records for all employees, not just drivers — on and off the clock. “None of our employees had a DUI last year, and we’re proud of that,” Terry says.
Terry says the company has always placed a premium on showing employees in action, not just words, that their well-being and happiness are of paramount importance.
That’s just good for business, say employees and managers at all levels, including Todd Ledo, director of human resources. “The bottom line will manage itself — if you’re taking care of your employees,” he says.
• Founded: 1947.
• Headquarters: Indianapolis.
• Description: Wholesale alcoholic beverage distributor.
• Locations: One.
• Number of employees: 638, including 566 in Central Indiana (includes employees at EF Transit Inc., a logistics company that runs the warehouse and handles delivery for Monarch).Indy Star