Nomad Coffee Group explains how it’s become an employer of choice and reflects on key achievements for the year.
Veneziano Coffee Roasters, a division of the Nomad Coffee Group, is a well- known brand within the Australian coffee industry, with multiple Australian Coffee Championship titles to its name.
It has a presence in every state, including roasteries in Melbourne and Brisbane, and training studios and wholesale partners spread across the country.
But underneath its success is a commitment to nurturing and developing the people that bring Veneziano’s product and purpose to life.
“A larger collective of individuals across Nomad Coffee Group means we can offer more opportunities to our people for development, growth, and career path opportunities. We can offer a career as a coffee professional that transcends beyond being a barista,” says Craig Dickson, Managing Director of Veneziano and CEO of parent company Nomad Coffee Group.
“The scale of Nomad Coffee Group also means greater buying power across our brands so we can make a greater positive impact towards protecting the future of coffee, which is embodied in our brand essence, Coffee with Significance.”
Throughout 2022, Nomad Coffee Group has introduced a number of initiatives developed by its People & Culture team that celebrate the company’s connection to community. “We launched a paid volunteering program allowing employees to work in employee nominated charities on Nomad Coffee Group paid time. This has contributed 434 hours of staff hours and company time to our communities and raised $38,517 in the year to date,” says Amie Jacobson, Head of People & Culture of Nomad Coffee Group.
Nomad Coffee Group has established wellbeing programs including company- subsidised work outs, an RUOK wellbeing committee, and onsite massages.
“We also initiated annual leave programs to allow employees to purchase up to two weeks of extra leave over the year, to support work life balance and longer holidays,” says Amie.
Nomad Coffee Group also started a paid parental leave scheme (PPL) offering to employees which covers paid leave and superannuation to help close the gap between superannuation retirement funds.
“Our policy aligns with key Workplace Gender Equality Australia guidelines, and we are proud to share
a Nomad Coffee Group values-driven policy which positively impacts the lives of our employees. This is achieved by supporting the adjustment to Primary Caregiver by offering eight weeks full paid maternity leave or 16 weeks half pay,” Amie says.
“We’ve also reduced the superannuation gap with primary caregivers by continuing to pay superannuation at the ordinary rate for up to six months and provided two weeks Partner Pay for non-primary caregivers.”
Amie says companies with PPLs are shown to positively impact employees’ earnings, employment, child and maternal health, and wellbeing.
“PPL has been associated with increases in both women’s earnings and their return to the workforce, thus promoting diversity and inclusion. When fathers take parental leave, children enjoy better relationships with them, increased father involvement over their lifetime and stronger school performance,” she says.
“Research also suggests that paid parental leave benefits mothers’ mental and emotional health, and several studies have found that the availability of leave reduces the risk of postpartum depression.”
Amie says these programs significantly contribute to elevating the Veneziano brand as an employer of choice and a people-focused business.
“We continue to focus on product quality, relationships with producers, suppliers and customers, and challenging our team to always strive for better,” she says.
That includes investing in the training and development of 34 employees who are undertaking a Future Leaders Program.
Employees learn skills in presenting, people, time management and collaboration, to support their career aspirations.
“Through the development of our people, 10 per cent of our employees were promoted into new roles within Veneziano, further supporting our talent strategy of recruiting from within wherever possible,” says Amie.
“We’re constantly challenging ourselves to do better and be better, in line with our tagline; everyday evolution.”
That evolution was also celebrated this year when Veneziano marked its 20th year of operation.
“Our 20th anniversary celebration encouraged us to step back and look at what we have achieved. We asked current employees and friends what Veneziano means in one word, and a very common answer was ‘family’,” says Veneziano’s Managing Director Craig.
“That to us sums up our incredibly fulfilling journey so far, and just makes us more excited for the future. In addition, we’re so proud of the long tenure across our team, great engagement, internal promotions and greater focus of employee wellbeing and sustainability.”
Craig attributes the success of the business in part to its company-wide focus on people.
“Our people underpin our success and longevity, and we achieve growth through our people. A people-first approach is an extension of the family feeling described by so many of our employees. It’s lived through being approachable, having authentic conversations, and always challenging ourselves to be vulnerable as leaders, developing others and letting them shine,” he says.
Amie also attests the company’s shared values which have been in place since it started 20 years ago: integrity and trust, people and community, knowledge and curiosity, a winning culture, collaboration, and sustainability.
“We continue to embed sustainability culture into our every day at Nomad Coffee Group. Our commitment to sustainability and protecting the future of coffee is paramount and at the forefront of our business decisions, primarily evident in the achievement of our Carbon Neutral Organisation accreditation by Climate Active in March this year,” she says. “This is a feat we are extremely proud of.”
Looking ahead to 2023, Veneziano plans to continue developing its staff, and focusing innovative, flexible working conditions, and wellbeing offerings.
“We’ve embraced working from home, implementing a policy that supports ongoing flexible or ‘flexi-work’ arrangements in a post-pandemic world, maintaining a high employee retention,” says Amie.
“We will also continue with internal development programs to support the focus on developing within to maximise internal promotions and multifaceted careers.
“Stay tuned for exciting announcements in 2023.”
Craig is also prepared to face future challenges that may arise for the Australian roasting industry in 2023.
“Environment concerns are not only threatening the future of coffee but becoming a big driver in consumer buying decisions. Our biggest challenge is ensuring we continue to put the environment first and consistently making changes in our business towards a positive outcome,” he says.
“Overall supply chain issues including the rising cost of freight and the fluctuations of the green coffee market will remain challenging as we continue to source the highest quality coffees to go into our blends and our seasonal microlots.”
Craig says Veneziano will continue to support its café partners to ensure their businesses remain viable and thrive in the challenging market conditions.
“We want to unify our people and provide them endless opportunities to explore and build a meaningful career in the specialty coffee space, demonstrating our merit as an employer of choice,” he says.
This article appears in the December 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.