Topic: Company Culture


Treasury Wine Estates: Creating a Culture of Care, Courage, and Inclusion

Treasury Wine Estates


winemakers, viticulturalists, sales, distribution and support staff globally


countries distributed


of TWE’s global workforce covered, with recognition platform operating in 19 countries

In 2020, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) reinvigorated its recognition framework to help embed a new cultural vision laid out by its incoming CEO. Together with O.C. Tanner, TWE implemented a program designed to create a consistent and modern recognition experience that enabled easy, frequent peer recognition as well as meaningful celebration of important career milestones. The program has been positively embraced, with 70% of the global workforce active in the program through everyday recognition. TWE also expanded its suite of enterprise awards to support its new cultural direction.

Integral to the design and implementation of the new recognition framework was Leon Butler, Global Manager Performance & Reward, who has over 15 years of experience in performance, reward, benefits and other HR functions at global brands including TWE, L’Oréal and EY. During his time at TWE, Leon and his team have directly and indirectly supported the implementation of other important cultural initiatives including the creation of a Parent’s & Caregivers support and networking resource, extended parental leave and flexible working hours.

Challenge: Stronger focus on a culture of care, courage and inclusion

In 2020, Leon and the TWE team embarked on a mission to reinvigorate their overall recognition framework, including their “Cellarbrate” peer recognition program and “Vintage Awards” career milestone celebration program.

The catalyst for the project was a new cultural vision laid out by TWE’s incoming CEO, which sought to focus more strongly on a culture of courage, care and inclusion. This new culture framework was enshrined in the company’s new values, also referred to as its cultural code, or “TWE DNA”. TWE’s philosophy was that a more consistent and equitable approach to recognition was the best way to create a culture of authentic, inclusive and meaningful appreciation and embed the desired behaviors across its diverse business operations.

The new program would supersede the existing paper and email-based program – which, while well utilized - was not globally scalable due to the manual work involved in managing the program, and presented inherent governance challenges. The new program would be designed to help reduce the administrative burden and create a consistent and modern recognition experience. It would enable easy, frequent peer recognition and the ability for employees to select a reward that suited them, as well as enable more meaningful celebration of important career milestones.

“Our existing recognition program was administered internally, and in need of a refresh, so we were looking for something more sophisticated. We wanted to have a consistent recognition platform aligned with the new values and cultural code that celebrated people who demonstrate those values.”
—Leon Butler, Global Manager Performance & Reward, Treasury Wine Estates    

Solution: Reinvigorating TWE’s employee recognition framework

Working closely with O.C. Tanner, Leon and his team reinvigorated TWE’s recognition strategy, focusing on the following:

  • Aligning with the TWE DNA
  • Streamlining administration, including improved governance and control measures
  • Creating a consistent global employee experience
  • Creating a refreshed, engaging, unified recognition brand
  • Creating meaningful and engaging recognition moments

Next was the development of TWE’s “Cellarbrate” employee recognition platform, designed to create an engaging experience with an automated workflow, provide a range of reward choices and be accessible to all employees via mobile and desktop across various locations and languages.

eCards were implemented to support everyday, informal encouragement of effort, gratitude and connection and their formal recognition was aligned to a simple “Bronze, Silver, Gold” structure with certificates and an allocation of reward points, that could be redeemed in the program’s online store. Their “Vintage Awards” tenure recognition program was also refreshed to focus on instilling a sense of belonging and connection by celebrating employee careers and contributions. This included a physical yearbook with comments, photos, videos and an acrylic TWE-branded numeral.

The rollout of the refreshed recognition experience was supported by a range of communications that adopted the tone outlined in their recognition “Rally Cry,” an energizing, unifying statement of intent with a tone and identity that was adopted across a variety of communications through launch.

Importantly, as part of globalization of the experience, the recognition solution and deliverables were provided in local language wherever appropriate to help foster participation and support TWE’s inclusion strategy.

“It was important that our recognition program support a range of recognition moments: from the expression of gratitude to recognising everyday wins, from rewarding the above and beyond effort of both individuals and teams, through to celebrating employee years of service”
Katie Hodgson, Chief People Officer, Treasury Wine Estates

Results: Recognition for everyone, anytime, anywhere

Within the first year of implementation, TWE had more than 70% of its global workforce active in the refreshed program, giving and receiving recognition. This was an important success metric for TWE, considering the added challenge of engaging a workforce based in vineyards or away from office environments.

Importantly, 92% of managers used the new recognition tools in year one, with a dramatic improvement in the reach, timeliness and frequency of recognition across the global workforce.

The impact of TWE’s alignment of recognition with its new cultural focus was reflected in their Engagement and Inclusion Survey, which showed the response rate had increased 26% from the previous year.

“What that really reflects is that more of our frontline workforce are participating this year - we think that’s a really good sign of increasing trust and acknowledgment of our commitment to take action on the feedback we receive.”
Dani Wilson, Global Director Performance & Reward, Treasury Wine Estates

The survey also showed strong results against key cultural indicators including “Culture of Care”, “Safety”, “TWE Demonstrates Care for my Wellbeing” and “Flexible Working.”

Plenty of anecdotal evidence of the program’s success emerged; for example, a group of managers created a video of employees giving overwhelmingly positive feedback on the refreshed recognition program. Employees celebrating career milestones also began frequently posting their experiences on social media and reinforcing what they love about working for TWE. It has become a highly visible, critical part of the employee experience at TWE.

The success of TWE’s refreshed Cellarbrate and Vintage Awards programs led to TWE engaging O.C. Tanner to design the physical awards for their expanded suite of enterprise awards. The number of awards was expanded to recognize and celebrate TWE employees who best embodied the new enterprise focus on care, courage and inclusion in areas such as diversity, equity and inclusion, emerging leadership, innovation, health, safety and wellbeing, and more.

TWE’s quest to strengthen its culture of care, courage and inclusion continues.

“In terms of participation, we’ve seen an increase in nominations for various awards, and opening the platform to nominate year-round means people can nominate colleagues in real-time, whenever the behaviors are demonstrated. It’s a simple metric, and a good indicator that our people have embraced the awards and actively seek opportunities to recognize their peers and colleagues.”
—Leon Butler, Global Manager Performance & Reward, Treasury Wine Estates    

Key Statistics


increase in employee engagement survey participation from the previous year  


of the global workforce active in the program – performing everyday recognition  


of managers have used the new recognition tools available

Want to create a consistent employee experience?
Talk to us today to learn how we can help you use recognition to create a more consistent, inclusive and connected workplace culture.    

related Resources

Nimble Resiliency: Rethinking How Organizations Support and Promote Proactive Change

Learn how to create a culture of resiliency by seeing change and challenges as opportunities to improve.

How to Retain Employees and Reduce Turnover in 2024

Retaining talent is always top of mind for HR leaders. Learn the key strategies for building a culture where employees want to stay.

5 Culture Trends for Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies in 2024

See 5 workplace culture trends for for pharma and biotech companies in 2024 and how you can prepare for them.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.