A.G Barr Case Study

Why IRN-BRU Makers A.G.Barr Implemented Advanced’s Performance Management Software, Clear Review, During the Pandemic

With Jude Holt, Senior HR Business Partner & Talent Lead at A.G.Barr

Company info

A.G.Barr is a soft drinks business, most famous for producing the iconic Scottish drink IRN-BRU and hire around 900 employees.

  • Industry

    Food & Beverages

  • Headquarters

    Cumbernauld, Scotland

  • Company Size

    900 employees

A.G.Barr is a soft drinks busi­ness, most famous for pro­duc­ing the icon­ic Scot­tish drink IRN-BRU. A.G.Barr hire around 900 employ­ees, and their wide employ­ee base cov­ers fac­to­ry, ware­house, logis­tics, sales, mar­ket­ing and head office func­tions. This means there are lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties for their employ­ees to devel­op into new areas and they are con­tin­u­al­ly learning. 

We caught up with A.G.Barr’s Senior HR Busi­ness Part­ner & Tal­ent Lead, Jude, to find out why they chose Clear Review, and find out her thoughts on how it’s going so far.

A.G.Barr joined the Clear Review fam­i­ly dur­ing the pan­dem­ic to assist them at a time when many employ­ees were work­ing remotely. 

We want­ed to change the way we man­aged per­for­mance and saw Clear Review as an ide­al oppor­tu­ni­ty to move towards more con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance devel­op­ment rather than a once a year event’. Jude Holt — Senior HR Busi­ness Part­ner & Tal­ent Lead

As well as this Jude explained that set­ting near­er term objec­tives, that could be reg­u­lar­ly reviewed and updat­ed, suit­ed the more agile world we were work­ing in and pro­vid­ed struc­ture and moti­va­tion to employ­ees who were get­ting used to work­ing remotely.

With Clear Review, A.G.Barr man­agers can set employ­ees near term goals, which can be com­plet­ed in days, weeks, or months. This works bet­ter than annu­al objec­tives for a cou­ple of rea­sons. One, employ­ees are less like­ly to for­get about the goal or loose moti­va­tion to com­plete it, and two, goals can be re-eval­u­at­ed if the employ­ees role changes or A.G.Barr’s objec­tives change. 

A.G.Barr aim for all employ­ees to have a check-in with their line man­ag­er every month and Clear Review helps them man­age this process. Just a sim­ple check-in can help if an objec­tive is off-track and it can also be a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to share progress and feedback.

Clear Review also means all A.G.Barr employ­ees are now on one per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem, where­as before employ­ees across the busi­ness were using dif­fer­ent forms and process­es depend­ing on their role. 

We chose Clear Review for many rea­sons, pri­mar­i­ly its ease of use and the fact that it means per­for­mance man­age­ment becomes embed­ded into our work­ing lives rather than sim­ply being an annu­al appraisal.’ Jude Holt — Senior HR Busi­ness Part­ner & Tal­ent Lead

The imple­men­ta­tion of Clear Review was a rel­a­tive­ly smooth and suc­cess­ful process, close­ly guid­ed by a mem­ber of Clear Review’s Cus­tomer Suc­cess team. Staff were able to start using Clear Review quick­ly, with­out the need for exten­sive train­ing, as the soft­ware is so sim­ple and self-explana­to­ry. Over­all there has been real­ly good engage­ment and a pos­i­tive response from A.G.Barr employ­ees sur­round­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of Clear Review. 

Clear Review allows us to keep on track of our progress and means I can talk to my team in a more mean­ing­ful way about their per­for­mance by using the feed­back func­tion’. – A.G.Barr Fac­to­ry Team Leader

When asked if he’d noticed a shift in per­for­mance and/​or engage­ment as a result of using Clear Review the A.G.Barr Ware­house Man­ag­er com­ment­ed:

We con­tin­ue to deliv­er some great num­bers year on year. The most notice­able dif­fer­ence is in atti­tude, as dis­played in our engage­ment sur­vey results. Clear Review has great­ly helped this because it gives us more oppor­tu­ni­ties to talk to employ­ees on an indi­vid­ual basis’.

Along with mak­ing per­for­mance man­age­ment eas­i­er across the busi­ness, Clear Review is help­ing in oth­er ways. A.G.Barr will be mak­ing use of Clear Review on mobile devices to help their staff who are out on the road a lot of the time. By doing so these staff mem­bers can eas­i­ly arrange and car­ry out check-ins, set and track goals, give and receive feed­back etc. with­out the need of a lap­top or desk­top PC.

Mov­ing for­ward A.G.Barr will con­tin­ue embed­ding the sys­tem across the com­pa­ny. Whilst most employ­ees are using the plat­form reg­u­lar­ly, oth­ers still need to make Clear Review a rou­tine. As well as this they are focus­ing on pro­vid­ing more sup­port to employ­ees on set­ting qual­i­ty objec­tives and giv­ing and receiv­ing feed­back — two key areas that will give employ­ees and man­agers more con­fi­dence for their per­for­mance conversations. 

A.G.Barr also want to look at hav­ing their on-board­ing process more heav­i­ly focused on using Clear Review in the best way pos­si­ble in order to get the most of the plat­form. To achieve these goals A.G.Barr can use the resources on the Clear Review Acad­e­my, and work with our Cus­tomer Suc­cess team to get the most from the system. 

We are excit­ed to fur­ther embed Clear Review and raise every­one’s com­pe­tence using the sys­tem. It is also real­ly use­ful to be part of the acad­e­my where we can learn about planned upgrades to the sys­tem so we can think about how we best use them in our busi­ness. Over­all, Clear Review pro­vides a dif­fer­ent approach and mind set to per­for­mance man­age­ment so this does­n’t hap­pen overnight but we are con­fi­dent that with con­tin­ued use and advo­ca­cy, we will col­lec­tive­ly raise both per­for­mance and engage­ment’. Jude Holt — Senior HR Busi­ness Part­ner & Tal­ent Lead.