Chivas Brothers – Responsib’ALL Day

Chivas Brothers organised a series of UK-wide training events aligned to a global awareness initiative – “Responsib’ALL” – the aims of which have been to actively promote responsible drinking. Since 2010 this CSR programme has been significant in engaging Chivas Brothers 1600 employees with Corporate Social Responsibility.

The 2012 training events were held internally for over 1350 UK employees across a number of its sites, from Speyside to Plymouth via Paisley, Dumbarton and London.

Chivas Brothers approached Maximillion to assist with the delivery of the events due to our experience and expertise in creating fun, activity-based learning interventions with a strong emphasis on delivering key business or organisational messages.

Event detail

  • Venues: Sites at Speyside, Dumbarton, Paisley, London and Plymouth. The client made the key decision to take the training to their different sites around the UK rather than ask people to come to a few a regional centres. This had the effect of making employees feel valued especially at those locations where there weren’t many people on site.
  • Format & Style: Interactive juggling sessions, incorporating accelerated learning techniques, to complement the internal training. Facilitated to provide a fun, shared learning experience and make the link with the scope of the training by building key messages into session delivery
  • Participants and groups:  Delivered to over 1350 UK employees, working in cross-functional groups and with representation ranging from senior management to operational and production staff. A wide range of group sizes had to be accommodated in the sessions to reflect the numbers of employees coming together at each site.
  • Scope and duration: 15 days of training sessions over March to May 2012, with up to 6 x 1 hour workshops per day combining the internal training with the facilitated juggling session. The suite of events will be followed by the UK-wide event in June 2012. This day will involve a mass juggling competition, a best practise exhibition, a video stand with the CEOs message and an area for people to complete a quiz and enjoy some refreshments.


Event objectives

  • To educate all employees, encourage and raise awareness of the roles they play in encouraging responsible drinking
  • Communicate key messages within the organisation regarding responsible drinking
  • To create a convivial moment for employees through an activity-based shared learning experience (provided by Maximillion)

Event format

In each 1 hour workshop session, participants were provided with a 30 minute training presentation by the Chivas Brothers Internal Communications team.

During the training the idea of juggling was introduced, i.e. “the right choices regarding responsible drinking are sometimes difficult to make because people are ‘juggling’ so many different pressures on a day to day basis: peer pressure, stress etc”

Attendees were then invited to have 30 minutes of hands on juggling tuition and coaching by the Maximillion Circus Skills Facilitation team, using a set of branded juggling balls. The Facilitators ensured that the key messages of the internal training were reflected in the scope of the juggling session.

Learning to juggle is about making a commitment. It’s a great way to start a conversation and engage with people. It’s also a skill that can be taught to others, from one’s own personal experience. Lead Facilitator David Harrison has extensive experience and expertise in dealing with corporate groups, both large and small, and at all levels from senior management. He was effective in making the link between the scope of the presentation, the juggling intervention and aspects of personal and team development, adding value as well as fun and energy to the sessions, beyond just the juggling instruction.

At the end of each session, employees were asked to go away and communicate the responsible drinking message with friends and family. They were also asked to practise their juggling skills before the main event in June!


David says:

“Key to the success of the project was the combined ability of ourselves and the client to adapt to changing situations, not only site by site, but also as the project evolved.

For us the different sites and composition of the employee groups always presented a new challenge. On the first large group we delivered to, the format which had worked so well for smaller groups had to be changed because of (a) the number of people involved and (b) the size of the room meant people weren’t standing shoulder to shoulder. After the Kilmalid events I consciously made a point of always engaging participants as they came into the room, not only to gauge the “feeling” but to demonstrate that were friendly and approachable.

Our client recognised that word would get around and, rather than keep things secret, allowed this to happen, which gave a momentum to the project. By the second week, I noticed a shift in people’s attitudes when coming into the room. Comments such as “Not sure how good I will be but I will be doing my best” became more and more prevalent.

Overall the commitment and support Chivas Brothers not only gave to the project but to us as well made for a really successful project.”

Feedback from Chivas Brothers

Suzanne Roach, Internal Communications Manager says:

“We were tasked with training our employees on the theme of responsible drinking in January 2012. We felt that we needed to make this training engaging and fun from the outset.

Following internal discussions about how we could make the training fun but still make sure the key messages were at the forefront, we came up with the idea of teaching our employees how to juggle. At this point we realised this was something we could not do alone and after hearing excellent feedback about Maximillion we approached them for assistance with delivering these events.

After providing Maximillion with a short brief they responded very quickly to our needs with a fantastic proposal. We were put in touch with our Lead Facilitator David, who was instantly engaged with our mission and the theme – he put us at ease straight away regarding his ability help us deliver our events.

The training events were a huge success, David was fantastic in engaging with our employees and was fantastic at building our key messages into his juggling training. Feedback from our employees was excellent and we are looking forward to working with Maximillion and David for our final event in June.”