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Picture Copyright © Royal Unibrew A / S




Over a 5-year period, Royal Unibrew's employees have created a rarely seen turn-around and have thus reversed a downward trend.  development for the old brewery group. Over a stable period, the company has been the best-performing stock on NASDAQ  OMX. From 2011 - where the company delivered a result of 351  mio. DKK - the company delivered a nice result of 1,515 in 2020  mio. DKK in an extremely competitive market.  

Maestro has helped Royal Unibrew build the powerful performance culture where all the company's employees from  the individual sales consultant, driver, brewery worker, terminal worker, laboratory technician, blacksmith, brewmaster and manager - each and every one of them has contributed to the great success. In the company's supply chains, efficiency is top notch, and modern production methods with advanced robots have been used in production at Royal Unibrew A / S in Faxe. Among other things. the company is dependent on machines and equipment always being high-functioning; a responsibility that is largely outsourced to the individual work team.  

- The responsibility must be pushed out into the organization and the employees must  qualify and learn to work smarter, says production

director Keld Norup Lauridsen about the background for the collaboration  with Maestro selected as the training provider and catalyst for the process.  

- Maestro was chosen because they themselves have had a leg in the real  world and been responsible for getting a production through. The  had a good approach to things, was flexible and organized  the courses completely according to our needs, says Keld Norup Lauridsen  and states: - Maestro has not been too consultative. They are business people and it makes a difference! 

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"If workplace well-being is positive,

your productivity will likely improve, and your sick

leave may decrease. It's a bit early to observe

concrete results from this process, but I'm quite

confident that they will materialize as the overall

mood improves."

Keld Norup Lauridsen,

Factory Director,

Royal Unibrew

Common language creates results  

Maestro has through the concept "World-class employees"  completed training at all levels at Royal Unibrew, which  has provided a valuable insight into the entire organization.  

What goes on on the floor is linked to the management training and has formed the basis for a complete training for the entire company.  

- We have tried far too many times to send leaders on courses. Then they come home and are lit by the holy fire and
start talking about everything they have learned. The employees stand next to him meanwhile and think: "What is he talking about ??" Now all employees come through the same substance just in a different and more down-to-earth way, where they can go out and try it out right away, Keld Norup Lauridsen explains.   

Black dust

Maestro often uses imagery and metaphors, such as "black dust", to create a shared understanding of abstract psychological mechanisms. Black dust represents negativity that spreads in the form of criticism, complaints, rumors and conflicts, undermining trust and well-being among colleagues. Using "black dust" as a metaphor facilitates identification and communication of the problem, motivating employees to work together to combat negativity and promote a positive work environment. 

Production manager Peter Dau is one of those who actively uses the new common language:
- To create black dust is to constantly go around complaining and pointing fingers at others. Talking to a thousand other people about a problem, instead of going to the one who can actually do something about it. The black dust takes up a lot of space in the head, it poisons one's identity, and it spreads a bad atmosphere when it swirls around all the time. Instead, spread some positivity by walking in the door and saying, "Good morning guys, how are you?"


Karsten Lund adds that he already feels a significant change among his colleagues: 

- There has been a more positive atmosphere, and there are not those small daily conflicts over small things. It has become completely easier for us to talk about it when we all have a common starting point: "Don't go and kick up that black dust!" It has become easier to come and ask: "Why are we doing this?" instead of going and forming their own images of some message they intercepted from somewhere. It prevents many small conflicts from developing.

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Jens Skydsgaard

The most positive feedback ever 

The aim of the training week was for everyone to return with concrete knowledge that could be used directly in their everyday life. And when the first team had left, it quickly began to be rumored that it had been unusually exciting and engaging. Because when things are meaningful and practically applicable, people take them to heart:


- What I heard most often was that Maestro had been able to maintain interest through a training course of 5 days, without it becoming heavy or trivial. I haven't heard anything negative. Everyone has learned something about how to look at each other and how to communicate. They seem to have caught it, says Karsten Lund, and Peter Dau agrees:

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Jens Skydsgaard

- The content was something people could relate to immediately. Some have even written that they think the course was too short. We have never experienced that before! Everyone has been impressed with how the instructors from Maestro have run their pairs race. It is definitely the most positive feedback that has ever been on a training course that has been held here!

Well equipped for new times 

At Royal Unibrew, we are aware of the new winds that are blowing and of the expectations that new employees face in relation to working conditions, which reflect an increasing focus on well-being, responsible corporate behavior and inclusive workplaces, and Royal Unibrew is dedicated to to meet these expectations. The company is committed to creating a workplace where employees can thrive and where there is a strong and positive culture that encourages cooperation, respect and responsibility:


- We are, on many different fronts, in a time that divides the waters, and where we talk a lot about, for example, bullying and harassment. I usually say that what we said to each other yesterday, we cannot say to each other today. Here, the culture has always been characterized by a brewery jargon, where many, for example, have had nicknames. It is clear that you have to adapt to the new reality, explains Peter Dau.

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Jens Skydsgaard

Søren Bo Hansen can talk about this, as a production employee at Royal Unibrew for 47 years:


- When I started, there was a different tone - and it was hard and straight! Everyone had nicknames, and they certainly weren't all pretty. I'm retiring in a few months, but the management insisted that I join the course anyway. I can also feel that the whole tone has changed here, and I myself have learned to tackle some situations differently. We can all learn something from talking properly to each other, even when we have time off. I myself often go out to treatment centers and tell my story. I had had an alcohol addiction for a number of years when the brewery gave me a Minnesota cure 12 years ago. I have kept the path clean ever since and use my story to help others. There I also use my new knowledge from the Maestro course.

Maestro focused on creating an inclusive workplace and promoting a responsible and well-being-based culture through training and development of the individual employee. For Keld Norup Lauridsen, the course has been a good opportunity to articulate the good and inclusive tone:


- Unfortunately, we have also not been able to call ourselves completely free from bullying and harassment here at the site. But we have used ourselves in this process to articulate the things that we do not accept. If, for example, we would like to have more young girls in here, it is of no use if they are greeted by male voices and borderline comments.

Søren Feveile Skov is a process operator and working environment representative at the brewery, where he has been for 13 years. He places particular emphasis on the good unity on site, which must be properly passed on to the newest employees:


- Regardless of how we twist and turn it, there is a special spirit here at the brewery. When people say what they like about working here, probably 97% point to the colleagues. And we come from all sorts of places. Some people are here from Faxe, and some even further away. More girls have also started to come in, and we have some from Poland. All those who are already here will impress the new ones with the "Faxe spirit", as it is called. And it is all the new ones who must drive the culture forward in a good and positive direction.

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Jens Skydsgaard

A whole new mindset

Building a collective mindset is important, as it can lead to a more harmonious workplace, better collaboration, higher well-being among employees and to increased productivity. The Maestro course focused precisely on building this mindset.


Lars Fini Christensen works in production and remembers Maestro Business from previous training courses:


- This is not the first time that Maestro has been on the register - I think it is the fourth or fifth time that I have become acquainted with their committed teachers and the teaching style. And that means that they know what kind of company they are coming to. Maestros are very good at drawing themselves into what they are telling. They bring small episodes from their own lives into the conversations. That's what they're good at. Yes, I would go so far as to say that it has changed our entire mindset towards each other completely.


Søren Feveile Skov agrees and adds:


- I have a colleague who is very close to me, with whom I have always had some discussions and talks. But they have become more fun after the course because I have learned so much. So, this thing about learning to listen to others, even if they have a different opinion than me. Yes, I've obviously had a lot of trouble figuring that out! I didn't know that, but I found out, he says with a small smile and continues:


- It is scary, but positive, because it is difficult as a 50-year-old to have to learn something completely new. After all, it is deep inside the skull that something needs to change. Among other things, I have learned that there is a difference between "the truth" and "facts". I've had people come and say to me that they've thought about some previous episodes where we've discussed, and where I can see now that I went about it completely wrong. It's not fun to sit and find out afterwards. The course has made me much better at talking to my colleagues. And the more I get to talk to my colleagues, the better I get to know them and know why they and I react differently.


Everyone must take responsibility for the development

The Maestro course particularly focused on the fact that each individual employee has a great deal of personal responsibility in relation to the company's development and the well-being of colleagues. When employees feel responsible for the company's progress, it creates a stronger sense of commitment, as everyone contributes and feels involved in the shared success.


Lars Fini Christensen has particularly attached himself to the common language that he and his colleagues have acquired:


- I think it is impressive that such a small thing as the concept of "black dust" has caught on so well here. Even before you even managed to get on the Maestro course, you heard people say: "Calm down now, stop with all the black dust", followed by: "Well, no, you haven't been on the course, it will come." You hear it regularly here if there are some who start to come with too much negativity. Then people quickly change the tone, and then you laugh a bit about it. People are not afraid to say: "Stop, now you are becoming too negative just for the sake of being negative, instead of being constructive and trying to solve the task you are set for."


- It has all been very personal and that each of us has a responsibility to help move the company in the right direction. It is not only the company that must take responsibility, the rest of us must too. When I come to work now and meet the opposite shift, well then the colleagues have come face to face, and people are not afraid to say: "What you did yesterday was something bad, but it can be solved and the way". That is hugely positive! And some of the quieter types or the brand new ones discovered that there was room for them too and that they were listened to when they said something. The tone has become more understanding after we have been away, says Lars Fini and makes a clear call to the management:


- I really hope that they will use Maestro again next time too. I am quite excited about them because they are just stellar at reading the group in no time and delivering the messages. It is clear to feel that they come out of the same world of production as the rest of us. They have not only studied what they convey - they can do it. They have so much in their backpacks to share, and they do it gladly. They are just shit-engaged! 


Happy reunion with competent teachers

Royal Unibrew began working with Maestro in 2011, in the midst of a challenging turn around process that helped lay the foundation for the extremely successful company that Royal Unibrew is today. The collaboration between the two companies has since been strengthened, and has contributed to further growth and development for Royal Unibrew.


Keld Norup Lauridsen tells:


- Over time, we have simply had to recognize that Maestro is the best for the group of employees we have. Maestro has a good reputation among employees from e.g. Employees of the World Class program, so it was a happy reunion - they know that it is not dangerous when they are here. There are no theories. It is all spiced up with something practical, and things are constantly turned around: "What does this mean for me?" Some action and some words are put behind it, which means that people can put pictures on and maybe even recognize the situation.


- Maestro's instructors have themselves been in a production company, so they know the tone and the bumps that can be. It makes a big difference here with us that they are at eye level with people. And they are just insanely competent in what they teach. They hit the spot in relation to my ambitions and my expectations, especially when you saw the evaluations. Those who I myself had categorized a bit as those grumblers, they are actually at the very front of the bus and have come up with constructive questions.


- We have been absolutely delighted that there has been such insanely good feedback all around. It has really "entered the ball" on quite a few people this time. I have been around and held canteen meetings afterwards with all the teams, and there you can just feel the change straight away. People are much more "in" and are more smiling and laughing when we make a bit of fun. It hasn't always been that way. I basically think that the biggest difference is between colleagues. And precisely the well-being and retention of employees is one of our most important areas of effort, and here I clearly expect to see a difference, states the factory director.


The positive mindset must be anchored

There is no doubt that the course at Maestro Business has created a completely new and positive resonance among the employees. Now it is a matter of ensuring that constructive communication is anchored and maintained in the organisation.


- All the teams have worked intensively with Maestro's various training boards, which they have drawn and written on. I think about 10 boards were made on average per team, which hang in the hallways here. I also make a regular weekly newsletter, where I use pictures of the boards as reminders.

It is important that we all – and especially the managers – remember to articulate the new knowledge all the time. We are already working on creating a system so that the production managers remember to use the new terms when they go around and talk to the employees. For example, when someone says "Now I've asked 4 times to get a new broom down here!!!", the answer should be something along the lines of "Arr, isn't that a bit of black dust? It's probably a diet you're talking about, but isn't it also a bit of black dust? Haven't you been told that it has been ordered?”. We must all remember to use the terms and the new common language, so that the ball is played back, says Keld Norup Lauridsen and continues:


- The next thing we are looking at is a superstructure on the training course. Here we will look more at the production plant; how do we reduce downtime and get some tools in relation to capacity and efficiency. There could also easily be something about collaboration in it. But it becomes a bit more hardcore on what comes out, where are the holes in a column and how to do something about them. And the individual also has a huge role in how that part runs.


Expect better productivity in the long term

When asked whether the training course has strengthened the business itself, Keld Norup Lauridsen sees some positive trends:


- We already know that if well-being at the workplace is good, your productivity will also improve and your sickness absence will decrease. It is a little too early to see concrete results of the process yet, but I am absolutely sure that they will come as a result of the atmosphere having become different. There has been a different approach to challenges. Instead of being negative, there is a much more constructive approach to solving problems. And it also makes you, as a manager and responsible, more willing to start working with the proposed solutions. It will also guarantee better productivity. It is indisputable. It's just a matter of time!

About Royal Unibrew

Royal Unibrew is a modern and reputable multi-beverage company with strong local brand portfolios in the Nordics, the Baltics, Italy, France and Canada. With more than 1,800 employees and a significant shareholder base of over 17,000, Royal Unibrew is one of Denmark's largest and most respected companies in the beverage industry.

The company is firmly rooted in quality, innovation and sustainability, and its success has been created through a culture of readiness for change, fighter-will and visionary leadership. Royal Unibrew's strong brands such as Faxe Kondi, CULT, Royal, Ceres, Rock Star, Albani, Egekilde, Heineken, Anarkist, Pepsi, Lays and Doritos, etc. has led to impressive growth since 2011.

After a challenging turn-around, Royal Unibrew's turnover has increased significantly from approx. 4.8 billion DKK in 2011 to approx. 7.2 billion DKK in 2021, and the operating result has also increased significantly from approx. DKK 647 million in 2011 to approx. 1.1 billion DKK in 2021. The company has been able to maintain its strong position in the beverage industry and continues to impress with its focus on profit creation.

Today, Royal Unibrew's products are sold in more than 70 countries worldwide, and the company has a mission to be the preferred local beverage partner, challenging the status quo and creating good moments for consumers in a sustainable and innovative way. Royal Unibrew's ability to combine innovation and sustainability with strong brand portfolios has positioned it as a leading player in the beverage industry and an attractive choice for investors.

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