Monthly Archives: January 2013

You Are Not Alone: Human Resources at Small Co-ops

By Melanie Reid 164 Jan-Feb 2013 Is your co-op too small to have a human resources manager on staff? Is the HR function in your co-op divided up among different people? Have your HR systems been cobbled together from different sources? You are not alone! There are many smaller co-ops that are simply not large enough organizations to justify the labor expense of an [...]

Unacceptable Monitoring Reports

Boards monitor policy to find out whether their expectations are being met.  A board needs to respond to an unacceptable monitoring report appropriately in order to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to the co-op's owners. When the General Manager's monitoring doesn't meet the board's expectations the board needs to give clear direction to the Manager. Why do we monitor policy? Boards that use written policy [...]

Agile and Efficient: Board Committees and Structures that Work

By Todd Wallace 164 Jan-Feb 2013 The use of committees by boards is ubiquitous—as it should be, considering a small group’s agility when compared to a whole board. Unfortunately, boards often end up with unwieldy committee structures, groups that take up time and resources with little to show for it, or committee participants who feel burnt out and overworked. To avoid these undesirable results, consider the following suggestions when [...]

How to be a flexible yet practical employer

By Jeanie Wells Have individuals' preferences trumped your organization's needs? For example, is there inappropriate store support and coverage? Or, are there structural weaknesses that hurt team effectiveness and clear accountability? Here are two ways to address those challenges: 1. Appropriate store support and coverage We must design the staff schedules to meet each department’s needs. This sounds simple but often we lose sight [...]

Minute Taking Essentials

Keeping good records is one part of a board’s legal Duty of Care; as the record of what happens at meetings, the minutes are an important tool for fulfilling this duty. In practice, minutes primarily serve as a tool for helping directors remember what the board decided at previous meetings, and secondarily as a way to keep our co-op’s members informed about the actions [...]