Build Workplace Culture

The Care Interview

By |2021-12-08T10:58:32-05:00February 22nd, 2021|

Carolee Colter and Mark Mulcahy previously presented a series of webinars for Canadian Health Food Association on “The Rewards of a Burnout-free Workplace.” They recommended that store owners and managers hold “Care Interviews” built on five questions, with each of their staff members. Here’s how a Care Interview might go.

Compensation Database: History and Future

By |2021-12-08T11:24:44-05:00January 22nd, 2021|

The Compensation Database is woefully out of date when it comes to gender and equity identifiers. Columinate is creating a new version scheduled to be introduced in April 2021. Here's what features will be added to improve the database.

Re-Energize your Co-op Culture

By |2020-03-26T19:30:52-04:00March 21st, 2020|

There are over 40,000 co-ops operating in the USA employing almost 1 million people. Few of those employees have had any formal training on the cooperative business model. This brief “chatinar” led by Columinate consultant Adam Schwartz is designed to introduce you and your colleagues to some of the key steps organizations can take to ensure you are using your cooperative structure as a [...]

Hiring a General Manager

By |2022-06-06T17:11:30-04:00July 18th, 2019|

Updated in 2017-18, this manual is the result of a collaboration between Columinate and National Co+op Grocers. It guides boards of directors of food cooperatives through the steps needed to ensure a clear and professional process, resulting in the hiring of a well-qualified manager. Those steps are: Arrange for interim management Set up a committee to coordinate the hiring process (the Search Committee) Define [...]

It Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely at the Top

By |2019-09-06T23:29:15-04:00January 30th, 2019|

When I became general manager of Outpost Natural Foods in 1986, I had already been working at the co-op for seven years doing ordering, receiving, merchandising, marketing, managing, and assisting the general manager (GM) with board work. So naturally that made me the prime candidate for the GM job, since I was already skilled in operations, right? I sure had hoped the answer to [...]

Responding to Workplace Conflicts and Employee Concerns

By |2020-10-28T17:44:57-04:00November 28th, 2018|

Boards of directors want to know that co-op staff are fairly treated and that the co-op has a good reputation as an employer. General managers need the authority to carry out board policy, and that authority includes holding staff accountable for performance and making decisions that may not be popular with all staff. These goals are not mutually exclusive. Fairness, accountability, and unpopularity can [...]

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