Build Workplace Culture

Nurturing Inclusion and Diversity on Staff

By |2021-12-08T10:56:14-05:00November 7th, 2018|

The Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op (TPSS) in Takoma Park, Maryland is a cooperative that is known for its diversity and inclusion among staff and customers. Currently, 48 employees from 20 countries work at the food co-op. Creating an atmosphere of welcome and exchange is something that they continually work on.

Training for soft skills

By |2019-09-09T15:46:09-04:00September 18th, 2018|

Yes, you can teach empathy, rapport and authenticity to your staff. Even those who join your staff with a high degree of these “soft skills” can still improve them through training. Brittany Baird is my colleague at CDS Consulting Co-op whose area of expertise lies in linking financial success to the everyday decisions we make on the sales floor of a natural foods business. [...]

Collaborative Interviewing

By |2019-09-09T15:24:54-04:00June 14th, 2018|

A growing body of research shows that cognitive biases creep into everyone’s decisions, even if we consciously strive to be fair. One of the most insidious forms is “confirmation bias,” in which people look for data that confirm their opinion and ignore data that contradict it. Confirmation bias has a detrimental impact on hiring decisions, causing us to rush to snap judgments without realizing [...]

Hiring For Success

By |2019-09-09T15:17:14-04:00May 19th, 2018|

James Morrell has over 25 years experience in natural foods retail management. Over those years he’s done a lot of hiring. I’ve written about hiring in this column before, but for a fresh perspective I turned to James, now a consultant in fresh category management.   What do you look for when you’re hiring? The resume and past experience are a starting point but [...]

Ensuring Internal and External Pay Equity

By |2019-09-09T15:13:13-04:00April 26th, 2018|

Many co-ops using policy governance have an Ends policy requiring staff compensation that is both internally and externally equitable. However without diligent attention, pay scales and what individual staff end up making can get out of whack over time. Below are a few tips to keep you in compliance. Compensation market study. Make sure you are staying up-to-date on what the external market is [...]

What HR Systems Audits Reveal

By |2020-04-17T23:43:44-04:00March 15th, 2018|

When I conduct human resources (HR) systems audits for clients, as part of the audit process I identify problems with personnel records and documentation, and recommend improvements. Here are some of the most common problems I’ve found: Insecurely stored records of former employees Most companies in my experience do a good job of keeping records secure for current employees. I find personnel files, payroll [...]

Cultivating a Culture of Appreciation

By |2019-09-07T02:02:56-04:00March 6th, 2018|

According to Gallup News State of the Workforce report in 2017, overall only 30% of employees feel engaged at their jobs. This dismal statistic is a strong invitation for employers in all business sectors to consider the type of work culture that might contribute to a sense of disaffection and actively work to change it. Employees who do feel a sense of connection are [...]

Leading Our Co-ops Beyond Customer Service to Cooperative Service

By |2022-01-18T10:22:36-05:00February 2nd, 2018|

As food co-ops forge ahead in the “the new normal,” they often find themselves in the precarious place of trying to both differentiate from and conform to competitors. From the consistent progression of conventional grocery stores towards natural products offerings, to the growing threat of internet retailers, food co-ops are experiencing an increasingly urgent pressure to raise the bar on business operations while still maintaining and better communicating their distinctiveness as community-owned institutions.

Telling Stories with Intention

By |2019-09-07T01:56:30-04:00January 11th, 2018|

In our digitally-connected universe, there has been an explosion of stories—and many of them come to us like processed food. Quick, canned, too many empty calories. So much of what people encounter in the form of news or stories about organizations or individuals feels inconsequential or insincere. All of us have experienced what that feels like, wading through an information overload to try to [...]

Choosing Your Words

By |2019-09-07T01:44:28-04:00December 12th, 2017|

By Carolee Colter & Mark Mulcahy Intentions matter but so does your choice of words. Certain words can trigger a negative reaction in the mind of the receiver while other words can open up hearts and minds. In general, negative language is demanding and blaming, and emphasizes what can’t be done. Positive language on the other hand focuses on the future, offers choices and [...]

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