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27th Jul, 2017

Gaining Grocery Fluency

By |2019-09-07T01:11:58-04:00July 27th, 2017|

Most directors are drawn to serve on the board of their local food co-op because they embrace its values and mission, and not because they yearn to become grocers. And yet their role as the elected fiduciaries, they must exercise oversight and make key decisions that can impact the health of the business in multiple ways. Knowing something about the industry and the business [...]

18th Nov, 2016

Workplace Conflict Policy FAQ

By |2019-08-15T23:52:02-04:00November 18th, 2016|

By Carolee Colter, Columinate & Heather Wright, Esq, WrightJones PLC   Columinate is recommending replacing the old Cooperative Model Grievance Procedure from 2009 with this new Workplace Conflict Policy. Why do you recommend changing the policy now? The old policy fit the needs of co-ops for many years. In the last year or two, however, there have been changes in labor law that have [...]

1st Sep, 2016

POP Report: Hiring For Diversity and Creating an Inclusive Staff Culture

By |2021-12-07T13:23:02-05:00September 1st, 2016|

Key Insights The major takeaways from interviews with three co-ops on their initiatives to improve diversity in hiring and increase cultural awareness on their staff teams are make staff diversity and cultural awareness a priority to your team (and budget) create goals and make the measurables visible to your team aim to be reflective of your community use community engagement as a hiring tool [...]

10th Aug, 2016

Employee surveys drive workplace improvements

By |2019-09-07T00:20:38-04:00August 10th, 2016|

As the competitive environment continues to heat up around us, there is increased competition for employees as well as food dollars. By creating a continuously improving workplace environment where all voices are heard and feedback is taken seriously, co-op managers can help ensure that the competition doesn't lure away your talented, passionate and experienced employees.   Become a Better Employer An Employee Survey can [...]

4th May, 2016

Good Reporting: Helping boards understand workplace conditions

By |2019-09-07T00:04:13-04:00May 4th, 2016|

By Michael Healy 184 May-June 2016 Co-ops bring to life their member-owners’ common values, and for most co-ops these include a desire for the co-op to be a great workplace. In the event that your co-op’s board of directors hears employees assert that something is amiss in the workplace, how will the board react? One end of the range of options often involves the [...]

1st Oct, 2015

Engaging the Whole Person in Succession Planning

By |2019-09-10T15:48:38-04:00October 1st, 2015|

By Sarah Dahl 180 Sept-Oct 2015 There are two commonly seen staffing problems in co-ops that may at first seem unrelated: At Co-op A, sales had been declining for the last few years. Personnel costs, unfortunately, had not been declining, leaving the co-op in a tough position. The finance manager, who had been with the co-op for the last 15 years, decided it was [...]

23rd Jan, 2013

Unacceptable Monitoring Reports

By |2020-12-24T19:51:49-05:00January 23rd, 2013|

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 [...]

2nd Jul, 2012

Why a Human Resources Audit?

By |2019-09-09T21:29:54-04:00July 2nd, 2012|

By Carolee Colter, Helena O'Connor 161 July - August - 2012 An audit can be described as an unbiased examination and evaluation of systems and processes of an organization in order to demonstrate whether they are in compliance with a standard. The human resources (HR) function of any business, including cooperatives, covers all aspects of the employer's relationship with its employees: personnel policies, hiring, [...]

4th Jul, 2010

Understanding Marketing Research

By |2019-09-10T19:48:05-04:00July 4th, 2010|

By Debbie Suassuna 149 July - August - 2010 In order to improve overall sales performance and compete effectively against other food stores, food co-ops can choose from several types of market research tools. Generally speaking, the results derived from implementing one of these research tools will enable a food co-op to employ two somewhat parallel marketing strategies— market segmentation and market differentiation. Differentiation [...]

14th Apr, 2009

Executive Sessions

By |2021-08-13T11:47:01-04:00April 14th, 2009|

An Executive Session (sometimes called a “closed session”) is a meeting, or portion of a meeting, open to only members of the board of directors and individuals invited by the board of directors. All meeting attendees are expected to keep content of the meeting confidential unless the board decides to make it public. "Confidential" means that those present are expected not to share or discuss the information [...]

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