When a Living Wage Becomes a Demotivator

By Sarah Dahl 195 March-April 2018 It’s hard to understand how something as benevolent as paying a living wage could cause resentment within the workforce. With over half (29) of states and an additional 39 localities mandating a minimum wage higher than the legal threshold of $7.25, more co-ops are attempting to provide a living wage for their lowest-paid employees. While this is a [...]

Are you getting the best possible ROI for your personnel expenses?

Living wages. The rising cost of health care. Shrinking profit margins. More big-box competitors. There are many forces acting on the personnel line item in any small business budget these days. We know we can’t do it all, but where do you begin to ensure you are getting the best return on your personnel dollars spent? Compensation philosophy This document can be your guidepost for [...]

FAQs Regarding the New Overtime Rules

Please note: while these rules were set to go into effect 12/1/2016, implementation is currently being postponed pending legal review. The Department of Labor has released new regulations governing how salaries are handled under the Fair Labor Standards Act. They may affect how some employees are compensated in your co-op. In order to be paid on a salary basis, an employee’s position must not [...]

Implementing a Livable Wage in a Competitive Market

By Sarah Dahl, Lauren Olson 183 Mar-Apr 2016 Half of National Co+op Grocers member co-ops surveyed are under pressure to increase staff wages, according to a 2015 report. This pressure is not unique to co-ops. With efforts led by groups such as Fight for 15 and dialogues at local, state, and federal levels about minimum wage, there is a national spotlight on increasing wages. [...]

Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act

By Sarah Dahl, Melanie Reid 180 Sept-Oct 2015 The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, or FLSA, is a federal statute that provides certain protections to workers. These protections include the 40-hour work week, a national minimum wage, and non-oppressive employment of minors. Additionally, the FLSA guarantees time-and-a-half pay for overtime in certain jobs. The FLSA allows employers to classify certain employees as “exempt” [...]

Great Idea for General Managers: GM Compensation Database

  The General Manager Compensation Database is a tool created by Carolee Colter and Mark Goehring to assist managers with comparison data regarding their salaries, bonuses and benefits at food co-ops. Since food co-op retail general managers have unique responsibilities, the typical salary for a retail manager from conventional sources may not be fair or accurate for the job. The GM Compensation Database developed [...]

Share employees’ “hidden paycheck” to communicate worth

Do your employees appreciate all you do for them? Do they recognize the value of the benefits you provide? Do they factor in those benefits when they consider how well they’re compensated? Do they even know what all their benefits are? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, “Employer Costs For Employee Compensation,” in 2013 benefits averaged 28.8 percent of an employee’s total [...]

Updating Trends in General Manager Compensation

By Carolee Colter 156 September - October - 2011 Note: There are additional charts in the pdf version of the story. Several years ago in this magazine, Mark Goehring and I proposed a new process for management compensation (CG #134, Jan.–Feb. 2008). In a nutshell, we suggested that boards hold a strategic conversation on the importance of management compensation and then come up with [...]

GM Compensation

Resources for thinking and acting strategically using the CBLD GM Compensation Database Working with CoopMetrics, the CBLD team and Carolee Colter designed and created a database to collect compensation data from GMs in a confidential manner. The database also creates compensation reports so GMs can provide high level information to their boards on this important topic. The reports the database generates are compatible with [...]

Can Co-ops Pay a Livable Wage?

By Carolee Colter 104 January - February - 2003 Across the country a movement is building to demand a "livable wage" (or "living wage") for employees. Although there is no official definition, a livable wage is understood to be one that allows workers to fully pay for their basic needs. There are plenty of studies to show that people working for the minimum wage, [...]