Maintaining your store’s cultural identity while managing change

“Where’s the store I use to love?” How many retailers hear that now? The landscape is dramatically different than it was a decade ago. We now compete with countless natural foods and conventional stores who are luring our customers away. We work hard to adapt to market forces and create the changes necessary to survive and thrive in the new marketplace, often impacting our [...]

A 3-step plan to set new employees up for success

Companies with strong orientation and training programs are likely to have high performing employees, more employee engagement and strong retention rates. By providing clear expectations, timely and appropriate training, and consistent communication during the first few months of employment, you help to ensure the success of every new employee. Orientation Begin setting clear expectations at new hire orientation. Orientation should include an overview of [...]

Managing internal hiring when there’s more than one internal candidate

The good news is that you have two internal candidates for an open position. The bad news is that you can only choose one of them.  Many managers dread breaking the news to the employee that did not get the job, because they know that this may cause hard feelings that can even ripple out to the whole staff. But as hard as it [...]

Choose structured interviews to make better hires

Extensive research on job interviews shows that structured interviews are more accurate than unstructured ones in predicting which applicants will make good employees. By “structured,” researchers mean that the interviewer uses a consistent format with all candidates, asking the same questions in the same order. Extensive research on job interviews shows that structured interviews are more accurate than unstructured ones in predicting which applicants [...]

Getting Ready for General Manager Succession

By Thane Joyal, Jeanie Wells 178 May-June 2015 Whether or not your cooperative expects to hire a general manager (GM) in the next year, your board should have an awareness of the skills and resources that would be needed to accomplish this essential task. Even if your GM is doing great and has no expressed plans for retirement or other career changes, your board [...]

Start Off Right with a New GM

For most cooperative boards, hiring a general manager and beginning a new relationship with that person is one of the most essential things they do for the co-op. Not only will a good general manager guide a profitable and sustainable operation, but his or her leadership sets the tone for how the board’s vision is carried out day-to-day. Establishing a positive working relationship is [...]

Hiring Staff and Assistance for Startup Boards

  Los Alamos Cooperative Market Los Alamos, New Mexico When the community of Los Alamos wanted a food co-op, they first turned to LaMontañita in Albuquerque to build one for them. When it wasn’t feasible for LaMontañita to do so, a core group took out an ad in the paper and formed a board to begin the process of building their own co-op. In [...]

Home-Grown Talent: A guide to promoting from within

By Carolee Colter 122 January - February - 2006 Promoting leaders from among your existing staff offers a lot of advantages. Surprises are minimized—the person’s strengths and weaknesses are known quantities. Furthermore, you can reward and keep your good workers by giving them more responsibility and compensation instead of losing them to other careers. You send a message to the other staff that their [...]