staff treatment

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 [...]

Aiming for Continuous Communications Improvement

By Sarah Dahl 191 July-August 2017 No one is a perfect communicator, and no co-op experiences completely effective communication at all times. While some co-ops may do better than others—at least as reported in more than 200 staff surveys conducted by CDS Consulting Co-op—communication issues are nearly always on the list of things that staff want to see improved. While communication issues can be as [...]

Growing Leaders from Within

By Melanie Reid 186 Sept-Oct 2016 As co-ops evolve and expand and our industry continuously changes, it’s important that we have mechanisms in place that enable employees to see career pathways within our organizations. Opportunities to learn new things and grow within the organization are important for everyone on the co-op staff roster. If their training ends after 90 days, you probably have some [...]

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. [...]

Complaints and Operational Concerns: How Directors Can Respond Effectively

By Michael Healy 182 January-February 2016 As a director, you may notice or hear things about your co-op that may be cause for concern—or are at least worth asking about. How can you respond in a way that honors your sense of responsibility, your board’s clear delegation to the general manager (GM), and your GM’s professional judgment? Here is an approach that opens a [...]

Co-op Leaders Comment on Visibility

By Carolee Colter, Helena O'Connor 172 May-June 2014 According to 2013 CoopMetrics data, 30 percent of member co-ops in the National Cooperative Grocers Association have expanded or opened a new store in the last five years; and many more co-ops are planning expansions and new stores. Serving more customers in new ways is exciting, but it also adds to the workload of employees and [...]

The Co-op Difference Starts with Staff

Sean Doyle, General Manager Seward Community Cooperative, Twin Cities, MN   Sean shares his perspective as a St. Mary's Graduate and long-time GM on how to invigorate the co-op culture at your store. In brief: It starts with investing in staff.

Engaging Employees in Open Book Management

By Helena O'Connor 169 Nov-Dec 2013  A few staff members crowded the back of the small room. Latecomers straggled in until most chairs were full. A huge white board with a crosshatch of lines and columns, numbers and spaces stood at the front. The general manager called everyone to order. The weekly huddle had begun.  One by one, department managers posted their weekly sales [...]

How do your employees really feel?

Happy employees are productive employees. They offer your customers a great experience in your store. They are likely to stay longer, returning many times your investment in training them. They may even recruit friends to join your workforce. Knowing where your strengths and weaknesses are from the employee’s perspective is valuable information. Employee satisfaction surveys offer an opportunity to learn what your employees are [...]

Why a Human Resources Audit?

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, [...]