Grab & Go

How Cooperative is Your Customer Service?

Too often, customer service and membership trainings become a quick checked box on the first day on the job, and over time, staff become disconnected from the true meaning of service and the significance of their co-op in the community. As competition in our marketplace continues to tighten, it’s imperative [...]

Ensuring Internal and External Pay Equity

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 [...]

“Better safe, than sorry!”

If one were asked to summarize an Emergency Preparedness philosophy in a succinct, no-nonsense maxim, "better safe, than sorry" would definitely be it. Defined simply as: "a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action," responding safely and effectively to any emergency requires thoughtful planning ahead of time, streamlined [...]

Is An Owner Capital Campaign Right For Your Co-op?

It seems like many co-ops are either in the middle of, just finished, or are about to start a project. And all of those projects need adequate capital to be successful. Raising money from co-op owners has become a standard component of project capitalization and the amounts co-ops are raising [...]

Bridging the Gap. Interim General Management

Like any business, cooperatives need capable management at all times. Emergency management succession planning is essential but despite this planning, sometimes a co-op finds itself in need of a steady experienced hand to manage the co-op during a GM transition. Interim General Managers (IGMs) provide stable and competent management allowing [...]

Make Your Produce Holiday Season a Success

Traditionally a time of community events and gathering together to celebrate the bounty of the season’s agricultural harvest, the Thanksgiving holiday is a great opportunity for food co-ops to stand out and highlight what they have to offer! Here are a few seasonal suggestions to help make your produce holiday [...]

Pro Formas and the New Competitive Challenges

In the grocery world, we live in challenging times. Costco and Wal-Mart carry organic products. Supermarket chains tout local produce and have a house brand of organics. Home delivery has everyone buzzing; even Amazon is getting into the action. Pro forma financial statements are forward-looking projections of how your co-op will perform given a [...]

Responding to Workplace Conflicts

Whenever people work together, conflicts will naturally arise. Here’s a framework to help leaders resolve conflicts. This article will describe three categories of conflicts and a process that can be used to resolve each. _______________________________________________________________ Allegations of management misconduct If employees believe a manager has committed unethical and/or illegal acts, [...]

The Cooperative Advantage

Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious. Just because we have co-op in our name does not mean that people will really understand what that means. The formal definition of a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations [...]