Develop Your Talent

Whistleblower Policy for Employee Handbook

If you observe what you believe to be wrongful conduct, you have the right and the duty to report it without fear of retaliation. Definition of wrongful conduct Wrongful conduct includes serious improprieties that potentially impact the integrity and effective operation of Your Co-op. Examples of wrongful conduct include, but [...]

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

The concept of emotional intelligence is now part of popular culture. Just as we each have an IQ or Intelligence Quotient that measures cognitive ability, some social scientists say we have an EQ or Emotional Quotient. Emotional intelligence (EI) can be defined as the ability to recognize your own and [...]

Pointers for a successful job fair

If you are planning an expansion of your location or service offerings, or just need a fresh influx of applicants, a job fair is a proven way to get a lot of applicants processed quickly. If you’re willing to give this recruitment effort a try, here are a few tips [...]

Responding to Employee Concerns

Co-op employees will at least occasionally bring complaints and concerns to the board or individual directors, yet the board itself is ill-suited for the task of handling these concerns. Employees deserve to have their concerns addressed professionally. In addition, direct board involvement can interfere with the authority already delegated to [...]

Excellent Staff Communication—the Pillar of Change Management

Now more than ever, co-ops must adapt to market forces and make changes to survive and thrive in the marketplace. So much change can be hard on staff members, especially if some staff feel those changes are moving the co-op in a direction that could be perceived as less cooperative [...]

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 [...]

Creating accountability

A manager of an independent natural food store, when her store was smaller, met individually with her department managers every week to talk about how things were going in the department. If this GM noted any performance issues in the department, she would bring them up in this meeting. She [...]

Setting a course for the next 40 years

Sebeslav took ownership of The Peanut Mill Natural Foods Market from his mother Antje Wirth in 2009, things were already in good shape.   Established in 1976 by Antje, the St. Catharines, ON store was one of the longest serving and most successful in the Niagara region. When Jason Sebeslav took [...]

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 [...]

How are you communicating your pricing strategy to your staff?

Is your staff ready for your new competitor? Employees can be the most effective resource in surviving in the new landscape, so help them feel ready! Your overall pricing strategy will include several key components. Some of that planning work may have been done by specific teams or people, but [...]