Develop Your Talent

Hiring a General Manager

Updated in 2017-18, this manual is the result of a collaboration between Columinate and National Co+op Grocers. It guides boards of directors of food cooperatives through the steps needed to ensure a clear and professional process, resulting in the hiring of a well-qualified manager. Those steps are: Arrange for interim [...]

It Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely at the Top

When I became general manager of Outpost Natural Foods in 1986, I had already been working at the co-op for seven years doing ordering, receiving, merchandising, marketing, managing, and assisting the general manager (GM) with board work. So naturally that made me the prime candidate for the GM job, since [...]

Training for soft skills

Yes, you can teach empathy, rapport and authenticity to your staff. Even those who join your staff with a high degree of these “soft skills” can still improve them through training. Brittany Baird is my colleague at CDS Consulting Co-op whose area of expertise lies in linking financial success to [...]

Collaborative Interviewing

A growing body of research shows that cognitive biases creep into everyone’s decisions, even if we consciously strive to be fair. One of the most insidious forms is “confirmation bias,” in which people look for data that confirm their opinion and ignore data that contradict it. Confirmation bias has a [...]

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 [...]

What HR Systems Audits Reveal

When I conduct human resources (HR) systems audits for clients, as part of the audit process I identify problems with personnel records and documentation, and recommend improvements. Here are some of the most common problems I’ve found: Insecurely stored records of former employees Most companies in my experience do a [...]

By |March 15th, 2018|Categories: Develop Your Talent|Tags: |

Leading Our Co-ops Beyond Customer Service to Cooperative Service

By Brittany Baird, Rebecca Torpie 194 Jan.-Feb. 2018 As food co-ops forge ahead in the “the new normal,” they often find themselves in the precarious place of trying to both differentiate from and conform to competitors. From the consistent progression of conventional grocery stores towards natural products offerings, to the growing threat [...]

Why Do Marketing and Operations Clash?

Back when I worked in distribution, the warehousers complained that marketing promised too much to the customer, while marketing grumbled that the warehouse always said no. It’s the same in retail. When conducting employee surveys I often hear comments from grocery or wellness like, “Marketing is trying to run everything [...]