Amanda Charland

Building Our Cooperative Culture

Hello to our cooperative community!

Today the bulk of my message will focus on specific updates for you. This week I wanted to speak to some of the things that center around employment, recruiting, and retention strategies.

It’s no secret that hiring is one of the greatest challenges facing businesses right now. When we look at choosing an employer to work for, there are many different attributes we consider. Among the things we look for are fair compensation and benefits, a good work environment, great colleagues, schedules that fit our lives, the ability to make meaningful contributions, values that align with our own, and so much more.

We spend a lot of time at work and in our culture, our job is a part of our identity. That means as a business, for us to be a great employer, we need to constantly be working to improve all of these things. That’s why this is a priority for me.

So here’s a look at some of the things we’re working on to keep improving our workplace:

HR

We are working to hire a Director of Human Resources whose exclusive focus will be supporting the people-focused strategies of the organization. Key priorities early on will be recruitment and retention. We’ll be interviewing candidates next week and our final interviews will include tours through the locations where candidates will have a chance to talk to people and see our operations.

Compensation Plan

We are beginning to roll out the details of the compensation plan. The information will be shared with location managers first, then we’ll set up sessions at every location to talk more with our employees and answer their questions. Next week I’ll share more details about what to expect and the days and times when we will be offering these sessions. This project is still on track for a July roll out.

Recruitment

HR and Marketing are working together to recruit new hires. It’s a challenging job market right now, to say the least, but all sorts of new ideas are on the table and our teams are using their imagination and creativity to bring in new employees.

Culture Building

I know I’ve been talking about this subject a lot in my messages lately, but it’s because investing in our culture and building bridges among our teams is the most important priority for me. Our employees have also told me this is a priority for them, so with their help I’m working on ways we can continue to build and strengthen the special culture we have here.

The most critical thing I’ve heard over the last few weeks is to improve our internal communications. To start improving this, in the coming weeks, we’ll be reviving some things like cross-location meetings and huddles, we’ll set up new opportunities like conversations for the compensation plan, and we’ll work to establish a team focused on improving internal communications.

With all of this said, there is a lot of work to continue doing, so please keep sharing your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.

Thanks everyone and reach out to me anytime.

—Amanda

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Amanda Charland

Amanda Charland

Amanda Charland is the General Manager of the Co-op Food Stores. She was first hired as the Co-op's Sustainability Coordinator in 2012, and joined the Co-op Leadership Team as Member Services and Outreach Director in 2014. She earned a Master's Degree in Cooperative Management in 2017, and she was promoted to Director of Cooperative Engagement in 2018. She was hired by the Co-op Board of Directors as General Manager in 2022. Contact her at acharland@coopfoodstore.com.
Amanda Charland

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