Communication and Trust

Dear Members,

Not long after I started here in the fall of 2016, I began traveling around the Co-op to talk with employees. I thrive on these conversations. As I’ve written about before, part of my mission here is to take advantage of the collective genius around me to build a stronger organization. When I hear people openly sharing so many innovative and creative ideas, I see what collective genius is all about.

I felt this way again just recently while sitting in on meetings about the 2018 employee survey results. In a series of presentations, HR Director Lori Hildbrand spoke to employees throughout our Co-op. The meetings were well-attended, the questions were great, and the feedback was often quite inspiring.

Our Co-op has gone through a lot of change over the past few years, and change can be stressful. Our employees have adjusted to new software, new processes, new structures, and even a new general manager. That’s a lot to get used to in a short amount of time. None of this is easy, I know.

I care a lot about what was shared in the survey and during the presentations. Thanks to our employees’ openness, we know where we need focus our energies. For me, one of the most significant results of the survey is that people who work at the Co-op feel they are treated fairly regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, and/or age. If you look at my last GM Report, you’ll see how timely that message is. Inclusivity and diversity is now the foundation of a new Co-op Ends statement, approved by the Board this past summer. Things aren’t always going to be easy in any workplace, but people should always feel comfortable, welcome, and respected. Nothing is more important here.

Lori shared some thoughts with our Co-op Board recently, and as usual they were very wise. In a nutshell, she said that trust can only be achieved by keeping our word, being transparent, and communicating often, even overcommunicating if necessary. I agree with this, which is why I write regular reports and updates and talk with you, my colleagues, often. I hope you’ll keep the questions and feedback coming, and always feel free to reach out to me anytime. My door is always open.


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Ed Fox

Ed Fox is the Co-op General Manager. To contact, email

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