To Our Community,
I have a few brief updates for you today.
Staffing Level Review
Like virtually every business nationwide, especially in the retail sector, our Co-op continues to experience a lack of staffing availability. Our HR and marketing teams have put enormous resources into recruitment strategies, but unfortunately, it is very difficult to attract skilled workers during the pandemic—particularly with COVID levels on the rise.
These challenges continue to place stress upon each and every one of our employees.
This is the major factor behind having paid retention bonuses earlier this month.
It was one way to say Thank You!
Furthermore, my team and I want to ensure that all employees have time off to recharge. They have certainly earned it. So, to get ahead of the curve and manage the complexity of this environment, we are actively reviewing staffing levels at all our business units with their management teams to ensure we can give our loyal employees the rest they need and still provide the level of service expected from the Co-op.
New Store Hours at our Hanover Store
Although our staffing review is still ongoing, and we will update it on a daily basis, the Hanover store management team has recommended we change the store’s hours.
Effective Sunday, January 23,
the store will open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 6:30 p.m., daily.
This change applies ONLY to the Hanover store.
I know this is a challenging time, but I also know we will get through this together. In the meantime, I want all our members and shoppers to know how impressed I have been with our employees’ resilience and professionalism in the face of these challenges.
As I often say, this is the best team in the business, bar none.
Support for Dairy Farms
The Co-op’s own Allan Reetz, Director of Public and Government Affairs, was recently interviewed by the Cornucopia Institute, a highly respected national food and farm policy watchdog group.
Cornucopia caught up with Allan to discuss the role of dairy in the Co-op’s history and how our cooperative continues to support local dairy farms.
I encourage you to read the article online. My thanks to Allan for the excellent work and for his dedication to keeping this important topic in the national spotlight.
With my upcoming retirement at the end of April, the search continues for the next Co-op General Manager. Last week, the GM Search Committee asked members for their input, sharing the same three questions with members that the committee recently shared with Co-op employees.
A total of 154 members provided comments—an excellent response by any measure.
I would like to thank all of you who took time to share your thoughtful comments on our GM search. Your feedback is invaluable as we look for the person who will guide our business into the future.
Moving forward, the members of the Search Committee will discuss possible focus groups for the 40 members who self-identified as wanting to participate in the GM process. As always, I will keep you posted each step of the way.
Thank you to all our members and shoppers your support. Remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.
Onward and upward,