Dear Co-op Owners,
As we step into the enchanting season of fall, it’s the perfect moment to reflect on the significant yet subtle transformations taking place within our organization. Just as we prepare for the colder months and eagerly anticipate the next growing season, we have been diligently ensuring that our Co-op is equipped to thrive in its own changing landscape. Just as nature adapts, so too must the Co-op evolve to meet the growing needs of our community.
As previously mentioned, the Board of Directors has embraced a new set of Co-op Values. Though this board-level policy has been in place for less than a year, its influence is already felt. Our foremost value underscores the well-being of our employees and their families. I would like to take this moment to highlight some of the internal developments that our dedicated Human Resources team has been spearheading.
One of the initial changes involved a comprehensive update of our employee Code of Conduct, making it more relevant and forward-thinking. In a similar vein, the employee dress code has been modified to empower Co-op employees to express their authentic selves through their attire.
Welfare of Our Staff
Our commitment to the welfare of our staff extends to healthcare benefits. The Co-op has made diligent efforts to simplify the process of adding dependents or family members to employee health plans. Furthermore, the Extended Illness Bank has been revamped to eliminate the need for employees to deplete their vacation, personal, and sick time. This change has also opened up the bank for a broader range of purposes, extending support to our employees in their time of need.
Importantly, the waiting periods for health and dental benefits, as well as vacation time, have been significantly reduced to better serve our newest employees.
One of the most notable recent changes involved removing the mandatory background check requirement for starting employment at the Co-op and eliminating the ban on hiring individuals with a felony record. While these are no longer automatic disqualifiers, they do prompt a more in-depth discussion and evaluation during the hiring process.
In a groundbreaking move, the Co-op’s leadership team has launched a loan program for all employees, allowing them to access upfront coverage for essential car repairs through the Hanover and Norwich Service Centers. Such loans can be repaid conveniently over time through payroll deductions.
Last but certainly not least, we are proud to share that the Co-op has been officially recognized as a Recovery Friendly Workplace by the State of New Hampshire. This designation underscores our commitment to promoting a healthy, safe, and stigma-free work environment where we actively support those affected by addiction.
Leadership and HR Team
The dedicated HR and leadership team at the Co-op is tirelessly working to nurture our employee culture, ensuring that the Co-op’s Values serve as a guiding light. We anticipate more groundbreaking changes that will benefit both employees and their families in the near and distant future. We are equally excited about the positive impact these changes will have across our entire organization as we continually strive to align ourselves with the diverse perspectives, needs, and opportunities of our Upper Valley community.
We extend our heartfelt thanks for your continued support, and we eagerly look forward to the next time we see you at one of our Co-op locations.