Introducing our ‘stores of excellence’

We’ve talked about the purpose of the Leading the Way programme before:

We want to help store colleagues with the things they need to do, in the time they have, and give them the freedom to be great Co-op shopkeepers.

To help us change things, we’ve been setting up ‘stores of excellence’ with the help of the retail support centre. We want to create a community of colleagues who speak about the changes we’d like to make within the business and discuss ways of working that will help us make them.

How it works

At the moment, we trial new ideas in around 20 stores. Once we’re happy and colleagues have told us those ideas are working well, we’ll roll them out a little further to our stores of excellence. Then we’ll speak to colleagues there to find out if they think the idea is making a positive difference.

When we go on to roll ideas out to all other stores, colleagues from stores of excellence will be able to share what they’ve already learnt.

Excellent stores embrace change

Image shows a screenshot of a tweet and a Twitter image. The tweet says: What a day! #storesofexcellence event complete. 45 store managers ready to be advocates if the change. The image is a photo of 45 managers sitting around a table.

Over the last few months, managers have been choosing their stores of excellence. The teams from those stores have been told about their new roles in transforming our business. There’s one store of excellence under each area manager and each one was chosen because they’ve already shown they can make changes effectively. In other words, these are stores with high standards that aren’t afraid of changing the way they work. They’re keen to make things simpler and more efficient for colleagues.

Listening to feedback

Listening is really important. Managers in the stores of excellence have been telling us how they feel about letting old processes go and trusting new systems or ways of working.

In the future

This is a new way of working for us in Co-op Food and we’re learning as we go. We hope colleagues from different stores will talk to each other at area meetings, on conference calls and in the stores themselves. Better communication between us will help everyone make changes across all our stores.

We’ll blog again soon to update you how things are going.

Elizabeth Lowther

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