Thursday 15 March saw 17 store colleagues gather in Angel Square’s ‘Innovation Centre’, a nerve centre of ideas and future store concepts from the Leading the Way team.
They were there to take part in March’s Store Manager Listening Session arranged by ourselves in Colleague Insight, a day that’s designed to provide an opportunity to hear from teams around the business, offer feedback on existing or upcoming pieces of work, and give us their thoughts and feelings on how things are for them currently.
An extra bonus of the day was an hour’s chat with our Retail Chief Executive, Jo Whitfield. The chance for an hour’s conversation with the boss is a rare one, and Jo was very willing to hear a “warts and all” view of the challenges our store colleagues are facing at the moment. You can read more about this on the Colleague Insight intranet pages.
As well as hearing from them, Jo was able to give an update on how things looked from her perspective and gave some pointers about what was to come up for Food in the rest of the year.
She left the group with 3 key messages to take back to their colleagues in store;
- Believe in the plan
- Put the customer first
- Look after our colleagues
As well as Jo, several business areas from around the Support Centre were able to sit and talk through their world with the colleagues present, asking for the current feelings on how things work at the store level.
Among the topics discussed were store KPIs, the communications cascade and the top shelves project, where the comments and experiences of the colleagues were extremely useful in deciding what we do in the future.
They also had the chance to talk to a project manager from the wider Co-op team who discussed the very early stages of a new training project.
The learnings from a day like this feed into our quarterly hackathons, and help us keep the voice of the colleague front and centre in the minds of all in the Retail Support Centre.
By the time you’re reading this we’ll have just finished Quarter 1’s Hackathon, an event where we gather 50+ colleagues in a big room and, as well as hearing about current projects, we get them involved in shaping future projects, working out solutions to the things that they’re facing.
If you’d like to be involved in either type of session in the future (and they’re not all held in Manchester), then email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch telling you when the next session is.