We find out how one of our 60 Member Champions, Alex Flynn, got on in the first four weeks of the Join us campaign, and how she gave up travelling around the world to become a store manager.
“I’ve worked for the Co-op for eight years. I started as a Customer Team Member (CTM) in college then went to uni and had every intention of leaving and going travelling. My manager at the time was like: “What are you going to do when you come back?”
“She convinced me to stay and I got a Team Leader role then a Team manager role. I graduated three years ago and decided to stay. My mum is forever grateful to that manager!
“I don’t regret not going travelling because I think now I’d be floating about wandering what to do with my life. I’m enjoying this right now. I’ve got a degree in English Literature and English Language from Salford because it was something I was strong at in A’levels.
“I think as a store manager being able to communicate and lead your team is everything so my skills in this area have really helped me.
“Up until now I’ve been a support store manager going into any store that needs me to help them turn things around or deal with issues.
“It’s been great to go around and meet teams and network. Around Christmas I started to feel guilty though because I didn’t have my own store and wasn’t feeling all the pressure the others were.
“Now I’m store manager in the Gatley store and am really looking forward to having my own store again.
“It’s been really good being a Member Champion these last four weeks. You go into some stores and you’re received really well. The manager welcomes you with open arms.
“It’s been great engaging with the local causes to get some of them into store. Getting them to set up a stall and talk to customers, promoting themselves and raising awareness for their own charity but also helping our membership drive.
“The first day I got lucky and the first store I went into said: “We’re so glad you’re here!” I saw six members of staff and I was there for about two hours. I observed them on the till. The next store I went to I saw two Team Leaders and they knew exactly what they were doing so it was a bit of an informal chat to prep them in coaching the rest of the team.
“The second day I went into a store and my visit was not received very well. They were unhappy I was there and I was made to feel extremely unwelcome. So there have been a few low points but mainly positive.
“On the whole the colleagues in the stores I visited were great at talking membership. It was usually the younger people who found it a bit difficult.
“At first I wondered how much of a difference I could really make but one of the success stories was a colleague called Ryan in our Marple store. That made me realise what I was doing was so worthwhile.”