Colleague voice

On Monday 6 March, 27 colleagues from across the Co-op joined us in Angel Square for a brand new Colleague Voice pilot.

So what’s Colleague Voice? 

Colleague Voice is a group of colleague volunteers from across all of our businesses who will meet four times this year to help shape and feed back on some Being Co-op ideas; this recent session was around shaping the new approach to recognition at the Co-op.

We know that some businesses already have channels for colleagues to get involved – Listen, Act and Fix in Food is a great example. But when it comes to getting involved with things that are going on across all of the Co-op, you told us you’d like to see more of this.

In 2016’s Talkback, 2,890 of your survey comments asked for improved communication with, involvement with and empowerment of colleagues. One colleague said

“Listen to what your employees are saying about the business, as they know the business to grow the business”

Alisha Huthwaite-Chambers, a Claims Advisor in Insurance who sits on the Colleague Voice panel, said: “I really enjoyed the event! It’s a brilliant idea and I’m so excited to be involved in this. It was really great to meet colleagues from all different areas of the business.

“The diversity allowed us to truly find out what the Co-op is doing brilliantly in some areas and where we need to improve. It felt really positive to be in such an open environment, to comment on where we’re failing and what ideas colleagues had to improve this for the Group. I feel very excited to be a part of the Colleague Voice as this is a great step for all colleagues’ voices to be heard.”

What next? 

The rest of our meetings this year will be out around the business in our branches, stores, other offices or depots, to give the Colleague Voice team time to learn as much as they can – about the business and working with each other.

These 27 colleagues have a big job on their hands; representing the views of all of our Co-op colleagues is no mean feat! We’re a small group as we’re still at pilot stage this year while we test and learn what works best, but in the future we’ll be looking at ways we can connect more colleagues into the Colleague Voice – whether that’s using digital technology or face-to-face.

Look out for more stories about Colleague Voice, and let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions by emailing