Thank you for Being Co-op logo

We need to get better at saying thank you for the great work you do, and for living our Ways of Being Co-op every day.

What we’ve already done

Last year colleagues across Co-op trialled our Everyday thank you boxes to help recognise colleagues for Being Co-op in the moment. The boxes included thank you cards, posters, badges, gift bags, wine bags, and the famous Thank you for Being Co-op selfie frame.

Here’s what colleagues thought of the boxes:

  • 84% of colleagues said they were well received and appreciated by colleagues.
  • 73% agreed that having the box had helped them be better at saying thank you.
  • Gifts like wine, chocolate and vouchers do still matter and are appreciated by colleagues, although thank you cards were the most popular item in all areas.

What we’re going to do in 2018

  • Through January and February we’ll be giving out 325 boxes across the organisation. You’ll also be able to order more items for the boxes from your own budget by emailing
  • We’ll also be launching something really exciting to say thank you to those colleagues who’ve gone above and beyond. Look out for more information at the end of January.

I look forward to us saying thank you much more to all of you in 2018.

Helen Webb
Chief HR Officer

Join the conversation! 28 Comments

  1. No thank you boxes have been received in the West and central region, we have many of coop colleagues who deserve to receive a gift to show appreciation of their commitments.

    • Hi Clare. As the story says the boxes will be given out through January and February. I’m sure your regional operations manager will let you know when they arrive. If you don’t hear anything after February, please make sure you contact them. Thanks ^Rachel

  2. My manager attended a meeting where they were asked to return to store and take time out to say thank you to a colleague. I was a colleague who he chose to speak to and I’ll treasure his words to me. It meant a great deal to just hear how he appreciated my efforts in store.

    • Hi Victoria-Bradford Street Shifnal. This is great to hear. It’s clear your manager did a great job of showing his appreciation for your work. This is exactly what the boxes are designed to do!

  3. Some of these comments are so disappointing . I’m a manager who goes the extra mile to say thank you, I encourage my team to recognise other colleagues too.
    The boxes sound great, I hope my store gets an opportunity to see one.
    For those colleagues who have not had recognition & praise, please understand that the company are trialling ways to make CO OP better & that starts with the colleagues. Somethings will work & others may not but they are trying their hardest to improve reward & recognition across the business.
    Have you tried to give your managers feedback? Maybe they have just become to expect great things & don’t feel it necessary to say thank you. Maybe they just need a nudge.
    As for the headsets, so what if we loose 30 mins a day! It’s more than likely saved you more than that right? They are invaluable in by teams eyes. 30 mins or headsets? Headsets Please…..
    So just to end, if you’re not happy with the way that the CO OP are shaping the future and trialling different things is not what you want to do…. talk to someone, please…. don’t let it stew & feel you have to criticise a valuable teams efforts to make a difference.
    Ps… Rachel? The gift voucher email is a no go. Tried in December and told it was on hold. My AM was looking into it but we haven’t heard back yet.

    • Hi There’s always one, yes it’s me! Thanks for your positivity. I’m sure your area manager will get back to you once the process has been decided properly. Thanks ^Rachel

  4. I got a box of celebrations given to me was nice but I don’t eat them and I would have preferred a card or a voucher too

  5. Meanwhile back in the real world . . . more news this week of cuts to food store hours because we now look like call centre escapees. Headsets. Coming to a store near you soon.

  6. Didnt know anything about this i work in a food store none of our colleagues have never had any praise gifts or thank yous !!! Think Stoke on Trent may be forgotten???

    • Hi Angela. We told colleagues about the trial on this blog in autumn last year. I’m sorry you haven’t received any thank you’s. That’s the aim of this. We want everyone in the business to get better at saying thank you in the moment and rewarding people for living our Ways of Being Co-op. As the blog post says, we’re sending out 325 boxes so if you work in Food all area managers will receive one very soon. Thanks ^Rachel

    • Same i work in food and in the last 12 mo ths not even had a thank you

  7. how lovely x

  8. Hi Helen,

    Nice that we’re making an effort to change the culture at the Co-op.

    Obviously, for you in such a central position, creating the boxes as a new cultural artefact makes sense and is something easy and tangible you can point at to show Steve and say you’re making a difference.

    We have the same gift paraphernalia and bunches of flowers for sale in stores.

    And, as anyone who works in food stores in the evenings can tell you, every crap boyfriend thinks a bunch of flowers bought in haste when you’re late again will show appreciation, and every recipient of those flowers realises it’s no substitute for changing your behaviour and behaving like you promised.

    So Helen, can you do the hard yards and encourage managers up and down the organisation to start behaving like they promised?

    They must know from Talkback that wine and chocolates are no substitutes for proper appreciation of people’s efforts.


  9. I might be the odd one out here but please don’t give me a bottle of wine or chocolates.

    Give me vouchers every time.

    It’s not that I don’t drink, although there are many who choose not to, its just I’d rather spend the money on something I chose.

    • I was going to say its not picky but a little ungrateful but now its my turn.

      So 325 boxes, so a small percentage of our colleagues get a chance of a thank you but everyone else. No chance.

      Its a bit like the attendance thing Somerfield did where if you had 100 percent attendance over the quarter your name went in a hat. but those of us who had never had an absence never won it.

      • Hi adi. Sorry you feel that way. In Food all area managers will receive one, every depot in Logistics is receiving a number of boxes, and every regional operations manager in Funeralcare. Our support centre also has a few. The intention then is for the business areas to top up their boxes to keep the thank you’s going. Thanks ^Rachel

  10. I have never seen once of these boxes. Usually the department gives out bottles of booze to anyone who got a promotion, is pregnant or leaving the business. In addition to selected individuals getting them for significant birthdays based on their popularity/seniority.

    • Hi Mysterious boxes. I’m not sure what part of the business you work in but as the story explains we trialled these boxes across Co-op last year. Obviously not every department was part of that trial. We did this to see if colleagues liked what was in the boxes. Now 325 are being sent out across the business. This isn’t about birthday or leaving gifts for colleagues, it’s about saying thank you in the moment for a job well done. We want everyone to get better at saying thank you to each other for living our Ways of Being Co-op in their day-to-day jobs. Hope that explains things. Thanks ^Rachel

  11. I’d rather have respect and appreciation on a regular basis rather than a thank you card please.

  12. “the famous Thank you for Being Co-op selfie frame”

    First time I’ve heard of this, Is there an option to have vouchers instead of having a photo taken inside a cardboard rectangle?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Mum it’s me, Jeremy! The boxes being sent out over January and February will have lots of items in them including voucher holders. Different businesses have different ways of ordering vouchers so it’s worth checking what the process is in your business. The email is Hope that explains things. Thanks ^Rachel

      • Hi Rachel, thank you for the information. I will look out for these over the coming months.

  13. Hi my area was part of the trial for this and it worked exceptionally well , its a slow burn but once it gets going you cant stop it …… great initiative!!

    • Sean White great to hear that it went down well in your area! We hope you will keep using the tools when more arrive.

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