By Steve Murrells, Co-op CEO

I’m pleased to announce that Talkback About Your Leader is now live for colleagues within Food, Funeralcare, Legal Services and the Support Centre.

Hearing from colleagues and understanding their experiences at Co-op is integral to the way we work and run as a business. We can’t evolve and make effective change without feedback from the people who make the biggest impact – which is you.

We’re committed to making Co-op a great place to work for everyone, so I strongly encourage you to take part and have your say. The survey will ask about your opinions working for Co-op and the experience your manager creates. There are three key things the results will enable us to do:

  • Examine the direction of our key priorities and how they affect our colleagues
  • Understand how our leaders engage and inspire colleagues through their behaviours
  • Help your manager understand their strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement and how they can build a better Co-op experience for their colleagues

Helen and I have filmed a short video, where we discuss how Talkback helps benefit all colleagues and leaders in more detail.

You don’t need an invitation to take part – anyone can do it at any time from any device. Just go to and type in your employee number. The survey is 100% confidential, and is run by an independent supplier, so we have no way to receive your individual input or responses.

Once the results are in, we’ll be working closely with your leaders to create effective action planning to help them work with you on building better and more effective working relationships.

We have some special messages from Jo Whitfield, Sam Tyrer, Caoilionn Hurley and Andy Perry, who talk about how Talkback has helped shape them as leaders, and what Talkback means for their business areas and teams. Please make sure you take a look:

Finally, don’t forget to read some about some of the amazing things our colleagues have done thanks to the feedback they’ve received from Talkback here.

*Please note, if you work in Funeralcare, you can also access the video on Colleague Vox Pops

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. I won’t be completing the survey for two reasons.

    1) The use of my staff ID to derive demographic data about me effectively identifies me within my team as I am in a clearly identifiable minority. I’m confident I won’t be the only one opting out so I’d rather take my chances that way rather than identify myself by responding.

    2) I don’t feel like I am being led. I don’t appear to have any contact with leaders above me, only line managers who do not exhibit leadership behaviours because they are too concerned with managing upwards to find time to lead those around them. I am far more likely to be communicated at to serve the needs of the bureaucracy inherent in our structure and culture (for example chase ups about completing outstanding e-learning) than any attempts to set direction, signpost the future, share our strategy or exhibit any concern for me as an individual.

    I also have to question why we let leaders outsource the gathering of feedback to this survey? There are loads of ways they could engage me and the rest of their direct reports personally and demonstrate an interest in us and our views instead of this cop-out where they have no skin in the game and little concern for the results.

    • Thankyou for getting in touch Phil.

      Please be assured that the way in which we collect and collate survey data would never identify you as an individual – our external survey partner, Karian and Box will never provide any individual data to the Co-op, only the reports with collated data where 5 or more people have responded, which further protects confidentiality. We ask for demographic information (such as age / gender / ethnicity) so that as a business we can continue to make the Co-op a more inclusive place to work, and will use it to look at high level trends only. This information won’t be examined down to team levels, only at large group level (e.g. differences between men and women’s responses to a question across Logistics). Additionally, managers won’t get access to this information in their reports so won’t see it. Also we always include a ‘prefer not to say’ option for every question for anyone who would prefer not to give some of this information.

      I’m sorry to hear that you do not feel that you are being led by your Line Manager – your experience isn’t in line with the expectations of leaders as set out in the Co-op Leadership Behaviour Framework. We expect leaders to be engaging with you and asking for feedback via a number of mechanisms, but Talkback provides a key opportunity for them to receive collated team feedback to support their ongoing development as Managers. We encourage all Line Managers to discuss their feedback with team members and their own managers, and include actions in their development plans / 2020 goals to drive positive changes. Talkback data is also used in balance scorecards, performance reviews and personal development plans, so we expect the outputs to be given due consideration.
      We hope you will take the time to share your views in the survey so that we can continue to improve leadership behaviour and the environment leaders create for all colleagues.

  2. The timing of this is quite poor for Coop Insurance Colleagues.Rather awkward really and frankly the Markerstudy takeover can’t come soon enough.

    Your comments in which you imply you’d still love to hear from Coop Insurance Colleagues really doesn’t feel genuine and even if that were true, such feedback will never get posted in any future Talkback pack anyway.


  3. Good morning, thank you for your response. Whilst I understand the position, I feel the results of the survey could still have been useful to know people’s feelings now. Even if there wouldn’t be time to action it, although the results of the survey could have gone across to Markerstudy since the leaders will be as well, before any potential re rganisation within Markerstudy. Plus you’ve got the c.45 colleagues staying with the business as part of CISL. But thanks for pointing out all of the other methods of feedback currently available.

  4. What an absolutely ridiculous set of questions. example: How likely would you be to recommend your manager to colleagues? Under what circumstances is this relevant? – you don’t get to choose your manager based on recommendations! Plus, no opportunity to give an opinion on the higher levels of management who don’t seem to stay in post long enough to be accountable for anything anyway.

    • We are continually looking to evolve and improve the way we capture colleague feedback to provide us with the most valuable insight so thank you for your feedback! Measuring advocacy through ‘recommend’ questions is standard in this type of research and found to provide a good overall indicator of how people feel about their Manager – something we know has a direct impact on the colleague experience and business performance outcomes. We also analyse this ‘advocacy’ measure alongside the questions in the survey which delve into the specific behaviours colleagues would like to see their manager do more / less of – this not only provides each manager with really specific and actionable insight, but allows us to understand the trends across Co-op and what we need to be doing to support Managers to enable colleagues be at their best. The reason we don’t ask for feedback on ‘higher levels of management’ is that we want all leaders to receive directly relevant feedback from their own teams to allow them to make changes at a local level – the cumulative effect is that we would see positive improvements taking place at all levels of management. We have also provided a free text response option this year to allow colleagues to provide any other feedback that hasn’t been captured by the survey elsewhere which we hope you have found useful this time round.

  5. Could I ask why Insurance are not able to give our opinions about working for Co-op and the experience our managers create. Will there be a separate Talkback for Insurance? #OneCoop

    • The results for Talkback About Your Leader won’t be available until mid to late November. Based on our anticipated timescales for the completion of the Markerstudy transaction, this wouldn’t give us enough time to effectively plan and action the results from the survey. This position would also apply to any separate surveys for Insurance.

      There are still many other opportunities for our insurance colleagues to have their say and feedback about our Co-op. You can speak to your manager or your business’ Colleague Engagement Group representative, and you can share your ideas and thoughts through our Colleague Voice forum. We’d still love to hear from you and about your experiences working at Co-op.

Comments are closed.


Co-op leaders, Colleague support, Food, Funeralcare and Legal Services, Great place to work, HR


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