By Gemma Bell, PR & Communications Manager at Nisa
When Nisa first became part of Co-op in 2018, I was only a year into my role in the Nisa PR and Communications team, so evolving our ways of working didn’t unsettle me – it was just another phase of my career. There’s something about Nisa that draws you in, and I very quickly felt a strong sense of belonging. And for many of my colleagues, who’ve been employed by Nisa since the business was founded in 1977, they’d never known anything else.
There’s about 300 of us all together, experts in wholesale and our independent partners. We’re (usually!) based at our Scunthorpe Support Centre which is next to our largest distribution centre.
Over the last few years wholesale and retail have worked more and more closely together. And now, three years on, we’ve migrated onto Co-op contracts so we’re all one colleague population. Our colleague experience is now fairer and more consistent, and it’s much easier for us all to connect, collaborate and learn from each other.
Leading on the communications for the colleague migration project was one I grabbed with both hands. It was the perfect chance to work more closely with new colleagues and build relationships, and to see what was planned first-hand so I could identify what my Nisa colleagues needed to know. Our colleague reps guided us through consultation, and we tried to make sure colleagues felt informed and involved.
As a member of the Nisa comms team, I’d already forged relationships with some of the key comms colleagues at Co-op but I’d had little contact with other business areas until now so it’s been great to develop those, and it’s already starting to feel like I’m part of a bigger team.
It’s an exciting time. I know I have lots to learn about retail but I’ve also surprised myself with how much I know about wholesale, and it’s been great to share that knowledge with others over the last few months.
The transition itself has been smooth, and it’ll just take us another couple of months to get all the IT linked up, so that colleagues can connect seamlessly through Teams and Yammer etc. That’ll be a great step forward. New IT systems can feel quite daunting but I’ve already worked out how to do the important bits like MyHR and booked time off! Now I need to find time to explore MyLearning and see how I can make the most of the opportunities for colleagues.
Everything changes over time, it’s part of life and I’m a firm believer in looking forward and making the most of what’s on offer so I’m embracing life as a Co-op colleague and all that it entails!
Want to know more about wholesale? Watch our short explainer video below: