Colleagues helping to transform a community garden

Why it’s up to all of us to keep Being Co-op alive

It’s been impossible to ignore Being Co-op over the past couple of years. Since the Co-op went into crisis back in 2013, Being Co-op has been the backbone of our recovery. 

We’ve gone to incredible lengths to reignite the pride our colleagues have in working for our unique and historic business.


In 2016 we spoke face-to-face to over 54,000 of our colleagues across all of our businesses at 5,000 separate events. We’ve had conversations with our colleagues about the Co-op’s history, revealed our Ways of Being Co-op and explained why we’re different.

Last year we also spoke to you at the Being a Co-op Leader events about what it means to live the Ways of Being through the way you lead using the key skills of storytelling, coaching and honest conversations.

This year we’ve also literally woven the Ways of Being Co-op into some of our buildings to make sure they’re always there and everyone can see them.

We’ve also revamped our colleague induction, updated our performance tools and are currently looking at our approach to recognition to make sure Being Co-op is woven into everything we do.

Has Being Co-op changed anything?

All this energy has translated into an amazing 81,000 hours of positive colleague engagement and our engagement scores went up by 4% last year.

We’ve also seen countless examples of stories being shared by colleagues, and about colleagues, who are living the Ways of Being Co-op every day, and just generally being fabulous Co-op ambassadors.

What next?

We’re now at a point in time where keeping the Ways of Being Co-op alive in everything we do and say is more important than ever. We all need to make a commitment to doing this or the end result could just be a set of words beautifully decorating a wall.

Keeping the Ways of Being alive is not just an HR or Communications responsibility – it’s up to all of us to continue to show what makes the Co-op different and to challenge when we see people who aren’t Being Co-op.

The energy and enthusiasm all colleagues have shown for the business over this past few years has been infectious. Let’s keep it that way!

Tweet from a colleague about #beingcoop

So keep talking about Being Co-op with your colleagues, re-tell the story that brings the history of the Co-op to life, share your knowledge with new colleagues, share great examples using #beingcoop, and help us keep the passion and pride we’ve all worked so hard to build.

Kerry Allison

Colleague Engagement Specialist