Why Talkback is important for Food

By Jo Whitfield, Chief Executive – Food

I’m really passionate about Talkback and how it can help us make real, effective change in the business. Not only is it a chance for every colleague to have their voice heard, it gives our leaders important information for action planning to help them become more effective leaders based on what their colleagues are telling them.

Talkback has been incredibly important for me, at a personal and professional level. It’s enabled me to understand how I lead, engage and inspire my team, and given me key actions to help me become a more effective leader.

Talkback is an honest and real reflection of how colleagues are feeling, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to not only tell your manager how you’re feeling, but tell us in the Food leadership team what you think about the broader Co-op activity that we’ve been working on. For instance, this year, we’re asking questions about our Safer Co-op, Safer Communities campaign and the work we’ve done in that space.  It’s a great sounding board for everyone to voice their opinions and tell us what we’re getting right and what we can improve upon.

Your insights have also helped us revolutionise the way we involve you in change. When we introduced MyWork, we started to bring you on the journey a full 12 months in advance, taking you along every step of the way. We also collaborated with hundreds of colleagues when we developed Shifts, meaning we fully understood your requirements and expectations. Your insights and feedback help us work on the things that we know cause you problems, and help us introduce new technology to make things easier for you.

We’ve heard loud and clear that you need access to better tools to talk to one another and collaborate more effectively with the business. That’s why we introduced Yammer, our new conversation tool to colleagues. Yammer is currently being rolled out to all colleagues with an email address, including all Store Managers. Later this year, we’ll be trialling Yammer access to all colleagues in Birtley Depot, giving everyone an opportunity to join the conversation. If this trial is successful, we hope to roll out access to every colleague across Co-op.

We can only make the right decisions and effective changes based on what we know about how you feel. That’s why taking part in Talkback is so important, the only way we can improve your Co-op experience is by truly understanding you. I’d like all of you in our Food business to complete the survey and have your say.

Taking part is easy. Just go to www.coop.co.uk/talkback and type in your employee number. Don’t worry – we don’t track you and your information. The survey is 100% confidential, it’s run by an independent supplier who are the only ones to hold the survey responses, so we have no way of seeing your individual input. It should take around 10 minutes, and Food store colleagues have been given time through TARA to complete it.

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