The Midcounties Co-operative

Hidden mission statement
http://www.midcounties.coop

Officially a Very Good
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Officially a World Class
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WHEN THE UK's largest independent co-operative society hit a £1bn turnover last year, everyone was a winner. Chief executive Ben Reid sent all 9,335 employees a thank-you letter and a scratch card for a £20,000 draw, and even if they didn't win £1,000 in holiday vouchers, an iPad mini or a day off, everyone at least got a bar of fair trade chocolate. The Midcounties Co-operative has an acronym for its principles: DOES. Democracy, openness, equality and social responsibility, it says, are its “values in action”. Employees agree with this and say the group of businesses is run on strong principles (a 79% positive score) and makes a positive difference to the world (72%). The group began in 1844 when the Rochdale Pioneers opened a shop to sell unadulterated goods at reasonable prices. Now there are more than 540 sites, including food stores, travel agencies, pharmacies, nurseries and an energy business — all owned by the members (who include many employees). Midcounties scores highest in our survey for Giving Something Back (73%, a top-three result), and it wins our 2014 special award in this category, too. Last year, more than half of the Midcounties workforce was encouraged to take part in charitable activities during office hours (85%). Everyone is entitled to three days a year for volunteering, and there is a staff-nominated charity (currently the Teenage Cancer Trust). In 2011, the group chose to support the domestic violence charity, Women's Aid, and raised £345,000, donating almost 23,000 hours of volunteering time and creating an educational pack for the charity to use in schools. Employees say the co-operative gives a lot back to its local community (65%) and cares for the environment with its use of solar panels, LED lighting and — naturally — a policy to reduce the use of carrier bags (79%). People feel good themselves and give a top-six score for questions on Wellbeing (64%). An employee assistance helpline offers confidential advice, the pharmacy group runs programmes on quitting smoking, and staff recently worked together to create a booklet on “respect in the workplace”. Team members typically work 21 hours a week, so work and home life feel in healthy balance, too (67%). www.midcounties.coop

Featured Workplace Factors

Giving Something Back

92% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

At The Midcounties Co-operative, openness is one of their key values. They try to be transparent with each colleague about what benefits there are to being employed by Midcounties. One way they can see this is by logging onto their colleague portal and viewing their Total Reward Statement (TRS). Their TRS shows all their benefits over the year including salary, uniform, health benefits, service awards, training, discount savings and more. TRS were launched in 2013 and was supported by a huge communication campaign and is backed up by ongoing poster campaigns at sites. They've chosen Savvy Sam as the face of Your Benefits and created a brand to have consistency in their communications to colleagues. Sam is a friendly reminder of what is available to colleagues and where to find their benefits. Sam's website has been set up for each colleague to provide a place where they can get discounts with external businesses online, read about Society news, see what events are coming up, hear about new benefit schemes, enter monthly competitions and chat to other colleagues across all of the businesses on the forum.

My Team

85% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

At The Midcounties Co-operative, openness is one of their key values. They try to be transparent with each colleague about what benefits there are to being employed by Midcounties. One way they can see this is by logging onto their colleague portal and viewing their Total Reward Statement (TRS). Their TRS shows all their benefits over the year including salary, uniform, health benefits, service awards, training, discount savings and more. TRS were launched in 2013 and was supported by a huge communication campaign and is backed up by ongoing poster campaigns at sites. They've chosen Savvy Sam as the face of Your Benefits and created a brand to have consistency in their communications to colleagues. Sam is a friendly reminder of what is available to colleagues and where to find their benefits. Sam's website has been set up for each colleague to provide a place where they can get discounts with external businesses online, read about Society news, see what events are coming up, hear about new benefit schemes, enter monthly competitions and chat to other colleagues across all of the businesses on the forum.

Leadership

84% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

In 2011 their colleagues elected Women's Aid as their two year charity partner. Selecting a domestic violence charity was a brave and unusual choice for a retail business; indeed it was a first for Women's Aid. As is usual, the partnership had a particular emphasis on raising funds. Soon into the partnership it became very clear that this was so much more than fundraising. This was an opportunity to help change behaviour and to raise awareness of the impact of domestic violence to their colleagues, members, customers and the wider community. It became about helping to break the cycle of two women dying each week as a result of domestic violence. When the partnership ended in February 2013 they had raised £345,000; given 22,741 hours of volunteering time (10,959 of these in the West Midlands area); changed their internal policies to recognise domestic violence and trained their HR team to support colleagues in need; supported a national Women's Aid campaign collecting 24,000 signatures helping Women's Aid to surpass their 2011 target of 10,000 signatures and created an educational toolkit for Women's Aid to use nationally in schools to break the cycle of abuse before it happens. Their work has helped Women's Aid to raise their profile nationally and their partnership has been recognised through the achievement of national awards.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
Total number of employees
Number of UK locations
Employee average age
Male : Female employee ratio
Employees earning £35k+
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

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