|GM Report: The Power of Commitment|
By Sabing Rhyne, General Manager
A workplace community where cooperative values are modeled – BFC Ends Statement #3.
Our leaders on the BFC Board of directors a couple of years ago worked hard on expressing a strategic goal for our organization that spoke to what they envisioned for us. In the words of the International Cooperative Alliance, “cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.”
To me, that means a place where all staff, regardless of position, work together to create and maintain access to goods and services for our community; where education and information are part of the air that we breathe; where we all take honest responsibility for our own actions; and caring and compassion are expressed throughout our work together.
We have policies to assist us in doing this as well as possible, and we have procedures to follow when we have disagreements, as inevitably happens when humans get together. We work hard at being fair and compassionate, while ensuring that we up our game and increase our expectations, as we exist in an industry that demands this— and you, our customers and owners, demand this as well, day in and day out. In order for us to be fair to each other, it is necessary to inspire our staff to do the best they can to shoulder the burden of our daily work. Sometimes, those decisions are extremely difficult. We are a union shop here at the Brattleboro Food Co-op, and our union partners work with our managers to balance the equitable application of our expectations across the entire staff.
Personnel matters are personal. We need this in our society to protect due process. Since you own this organization (and if you aren’t an owner, why not?), I know that you care deeply about what we do and how we do it. But we do have procedures in place to protect each other from human mistakes, and we truly are committed to expressly following these procedures, for everyone’s benefit. Thank you, as always, for your connection to this business that you own, and for your support.