The Co-operative

The Client: The Co-operative Group is a unique business democratically run by members to meet their common needs and aspirations.  Now one of the largest multi-retail organisations in the UK, it spans a wide and varied range of businesses, from Retail Food Stores to Funeralcare. With over 110,000 employees and turnover in excess of £10 billion it is a large organisation with a unique operating culture.

The Work We Did: The first piece of work we did was to help transform People Services. With circa 160 staff -People Services manages the whole employee life-cycle and is the HR administration function responsible for delivering support to the managers and employees throughout the Group. We worked with the head of the function acting as trusted adviser, facilitator and coach to the senior leadership team actively supporting the change management of the function with hands-on,employee engagement support transferring skills and capabilities into the management team to ensure sustainability. This in a dramatic improvement in the quality and execution of their services as reflected in improved key performance indicators across all their service level indicators.

The Funeral Care business operates over 800 funeral homes across the country and employs over 4000 people. We worked with their senior leadership team on a number of assignments all aimed at improving the ways of working across this large, complex and geographically dispersed organisation. Examples of some of the work we did for this business include; using process improvement and people engagement techniques to helped re-design one of their critical and core business processes; using their ‘Client Promise’ to help the HR director and a multi-functional team of leaders and managers develop an employee promise designed to to progressively shift the operating culture from the historic norms towards a future-centric culture in line with the strategic aspirations of the business.

The Food Retail business has  around 2,800 stores throughout the UK. We worked with the Supply Chain leadership team helping them develop a functional strategy and set of key strategic tasks that was fit for the future and enabled them to deliver both the businesses challenging strategic aspirations and the current operational performance targets. This work involved helping the leadership team craft a compelling vision, mission and strategy for the function and develop a ‘plan on a page’ that gave the operational performance improvement initiatives a clear strategic mandate.