Calgary Co-op

Calgary Co-op.

What's the real difference between 4.85 and 5.03?

Too often organizations are faced with data that doesn’t tell them a whole lot about how they’re engaging with their people. Even more troubling is when they are told that they’re doing a good job engaging x%. Unfortunately, employees aren’t data points; employees are people and engagement is realistically a matter of degrees.

Calgary Co-op is a major brand in southern Alberta with over 460,000 members and sales over $1.2 billion. What’s key to Co-op’s long-term success? Delivering exceptional experiences to its customers — this is a function of Co-op’s people. Co-op has a serious interest in making sure its over 4,000 employees are vested in the brand and engaged for organizational success.

Stone-Olafson worked with Co-op to transition their employee research from an old-fashioned, paper driven research approach that delivered basic engagement scores to an online approach that focused on isolating the factors driving employee experiences. Our methodology employed custom online survey tools and advanced analytics to deliver a common sense approach to understanding engagement.

At its highest level, research outcomes shifted leadership thinking from achieving a ‘score’ to understanding the degrees to which people are connected. In looking at employee connections in this way, leaders of all kinds were able to work on making people more engaged. On a more practical level, results not only showed the degree to which people are connected, but isolated the variables of employee life that were deemed most important. By focusing on these elements, Co-op was able to invest in recognition, training and culture initiatives that were likely to make a difference. Lastly, our approach did not end with the delivery of a final report — it included working sessions with key leaders to help them develop practical solutions.

Over the past four years, Co-op has grown engagement in a meaningful way, increasing overall employee perceptions by 94%. This positive trend is widespread, with virtually every location seeing improvements. Not only are their people better connected with the organization, but their overall revenue has increased too — further reinforcing the importance of cultivating employee engagement.

Bottom Line:
Stone-Olafson has helped Calgary Co-op grow engagement with its people by focusing on what’s most important — not just a score.