Manager’s Message: Driving the Co-op Culture

Manager’s Message: Driving the Co-op Culture

Staying In Our Own Lane

“Corporate culture” is a buzz phrase that’s been around a while. Lately, it’s been used by co-ops, too, only we call it “co-op culture.”

And now, you’re probably wondering why it should matter to you, as a member of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative?

Our co-op culture is our way of working together, something that gives people a “feel” for the co-op, from the inside as a participant or from the outside as a guest or observer. It’s based on our shared attitudes and beliefs, on the 7 cooperative principles followed worldwide, and on the written and unwritten rules that have developed in our 75 years of existence.

Our culture determines what is considered right or wrong, important or unimportant, workable or unworkable, and it guides how we respond to the unexpected – crises or sudden change.

For instance, when we refer to our culture of safety, we mean this statement of policy from Board Policy 201:

“The safety of its employees is a matter of vital concern to the Cooperative.  It is a matter of policy that protective equipment will be supplied and used wherever necessary, and that no service to be rendered ever becomes of such importance that an employee be knowingly endangered.”

Culture determines how we treat each other and work together. One of the best descriptions used recently is “stay in our own lane.” What that really means is that each of us – board member, employees, and members – have our own set of responsibilities and we should focus on those, rather than getting distracted by what’s going on in someone else’s area.

Board elections, which you can read about on the next page, are one “lane” of responsibility. They’re important because HomeWorks Tri-County’s co-op culture starts with the board of directors. These seven men and women provide the direction that makes sure we’re meeting your needs.

The board sets the policies which guide our everyday behaviors, from working safely to making our member-owners the focus of our work. By listening to you, our members, they can tell what’s working and what isn’t, and which areas need more attention.

You have your own lane of responsibility that contributes to the co-op’s culture. When you come to meetings, volunteer to be a delegate and attend the annual meeting, step up to be a district officer, or serve your neighbors as a district director, you are saying your cooperative is important to you.

For 75 years, we’ve been fortunate to have a strong core of members who value their cooperative. Your participation and support will continue that tradition and determine HomeWorks Tri-County’s co-op culture for the next 75 years.

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