This is article two of three in the series.
Last month, I talked about the strategic plan our staff and directors developed to ensure a bright future for your co-op. My first column discussed some of the technological and financial issues we are exploring, as well as improvements we hope to make.
A key aspect of any plan is ensuring your co-op’s operations are as efficient and responsive as possible. That starts with making sure we have the right people with the right skills in all the right places. We’ve always done a great job of training new employees, but to get even better we’re formalizing the training process, so we don’t neglect any important areas. We’re also establishing parameters for how we recruit new employees. That way, the people we hire will be more apt to understand the co-op’s culture and will thrive.
One area of focus will be departmental collaboration. Working together within and through cross-departmental collaboration will be critical in developing employees that can foster the mission and commitment to our membership.
Just as important, we’re taking steps to make sure we are retaining our employees. We’re listening to what’s important to our team members and identifying how we can enhance their job satisfaction. In many organizations, employees don’t stay in the same role or even remain in the same organization for over 20 years. At the cooperative, we have employees who want to stay and grow with us. We are committed to creating succession plans for all areas of our operations so when an employee retires or leaves for other reasons, someone else will be ready to step up and handle their duties.
Another area of focus is safety. Safety has always been a priority for the cooperative. Working around electricity can be dangerous. That’s why all Kankakee Valley REMC employees follow safety protocols based on leading national safety practices for the electrical safety industry. Safety trainings are held year-round for all employees. In addition, our employees participate in the Commitment to Zero Contact initiative sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. This initiative provides resources to reduce or eliminate serious injuries due to electrical contact.
We are proud of our robust safety program, but safety can always be improved. We are committed to examining our current safety practices and finding more ways to involve all employees in maintaining a strong safety initiative.