I worked at Swarthmore Co-op part-time
Awesome committed staff, fun environment, there are always things to be done and you rarely feel bored, free samples, damaged or expired goods always up for grabs
Constantly changing management structure, very little consistency between departments, high turnover in every department, poorly structured responsibilities and expectations means your job description is always changing
Advice to Management
Restructure hierarchy and management to be consistent, provide support and incentives for upper management so the whole staff feels secure in their leadership, invest in building and layout changes for better organization
small town feel small store good neat and produce department
off the beaten track board of directors
The Co-Op is a fun place to work. The staff is very diverse and all are helpful and friendly.
The occasional negative co-worker that tris to bring others down.
discount and other employees are good
upper management needs much work, not dept managers
I worked at Swarthmore Co-op full-time (More than a year)
50% off shift meal discount
Great merchandise and knowledgeable staff, even with co-workers
Resume padder for as long as you can tolerate it
Incredibly heavy workload for the pay
Erratic scheduling and being treated like a jerk if you want a set schedule or expect two days off in a row (while others are allowed to work Mon-Fri, day shift only)
No understanding for personal issues or problems
HIGH turnover, even for management; I've been out for a few months and there are FIVE new managers/assistant managers (out of THIRTEEN!)... for those who can't do arithmetic, that means 38% of the managers have changed in less than a year. In the time I was there, there were at least 13 changes in management. The last time I counted, at least 35 people had come and gone over the course of 18 months. Management refuses to accept that they could be a big part of the problem.
Lots of meaningless token gestures; two examples that stick out are sexual harassment and diversity training that wasn't practiced by many members of upper management, and employee surveys that weren't addressed for months
Absolutely no consistency in the way people are treated
Management is so stuck on creating this perfect image of the company from an outside view that they will do anything to squelch dissent; I mean, come on, look at the counter-point reviews on this listing for proof of that!
Too many cons. Way too many cons
Advice to Management
Stop dangling carrots in front of employees' faces. Stop treating good, loyal, solid employees like they're stupid and don't know how to do their jobs. Talk to employees instead of labeling their legitimate complaints as "negativity." Advertise open positions within the company instead of making backdoor offers to select people. Stop expecting $15 an hour of work for only $10 and hour! Understand that employees have personal lives and guilt tripping them to come in on days off is a great way to breed resentment. In a similar vein, take employees' personal situations into consideration; there are multiple people working there who commute in from Philly, and it's not fair or right to expect them to run on 5 or 6 hours of sleep because they had to close one night, followed by opening shift the next morning. My current job is a 20 minute walk from home and it still sucks to have to close then open; I don't know how I did those shifts in Swarthmore on a (way too) regular basis.
Be consistent; don't dump heavy workloads on certain employees while allowing others to skate. Create better incentive programs for good employees, i.e., a set in stone program for raises, bonuses, or extra paid days off. Pitch in and show that you expect everyone -- yourselves included -- to be team players. Stop overwhelming employees with unrealistic workloads. Stop coming to Glassdoor to pad the reviews for this place with obvious cultspeak. Basically, think of the worst managers you ever worked for and STOP EMULATING THEM. When every fired employee says "I was relieved when they canned me," you are doing many things wrong. $10 an hour isn't worth gaining weight, having fistfuls of hair come out in the shower every morning, or making all your loved ones' lives miserable. Off the top of my head, I can count five separate instances of employees breaking down in tears due to treatment they received while there, and I broke down in tears several times when I worked there (which was incredibly embarrassing for me because I don't cry easily, especially in public). Though there are some decent and caring managers there, too many treat you like crap and don't understand why your attitude has gone downhill at work. As another reviewer touched on, I witnessed and experienced violations of labor law (which I won't discuss here because those are some pretty major accusations).
All in all, there is so much room for improvement at the Co-op, and it's a real shame, because many people there really care about the community, the products, and the customers, but upper management just kills their spirit.
I have been working at Swarthmore Co-op full-time (More than 3 years)
Great place to work
Opportunity to contribute your personal skills
Can adapt to allow your skills to develop
Close knit group of employees
Growing business has plenty of opportunity
Interesting things to do every day
Tough to advance due to employee retention though every concession is made to accommodate those who should be recognized
Small corporation can make competitive salaries difficult
I worked at Swarthmore Co-op part-time (Less than a year)
20 percent off, so it's like buying normal food!
Where do I begin?
As soon as you accept the job, you become a SLAVE. I can't even describe it, it's horrible. NO BENEFITS. NO work/life balance. NO recognition for hard work. NO raises. Erratic scheduling, and I mean it's literally all over the place. One day I had to be in at 12:15pm, and the Next 12:45? That's Insane. You'll be a barista, a cashier, a cleaner, and a grocery clerk for 8 dollars an hr! You are not considered FT unless you're 40 hours a week consistently. Most places are 32+. Also, enjoy the 30 hours for 6 days a week, that's always a fun time. Store manager hides in the office all day while his slaves are doing all the work. Might as well get a whip and take away the pay. I really believe this place needs to be checked out, they break SO many labor laws. I worked SO hard to be poor.. Now that I got a new job i realize how terrible this place is.. It haunts me.
Advice to Management
Find something else to do....
Opp to advance within
Positive work environment
Collaborative exchange between management and employees
People stay so it is hard to advance
1. Gain knowledge of local, and organic produce
2. Lots of regulars
3. Free Coffee
1. Low pay- almost impossible to get a raise
3. Erratic scheduling
4. No advancement oppurtunities
Advice to Management
Communicate with employees - give recognition and praise where it is deserved. When a position is open - look inside for those people first. This is the type of place that will use you for however long you can put up with erratic scheduling, an ALWAYS uptight atmosphere, and remembering PLUs and regulars customer #'s. The management basically sits in the office all day while people making $8/hr up front are constantly cleaning, brewing coffee, facing aisles. Its easy to become miserable working there which will lead to your termination because they only want ignorant, smiling faces. This job is ideal if you are in high school and don't need a real job.
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