Working for a cooperative means working for people, not profits. It’s a concept that can take a little getting used to for new employees.
Here, we give you a little insight behind the employees you see during the introduction video shown at Annual Meeting.
Sally Meier, senior administrative assistant
“The ASAP committee was originally the Clerical Standards and Procedures Committee, established in 1995. The committee changed the name to the Administrative Standards and Procedures Committee in 2003, and in 2013 the committee was expanded to include all administrative support staff. In general, administrative support staff is generally the go-to person for questions for how/when/where questions co-workers may have. For new admin assistants to be able to answer those questions confidently, the standards and procedures manual is undergoing a major rewrite to include new technologies and introduce new systems that add consistency and efficiency to daily work flow. These improved procedures are intended to be simple to follow, saving staff time and, hopefully, the cooperative money.”
Jen Holen, supervisor of community and employee engagement
“BE Involved is an employee-driven group. So, anybody who wants to get involved, can. Employees bring ideas of different things that can get done, or get done better, and we do it. Employees step up to the plate time after time. Every time I start to think, people are starting to get tired, I hear of another new example where employees are volunteering or coming up with new ideas, wanting to help out in our community or with each other.”
Dan Job, facilities projects manager
“Currently at Basin Electric, we’re constructing building expansions. These expansions will correct several issues and add more space for employees. We have Headquarters employees stretched out across several locations, and this will bring all of them under one roof. … Our facilities staff is working very hard through this. They’re doing their day-to-day work on top of what needs to get done to get us through this major change. The days, weeks, and months are long, but the work is faster pace, and we’re adapting.”
Nicole Perreault, supervisor of graphics
“With the BE Well committee, we have representatives at all facilities and we work as a team to incorporate wellness amongst all employees. We gave employees flu kits at the beginning of the year, we put on FitBit challenges, we do a Wellness Week. Anybody is going to feel better if they’re healthy and working out on a continuous basis, and we want that for all employees. A healthier employee is a happier employee. I feel fortunate to work somewhere that encourages that.”
Tom Schwab, labor relations specialist
“I was a business manager with the union for years. I enjoy working with people and trying to solve problems. In this new job for me, I’m assisting with union negotiations at the facilities. The union tries to make sure things are done fairly, and I enjoy working on that. I want both sides to be able to walk away from the table feeling they had accomplished what they were looking for.”
Chris Gessele, staff writer
“What stuck out to me when I first got to Basin Electric was the concern about people: the concern about well-being, fitness, education, community service. I think businesses that provide quality services and quality products are kind of a dime a dozen. But cooperatives really do live the passion of improving the quality of life in the communities they live and work in.”