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Roles and Responsibilities

The Roles in a Co-op

The roles in a co-op depend on how members choose to be connected to the business. Members, directors, and employees all have important roles to play in a co-op’s governance structure, but each is a little bit different. Here’s a look at the responsibilities inherent to the roles in a co-op.

Role of Members

  • follow the processes set out in the bylaws and policies
  • provide financing to the business by purchasing a membership share
  • support the business by using its services
  • encourage re-investment in the business
  • vote to elect the board of directors from the member-ownership
  • stay informed on the business’ activities
  • attend member-ownership meetings and participate in decision-making
  • get involved by serving on a committee
  • appoint an auditor at the annual meeting
  • hold the board of directors accountable

Role of Directors

  • provide leadership for the shareholders, staff, and committees
  • create policies and procedures that allow the business to operate efficiently
  • identify opportunities that will benefit the business
  • hire staff members that understand the purpose and goals of the business
  • oversee day-to-day operations and report to shareholders
  • work with staff to achieve the goals of the organization
  • maintain financial records, minutes, and a shareholder list
  • encourage shareholders to participate in the organization’s governance
  • monitor the overall performance of the business and develop strategies that enable staff to help the organization grow
  • approve new shareholder applications and ensure new shareholders understand their role in the continued success of the business

Role of Employees

  • carry out day-to-day business per board policies
  • report to the board of directors
  • learn more about co-operatives and the role the business has in its community
  • help the business achieve its objectives

Interested in learning more about what the roles in a co-op can do for your business? We’re here to help. Start by looking at what good governance can do for you.

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