Why a co-operative?
A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.
HF Holidays’ Board of Directors had adopted Co-operative UK’s Corporate Code of Conduct and the best practice policies. The Code has been designed for large retail co-operative societies; therefore some of the detailed activities are not appropriate to HF Holidays’ type of consumer society, this is recognised in the Code.
The Board has measured its current practices against the Code, determined where there are gaps and embarked on an ongoing programme to amend and develop best practice governance.
In May 2018, The Board established a Search Committee, supporting HF’s strategic goal number 14 ‘We will have a Board that is dedicated and informed, with balanced experience of HF Holidays and the wider leisure sector’.
The Search Committee’s survey of Board skills concluded that we have a very broad spread of knowledge on the Board, but it would be helpful to strengthen Board-level experience of the wider leisure and travel business. Looking forward, we would also like to strengthen our Board level experience of managing/ developing commercial property estates, and to deepen our understanding of the impact of social media and digital information technology on a business like ours. These skills gaps were publicised to the members via Footnotes.
Board performance was also reviewed during the year, using observer feedback and a self-assessment questionnaire. A number of actions are getting underway aimed at developing and enhancing best practice.