The Co-operators Group Ltd launched a national contest for all staff to build awareness for the International Year of Co-operatives. The main objective of this interactive contest is to increase staff understanding of the co-operative business model and demonstrate how these points of differentiation are advantageous in the competitive marketplace.

Contenders including staff, advisors and their staff from around the country, are vying to win the coveted trip to Manchester, England, where they will live the ultimate co-op experience. The contest involves a series of six challenges that will require the contestants to seek information, educate others and creatively communicate key co-operative messages to demonstrate that The Co-operators is clearly different and better as a result of its co-operative philosophy and structure.

An internal website that is accessible by staff members of the group of companies and agencies across the country was created to promote and support all aspects of the contest. It features contest details, rules and regulations and a comprehensive ‘Contenders Page’ that includes a photo and brief profile of each contestant. This is also the only location where challenges are unveiled throughout the contest and results are tabulated and posted.

To foster continued engagement for the duration of the contest, there are also plenty of opportunities for staff members who have not registered to get involved. They can join the panel of distinguished judges to be review and score submissions for two of the challenges. They can support their favourite contender by voting for one of the top five short listed submissions in the ‘fan poll’ and they will stay abreast of the contest status with the regularly updated ‘Leader Board’, two other features that are housed on the contest website.

This contest is yet another opportunity for staff at The Co-operators Group Ltd to celebrate IYC 2012 and embrace their co-operative heritage.