We live in a time-pressed, stressful society, filled with uncertainty in the job market, the economy, competition, etc. A large percentage of employees admit to being unhappy with and mentally disengaged from their jobs.
Recent research shows that among the least happy and least engaged employees, the annual per-person cost of lost productivity due to sick days is more than $28,000, versus only $840 among the happiest and most engaged employees.
Furthermore, job stress itself is estimated to cost U.S. industry at least $300 billion a year in absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover and direct medical, legal and insurance fees.
Add into that the national minimum wage movement endorsed—if not enabled by President Obama and the growing labor union lobby—and retailers could find themselves required by law to pay employees upward of $15 an hour. In an industry that relies on penny margins and high volume, this is a scary thought.
Finding the Best
To help retailers better manage their workforce and understand what employees are looking for in an employer, Convenience Store Decisions partnered again with Humetrics for our seventh annual human resources survey.
The goal is to help the industry make exceptional hiring decisions so they are not burning through capital recruiting and training employees that do not stick around for the long term.
The good news is that despite the very public battles chains like McDonald’s and Walmart are facing in the mainstream media over their hourly wage, turnover at c-stores appears to be dropping to historic lows, and there is your biggest opportunity.
After all those years of sometimes having to settle for the first warm body who walked in the door, you finally get a chance to be really picky about whom you hire.
“To keep a person of this quality long-term, you have to let them know up front that while convenience retailing has never been an industry of choice, it is an industry of great opportunity,” Humetrics President Mel Kleiman said. “Tell them about your career path and other company success stories. Keep your hiring standards high, get the best people you can in the door, and then get them excited about the industry and the challenges to be met.”
After all, despite any preconceived conception an outsider may have of the convenience store industry, ours is indeed an industry of opportunity. Just think about how many executives, category managers and district managers you have met in this industry that said they took a summer job out of college or high school and 15 years later they’re still here.
The familial nature of the industry and the ability to connect with customers and the company they work for is very appealing to employees that want to be part of something special. That’s your hook. The hard part is now identifying who these people are and going out and finding them. Turn to page 18 to view this month’s cover story.
While this is our annual human resources issue, I would be remiss not to mention the addition of Fran Duskiewicz to the Convenience Store Decisions team. He will be writing a monthly column and serving as a content advisor across all CSD products.
I have known Fran for almost 20 years as John MacDougall’s retail lieutenant and confidant at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes and got to spend quite a bit of time alone with John and Fran when Nice N Easy was selected as CSD’s 2009 Chain of the Year.
He is intelligent, thoughtful and possesses decades of valuable industry experience. He will provide our readers with a unique insider’s perspective on a host of operational areas that can help chains of all sizes improve their business. I hope you will find his column a must-read each month.
You can read Fran’s inaugural column on the sale of Nice N Easy on page 66. He can be reached at [email protected].