The 12th annual CSD/Humetrics HR Benchmarking Survey outlines how c-stores are responding to today’s human resources challenges, as COVID-19 presents never-before-seen obstacles.
CStore Decisions’ and Humetrics’ 12th annual Human Resources (HR) Benchmarking Survey polled c-store retailers — between Jan. 5 and March 2, 2020 — on top HR challenges and evolving practices. Already, some c-store retailers saw COVID-19 as a possible headwind.
Asked about challenges ahead, one respondent pointed to “disruption due to the coronavirus; not just from a customer or employee perspective, but we have concerns about our various supply chain partners — food, ingredients, etc. — who may be impacted. Not to mention, if we have to shut down a store or our other facilities.”
In the days since our survey concluded, the COVID-19 pandemic became global headline news, with the U.S. and other countries declaring national emergencies. Shoppers rushed to stockpile food and toilet paper ahead of self-quarantine measures, as schools, restaurants and bars were ordered to close in several states to help slow the spread of the virus and give hospitals a chance to cope.
Unsurprisingly, convenience stores could be seen leading by example on the HR front.
While major business disruptions are inevitable, opportunity exists for positive growth, customer retention, employee involvement, as well as positive PR for your company and the industry. While it has been discredited of late, the idea that the Chinese symbol for “danger” also means “opportunity” has not been dislodged because it does make sense.
For example, is there something you can offer to support parents while their children are not in school? Can you offer delivery services or curbside pickup? If you’re out of hand sanitizer, find a DIY recipe online and hand out copies to your customers.
Humetrics does not expect to see major cuts in c-store employment. If you’re in a hiring mode, promote your ability to offer stable, steady employment. This is also a great time to make sure you have only team players on your payroll. Play up the idea “We’re all in this together” — owners, managers, employees and customers. Consider: How might you turn this crisis into an opportunity?