As vice president of human resources (HR) at Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz, Stephanie Doliveira has been instrumental in driving employee engagement, developing the brand’s core values, boosting employee benefits and retention and helping Sheetz earn a spot on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list in 2020.
CStore Decisions is recognizing Doliveira as part of our HR awards for her strategic planning and execution of employee-related initiatives, from talent development and succession planning to employee relations and engagement.
An HR veteran, Doliveira graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in labor and industrial relations and continued on to law school, receiving a Juris Doctor from Widener University. She started out as an attorney, focusing her practice on labor and employment law. Nineteen years ago, she joined Sheetz as a human resources manager, and seven years later, she became the vice president of HR. What she loves most about her current role is her ability to make a difference in employees’ lives at Sheetz, which operates 600 stores in six states.
“I also love our annual employee recognition event, SheetzFest, where we honor our hard-working employees on their milestone anniversaries with Sheetz. Our employees are our most valuable asset, and it’s important we take time to celebrate them and their contributions to the company,” Doliveira said.
Doliveira was part of a team that introduced Sheetz DNA, an initiative that has formed a lasting impact on Sheetz’s culture by outlining seven characteristics that make up Sheetz’s values.
“These seven values are at the core of what we do: Driven to Win, Connected, High Energy, Pioneering, Dependable, Real and, at the heart of it all, Respect. We show respect for our customers and for each other,” Doliveira said. “The entire Sheetz organization embraced the declaration of these DNA markers to help define our culture. These values guide us every day in the way we approach our work, our interaction with customers, our product offerings and store design, the attitude we display, our community involvement and all the ways we excel with our growth strategy and as an industry leader.”
Doliveira played a key role in Sheetz’s recent initiative to ensure eligible new mothers receive 12 weeks of maternity leave at 100% pay from the day their child is born. “As a mother, I know how hard it is to balance work and parenthood,” she said. “This is one step to help our employees to balance it all. We are currently evaluating other paid leave programs for fathers, adoptive parents and for other family circumstances.”
From an HR perspective, Sheetz is committed to investing in its people, providing competitive wages and substantial benefits, flexible schedules, tuition reimbursement, quarterly bonuses, vacation time and career growth opportunities. That commitment earned it a spot on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list for the fifth year in a row in 2020.
Sheetz doubled down on its commitment to employees by investing $16.8 million in store employee wages last fall.
“As a family-owned and operated business, it’s important at Sheetz to ensure we are providing not just competitive wages but building a culture where employees feel valued. It’s also important to us to make employment at Sheetz not just a job but a career,” Doliveira said.
Sheetz’s investment in wages also coincided with a move to shift more store employees from part-time to full-time work. While this makes Sheetz an outlier in a retail industry known for relying mainly on part-time frontline employees, Sheetz believes full-time employees are more engaged.
“By working more hours, employees earn more and gain full benefits, which are given to those who put in 30 or more hours a week,” Doliveira said. “This also allows for better scheduling opportunities to support a strong work-life balance. This move is a win for both employees and customers.”