CStore Decisions and Humetrics, for the 13th consecutive year, have collaborated on the annual Human Resources (HR) Benchmarking Survey, which polled c-store retailers between Jan. 4 and March 1, 2021, about HR practices, labor challenges and headwinds.
Given the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the past 12 months have brought unprecedented operational and staffing hurdles — with recruiting topping the list of concerns for retailers — leaving c-store operators to test new best practices and employee incentives.
If we were to bestow a Crystal Ball Award for best predictions, it would go to the respondent who submitted this comment when asked about challenges early last year — well before we understood what we were in for in 2020: “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.”
As the pandemic and lockdowns began last spring, some c-store retailers implemented hazard pay for employees to the tune of $2-$3 an hour while, as the following summary results will show, most instituted safety precautions like masks, gloves, plexiglass shields and social distancing decals to keep employees and customers safe. Some, like Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz, with 600 stores in six states, offered additional paid time off (PTO) for employees who contracted the virus.