In today’s tight labor market, finding new strategies to boost hiring and retention is key. At Weigel’s, based in Powell, Tenn., we’re changing our store employees’ work schedules to help combat the labor environment we’ve witnessed over these past three years.
We’re giving full-time, hourly employees the option of choosing a four-day workweek — instead of the usual five-day workweek — as well as offering employees a fixed weekly schedule.
This seemed like the perfect time to make this option available to our employees. With the number of job openings still higher than the number of workers available to fill roles, our human resources department knew we had to make a change or continue to fight an uphill battle. We realized that by offering flexibility in our scheduling options, we’d attract talent from markets previously left untapped.
We started the program in January 2022 in our test district. We saw turnover reduced by 45% from January to present day in the test district. Given the success in the test market, we rolled the program out companywide in August 2022. The new program has not only resulted in a reduction in turnover, but also fewer call outs and happier employees. Store leaders have also noted a bump in overall store morale too.
Store Leaders See Success
“I think (the four-day workweek) is a great idea to get everyone on board,” noted Weigel’s Store Leader Daniel Jones. “It has helped with a lot of staffing issues and has given us an advantage over other companies out there in recruiting and hiring talent.”
The extra day off gives employees the ability to plan their time in a way that makes sense for them. The change has been met with very positive feedback from Weigel’s employees. Some said that they enjoy having the extra day off because it allows them to run errands that they otherwise didn’t have time for such as personal appointments and trips to the bank, or just time to unwind, relax and get ready for their next shift. Others said they love the extra time they are getting to spend with their family.
“My employees absolutely love it,” added Weigel’s Store Leader Ariel Hunley. “I think it is very beneficial when it comes to keeping employees. Who wouldn’t want to be able to get their hours in four days and have three to recoup and take care of family?”
“Our employees are happy to come back to work after having three consecutive days off,” added Weigel’s Store Leader Liz Gatrell. “They are refreshed and ready to take on whatever the shift has in store for them with a positive attitude.”
Weigel’s is a family-owned and -operated east Tennessee business with 72 convenience stores, a dairy and a bakery. The bright, spacious stores represent state-of-the-art convenience retailing and pride themselves on premium customer service and locally sourced products.
Melanie Disney is the director of human resources for Weigel’s. Disney has been instrumental in transforming the culture and talent at Weigel’s.