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    5 Steps to Build Your Convenience Store Brand

    Finding good employees is tough - which is why when one finally joins your team after a tedious process of interviewing, onboarding and training, we want them to stay with the company for a long time. Unfortunately, this happens less often than you’d think. A Gallup study revealed that 51% of currently employed adults in the US are searching for new jobs or watching for new job opportunities. 47% of participants believe that “now” is a good time to find a quality job. Needless to say, plenty of people are actively looking to jump ship and join another company.

    At this rate, many organizations simply accept high turnover as the norm. In the world of convenience stores, turnover rates are particularly high: 121% in 2017, improving slightly in 2018 to 118%. While many seem perfectly happy to accept this as the status quo, it doesn’t really mean that there’s nothing you can do on your part to improve this statistic.

    To understand why employees would leave a company, HR consultancy Kepner-Tregoe conducted a survey with 1,290 respondents. They found that 64% of the respondents believed that the company's management wasn't initiating programs to reduce turnover, or make the company more attractive to those seeking work. This means that employers themselves have a lot of work to do in order to increase retention rates. Here’s what you need to do.

    Build Your EVP 

    To attract and even retain the best hourly workers for your convenience stores, a business must first develop its own Employee Value Proposition (EVP). EVP is essentially a fancy term which is defined by the total value an employer offers to their employees in return for their work. It is more than tangible benefits like compensation and employee benefits. Rather, it is a mix of both tangible and intangible rewards that have no inherent monetary value, but keep employees feeling recognized and motivated. This can include a company culture that encourages autonomy, meaningful projects to work on, as well as flexible working hours.

    With all that in mind, here are five ways you can work on your EVP to help make your company more appealing in the eyes of potential quality hourly employees:

    1. Create an Encouraging Work Environment

    The daily workload is hard enough as it is, so don't make it more difficult for your hourly workers, many of whom are earning minimum wage. Making small changes in the way you communicate with them can go a long way. For example, instead of criticizing them for making small mistakes, turn it into an opportunity to talk about how they can improve. If an employee is underperforming, take the time to talk to them and understand the context of the situation before issuing a warning or memo. Instead of taking high quality work as the norm, thank your hourly employees for their hard work. 

    Even without actively marketing your company as one with an encouraging work environment, word will naturally spread as more people talk about the little ways you communicate fairly with your employees.

    2. Offer More Than Just Basic Compensation

    You don't have to break the bank just to offer competitive remuneration and benefits. Go the extra mile to show that you truly care for your hourly team in other ways. For example, Starbucks recently partnered with mental health platform Lyra Health to provide all its US employees and eligible partners with access to 20 free sessions with a mental health therapist. Meanwhile, the coffee giant also paid its employees for 30 days starting March 20 amidst the coronavirus outbreak. This is regardless of whether or not their employees show up for work. In doing so, the brand has really shown that it cares for its employees through its compensation programs. Another option that many employers consider standard is providing paid sick leave, which is already a huge help for your employees.

    Go ahead and be creative in how you can show your appreciation to your hourly workers. After all, you wouldn’t be a successful business owner if not for them.

    3. Develop a Great Company Culture

    Company culture can be defined as shared beliefs and values established by leaders. These are then communicated throughout the entire team and further reinforced. A strong company culture is vital for success

    To have a strong culture, one needs to be a values-based organization where the employees’ and company’s values are aligned. An example of a great organizational value is diversity, as it provides you with more perspectives from people from different backgrounds.

    4. Provide Career Stability

    Another way to make your business attractive is to offer your business as a springboard to a career. Offer resources for growth and advancement such as an onsite library, opportunities to attend seminars, classes, and conferences, and even career counselor visitations every quarter. You should also be able to show them a clear career progression path should they stay with you and do well.

    In January 2020, the fast-food giant launched its Archways to Careers app which connects employees to professionals at InsideTrack, a McDonald's partner and coaching organization. The app also builds on the Archways to Opportunity program which helps workers learn English, get a high school diploma, and provides financial aid for college tuition fees.

    5. Offer Flexibility

    Even if your business is dependent on having employees on site during specific hours, like a restaurant or retail store, you can still provide some flexibility in scheduling to allow them time off for family, school, and other activities. 

    You will attract more candidates and keep the employees you have longer when you help them balance both work and life activities. This will show that you care about their personal lives.

    Promote Your Brand and Culture

    Everyone is on the internet these days. So don’t be shy and go tell the world what an awesome employer you are! 

    Use social media to get the word out. Post job ads on Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to write about how great your EVP is (once you’ve put in the work to improve it, that is) and let your ideal prospects find their way to you. You can also post on online job boards such as Indeed and Craigslist. There, you can also write a detailed job description which talks about your company culture too.

    Workstream has helped other retail and grocery store chains improve their hiring process, such as Grocery Outlet, Sports Basement, and H&M. Schedule a demo with us to find out how to make our all-in-one automated hiring platform work for you. 

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    Nigel Seah

    Nigel is not just a marketer at Workstream, he is also a graduate of Psychology and Marketing of Singapore Management University. He has multiple experiences in various areas of marketing - advertising, email marketing, and content writing. Fun fact, prior to joining Workstream, he took a semester off school to intern at SAP in Brazil.

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