Industry Leaders Identify Ways C-stores Can Become Employers of Choice

Convenience Leaders Vision Group highlights initiatives retailers can use to better retain employees, such as mentorship programs and mental health support.
motivating employees

AUTIN, TX — A recent Vision Report from the Convenience Leaders Vision Group (CLVG) examined workforce challenges in the convenience and fuel retailing industry while discussing ways to recruit and retain employees. 

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The report was based on CLVG's quarterly virtual meeting from January, which featured Michael Sansolo, research director with the Coca-Cola Retailing Research, Convenience and Supermarket Councils, sharing insights from a recent Coca-Cola Retailing research Council (CCRRC) study that examined worker retention in convenience retailing. 

The discussion emphasized the importance of building a robust worker pipeline, enhancing the industry's appeal to potential employees and effectively communicating with employees while also acknowledging some of the challenges employees faced, such as transportation barriers, safety concerns and flexible scheduling. 

Key takeaways from the report included:

Workforce Challenges Post-COVID — The CCRRC study found that workers in general, regardless of age, tend to favor gig work like ride sharing and food delivery, perceiving greater scheduling control over working in a store.

Expanding the Persuadable Applicant Pool — According to Sansolo, the council study found approximately 23% of the population could be persuaded to pursue a career in convenience.  The study recommended looking beyond traditional applicants and targeting healthcare workers, teachers and students as potential frontline employees.

Onboarding, Engagement and Training — CLVG emphasized the importance of frontline managers in recruiting and retention efforts, along with strategies to improve those efforts,  including mentor programs, better communication and constant feedback loops.

Cleaning Up the Industry Image — Raising the industry's appeal as an employer of choice was deemed necessary as well as the importance of creating positive store experiences. The importance of image enhancement campaigns, potentially involving celebrity influencers, was suggested to improve the industry's appeal as an employer of choice.

Mental Health Support and Kindness Campaigns — Vision Group Network Co-Founder and President of Kressner Strategy Group Myra Kressner raised the issue of store managers dealing with mental health-related incidents among employees and customers, prompting a discussion about the need for training in handling such situations. Mental health support and kindness campaigns emerged as critical considerations for employee well-being.

More information on the CLVG presentation, as well as the full report, can be found here.

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The Convenience Leaders Vision Group brings together convenience retail icons and trailblazers through quarterly virtual meetings. During these sessions, members identify trends, challenges and disruptions in retail as well as possible solutions and opportunities. CLVG operates under the Vision Group Network, which gathers the collective knowledge and ideas of its members to create a legacy of sharing within the retail community.

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