What Makes Sheetz One of the 'Best'? (Video)

Retailer shares key to its Fortune "Best Companies to Work For" win

Joe S. Sheetz

Joe S. Sheetz

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Following Sheetz Inc. being named to Fortune magazine's annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the first time, executives shared some of the secrets of the convenience retailer's success.

No stranger to taking a well-deserved place--often first--on state lists in the regions where it operates, Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz debuted at No. 87 on the 2014 national list.

"We are really proud that we've created a place that people feel good about coming to every day," said president and CEO Joe S. Sheetz. "We work very hard to constantly improve the work lives of our associates."

Click here to watch Joe Sheetz announce the achievement to the company.

"This honor is actually a really big deal for us," Sheetz said in an additional video interview (see embedded video). "It's something that has been on our radar for probably five or six years. … But we couldn't have done it … without our employees."

In a separate video interview (see embedded video), Earl Springer, manager of employee programs for the Sheetz chain, provided insight into how the company tracks employee feedback. He said it does internal employee surveys twice a year about the work environment. "We're constantly monitoring to find out what our employees feel and what we can improve upon," he said.

Maintaining and advancing workplace practices and environment is especially challenging for a company like Sheetz, said the company, which currently has just more than 15,000 employees working at 466 stores, corporate offices and support sites.

"Because of our size we work that much harder to implement comparable and attractive benefits for all," said Sheetz. "Our team has been pretty creative though, developing practices that are a custom fit for our family of employees."

Sheetz consistently lands on state-level lists of best places to work. Four of the six states where Sheetz operates have competitions and the retailer is ranked in all of them. It has made the list in Pennsylvania 12 times in a row--the only company in the state to do so--and it hold spots in Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.

What makes Sheetz a "best place to work":

  • About 83% of current store managers were promoted from within; 68% of them started their Sheetz careers at an entry-level, hourly position.
  • Employees who work part time for Sheetz can be eligible for benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance, 401(k), employee stock ownership and a quarterly bonus.
  • The company's wages are in the top 10% of all retailers, and employees received more than $40 million in bonus money last year.
  • The company rewards great work. Rewards have included two-day, all-expenses-paid resort retreats for employees celebrating service milestones and attendance at annual management conferences, typically held in warm-weather locations. Smaller rewards have included Show the Love Kits with posters, pins, cards and coupons that make it easy for employees to recognize coworkers for events in their lives and day-to-day on-the-job excellence.
  • Sheetz employees say participation in fundraising and event planning for corporate charitable endeavors is one of their favorite things about working there. The retailer supports several corporate charities, as well as thousands of smaller projects in the more than 460 communities where it operates. Employees who demonstrate exceptional passion for community service are eligible for the annual Dan McMahon Spirit of Giving Award, and those who direct their passions specifically to Sheetz Family Charities program are eligible to be nominated to the Wish Givers Club, which sends winners to Give Kids the World Village in Orlando, Fla., to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Click here to read the "inside story" on Sheetz's "Best Companies" ranking, including detail on perks and hiring, as well as to read what employees say about their company.

Each company earned its place on the list for its workplace practices, policies and procedures, and from employee feedback on company culture and work environment that Fortune gathered through independent surveys.

With more than $6 billion in annual revenue, Sheetz operates 466 locations throughout Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia.