Thinking in a new way propelled Weigel’s hiring and retention strategy in the right direction, says Melanie Wilson Disney, human resources director. During the pandemic, “we went straight to our employees. We communicated with them directly,” she says.

Open communication helped the Powell, Tenn.-based company to understand that its employees wanted a better work-life balance.

“We went outside that box and the four-day work week was one of the most important initiatives I think we pushed out because it did give that flexibility, and we had so many people that wanted to take it,” she says. “It’s also a fixed schedule, which in retail is almost unheard of because it’s so fluid.”

Weigel’s also implemented on-demand pay, which grants employees access to their full paycheck.

“We see an increase in usage when gas prices go up when inflation hits,” Disney says. “When gas prices start to settle, usage starts to come down. People are using it in emergency situations and when they really need it.”