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Kwik Trip's Minnesota Honor

Chain named No. 3 in ranking of the top large-company workplaces in the state

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- The Kwik Trip chain of convenience stores added yet another title to its growing list of honors, this one is third place in the Star Tribune's annual ranking of the top large-company workplaces in Minnesota.

The first time earning a spot on the list of 25 companies, Kwik Trip was noted for its employee loyalty and retention, each driven, in part, by a benefits package that includes profit sharing. Under the plan, according to the newspaper report, 40% of pretax profits are distributed to full-time and part-time employees. Last year, that resulted [image-nocss] in a 9% year-end bonus plus a 4.5% company contribution to individual 401(k) plans. Full-time employees also get a cut of Kwik Trip's real-estate holdings in the form of shares after five years of service.

"We are appreciated. There are great benefits, great pay, opportunities with great leaders and co-workers," one Kwik Trip employee told the newspaper.

"We have no history of layoffs," John McHugh, manager of corporate communications and leadership development for Kwik Trip, told the newspaper. "Our turnover rate is less than 25%, which is pretty incredible for the convenience industry, where turnover is nearly 100%."

And most of Kwik Trip's management team was promoted from within. Vice president of operations Greg Olson, of Winona, Minn., started as a store leader. Todd Williamson also started as a store leader and now is a district leader for the Twin Cities region.

Another feature favored by employees of the La Crosse, Wis.-based company is scheduling flexibility, including paid personal time off. Kwik Trip also allows employees, such as part-time college students, to work at different stores so when they are home from college they can work in their hometown Kwik Trip.

Desir ae Goret works at the Kwik Trip in Eagan, Minn., when she's not attending Concordia University in Moorhead, Minn. "When I first got the job, I was just so excited to go to work," Goret said. "I was even having dreams about Kwik Trip."

Kwik Trip was founded in 1965 and operates in three states: Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. It has 9,800 employees in 407 stores across its system, with 100 stores and 2,287 employees in Minnesota. It also operates under the Kwik Star banner.

Kwik Trip also emphasizes having an environmentally compatible workplace. Its green initiatives range from "Milk-in-a-Bag" to reduce the package waste of milk containers to electric-car rechargers and recycled car-wash water, which is sprayed on the undercarriage of vehicles.

Last year the chain received more than 90,000 applications for 700 openings. Last month, the company topped the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's large-employer category of its second annual Top 100 Workplaces, as previously reported in CSP Daily News.

"We see everything under the sun," McHugh said. "We have college grads; we have high-school grads. A lot are full time. Some start as part time and never leave."

The Star Tribune's list is compiled by WorkplaceDynamics.

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