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War for Talent: Rating Employee Happiness

Are beefier paychecks and more hours the solution?

CHICAGO -- Although most c-store workers are satisfied with their jobs, respondents say a beefier paycheck and more hours would improve job satisfaction. And retailers have responded: Sixty-six percent reported increasing hourly wages. But the next factor that would make heading into work a little bit easier is far cheaper than a pay raise: being nice.

Company culture and work environment is so vital that respondents ranked it above “flexible hours” and “career advancement” in a list of job attributes, with 86% of respondents indicating culture and environment as important to them.

Victory Marketing’s Sprint Mart, Ridgeland, Miss., which runs 82 stores in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, works to win employees over with appreciation days, giving away TVs, grills, laptop computers and more in a drawing open to all who attend. Best-in-class employer QuikTrip provides employees additional support via the Tulsa, Okla.-based chain’s help desk. The service is available 24 hours a day to field questions on topics such as the security of a store or the annoying problems that make a workday exhausting, such as malfunctioning machines.

At Family Express Corp., team members are encouraged to bring their concerns to top leaders in the company. “We discourage that hierarchy,” said Alex Olympidis, president of operations for the Valparaiso, Ind.-based chain, at CSP’s Outlook Leadership Conference in November. “It doesn’t matter who you go to; someone is going to care enough to help you solve a problem.”

More flexible scheduling is another way to improve satisfaction scores, according to the report. Family Express has a strict policy of two weeks’ notice for leave or resignation, but sick family members and other emergencies are the exception.

“If you leave to take care of a sick family member, how pious can we be?” Olympidis said. “We welcome them back.”

When given the option, many workers will opt for stability over a few extra dollars an hour, he said. The convenience-store chain works to provide employees their schedules more than a month out using time-motion analytics and customer traffic count. And when stores do need an extra hand, Family Express won’t call team members who are enjoying their day off. Instead, district managers help fill in the gaps.

Source: Technomic’s Winning the War for Talent Report, sponsored by DirecTV 

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