Sheetz becomes an even better place to work

Discussion
Image: Sheetz video
Jan 14, 2016

Sheetz, the 500+ convenience store chain based in Pennsylvania, has a pretty good reputation as an employer. That rep is likely to get a boost following the company’s announcement on Tuesday that it will raise its minimum wage for associates, shift supervisors and assistant managers.

“We’re committed to attracting, retaining and developing the best people. We believe that paying wages at the upper end of the retail scale is necessary to achieve that goal,” said Stephanie Doliveira, vice president of human resources at Sheetz, in a statement. “In addition to paying competitive wages, we provide our employees with increases based upon tenure, access to health insurance, quarterly bonuses, college tuition reimbursement, adoption assistance and paid time off, among many other benefits, continuing to prove that Sheetz strives to be a great place to work.”

The family-owned chain, which was already paying a higher starting wage than the federal minimum, plans to take its base pay rates to $10 an hour for sale associates this month. It will also up its starting wages to $13 an hour for shift supervisors and $16 for assistant managers.

“While other businesses in the industry might have to cut back on employee hours or new hires as a result of wage increases, Sheetz is working hard to provide full time hours to as many employees as possible, providing them with an opportunity to earn more and secure health benefits,” said Ms. Doliveira.

Sheetz was one of two convenience chains, the other being QuikTrip, that made Fortune’s list of “The 20 Best Workplaces in Retail.” On Glassdoor, it earned a rating of 3.6 stars out of five with 73 percent saying they would recommend working at the chain to a friend.

How important is staff performance in convenience stores, relative to other retail channels? What effect will the announcement by Sheetz have on its job applicant pool and retention numbers?

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Braintrust
"Sheetz gets the bouquet of the day! The norm (paying as little as possible to front-line staff) is going to seem like the dark ages pretty soon, or so I hope. Front-line staff are becoming more important every day."
"To achieve that "wow" customer experience, it’s important to have store associates who are an integral part of the process. Sheetz has repeated contact with loyal customers, and it only makes sense to let those associates know how valued they are."
"Employee turnover in convenience stores can roam between 100% - 300% per year. Part-time employees are the largest members of these groups. Sheetz’s belief that they have to Obtain, Maintain, and Retain strong talent to serve their customers clearly calls out the objectives of the organization."

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10 Comments on "Sheetz becomes an even better place to work"


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Max Goldberg
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

This is an example of how retailers should treat their employees and should help them recruit and retain employees. Staff performance is important in any retail channel and Sheetz is showing that treating employees with respect (by helping to take care of their financial and health needs) is a viable option. I hope other retailers follow their Sheetz’s lead.

David Livingston
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

Sheetz is no different than any other retailer than puts more emphasis on quality employees. Sheetz is not a charity. You get what you pay for. Don’t expect Sheetz to rescue anyone from Walmart or McDonald’s. Sheetz has higher standards. Maybe not as high as Costco, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, The Container Store or Whole Foods, but not as low as Walmart. Overall this announcement won’t amount to much. Working in a high-volume convenience store has to be a difficult job. Imagine it’s 3 A.M. and a difficult area? Big responsibility so you need quality staff and to be willing to pay for it.

Kevin Graff
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

Sheetz gets the bouquet of the day! The norm (paying as little as possible to front-line staff) is going to seem like the dark ages pretty soon, or so I hope. Front-line staff are becoming more important every day as consumers become both more educated and demanding due to the presence of online shopping and increased competition levels. It’s the front-line staff that are essential to providing a great shopping experience in all stores, including convenience stores.

A better quality of applicant, decreased staff turnover and improved productivity will easily pay for the increase in pay rates. Here’s hoping that other retailers, especially those making millions, take note and follow suit.

Cathy Hotka
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

To achieve that “wow” customer experience, it’s important to have store associates who are an integral part of the process. Companies like The Container Store understand this. Sheetz has repeated contact with loyal customers, and it only makes sense to let those associates know how valued they are. Let’s hope the competition does this too.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

Staff turnover in c-stores is the one area that has not been addressed with any seriousness. I applaud what Sheetz is doing. But I can’t help wondering if it will make a significant difference. My hope is that my trepidation is unfounded.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

Bravo! for something close to a living wage.

I have never seen much “staff performance” with regard to customer interaction in a convenience store. Just give me a friendly face and I am satisfied. (That is itself is a 50/50 proposition).

But operating a convenience store is surprisingly complex and the process is all about performance. This is where the win is.

Mel Kleiman
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

WOW for Sheetz: Win, win for everyone. Once again Sheetz leads the way. The effect is going to be felt in a number of ways.

  1. Reduced turnover means lower training cost and better-trained employees.
  2. Higher customer satisfaction scores which means more returning customers and higher inside store sales.
  3. Greater employee satisfaction.
  4. Great PR which says we are not only a great place to shop but also a great place to work.

Sheetz CARES.

Roger Saunders
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

As with quick service restaurants, employee turnover in convenience stores can roam between 100% – 300% per year. Part-time employees are the largest members of these groups.

Sheetz’s belief that they have to Obtain, Maintain, and Retain strong talent to serve their customers clearly calls out the objectives of the organization. By taking matters to the reward/recognition stage, and providing increased full time opportunities and greater earnings potential, Sheetz is maintaining course in being recognized as a Best Place to Work.

Not familiar with their employee retention levels, but wouldn’t be surprised if this move put them in position to have annual employee turnover of 25%. Better experienced associates deliver better service, help run better stores, are more knowledgeable employees, run cleaner operations, and offer greater value to customers.

Smart move on Sheetz family of employees !

Steve Montgomery
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

A c-store customer shops the “their” store(s) far more often than in typical retail locations. The exception might be a coffee shop. Heavy users are in the store 3 or more times a week — something you don’t see in a department store.

The employees can build relationships with their customers because they interact with them, learn their purchase patterns, get to know them as individuals, etc. I have seen customers build such strong relationships with a manger that if the manager gets transferred to a nearby store, the customer will change “their” store to the new location.

Sheetz already enjoys a great manager retention rates. They also have better non-managerial employees than the majority of c-stores. The announced changes will help then in recruitment and retention of both groups. The employees earn more in wages and the managers deal with less turnover.

Karen McNeely
Guest
6 years 4 months ago

When I replied to the poll, my initial thought was staff performance in department stores would be more important that convenience stores, since convenience store’s products are pretty straight forward and don’t require salesmanship etc. Afterward I thought, who am I kidding, with the exception of Nordstroms and luxury retailers, the day of a true sales associate are long gone.

That said, I don’t know any employer who would prefer to have sub-par performances from their staff. This pay rate should enable Sheetz to hire associates who will meet a higher standard and potentially keep them with opportunities to grow within the organization.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Sheetz gets the bouquet of the day! The norm (paying as little as possible to front-line staff) is going to seem like the dark ages pretty soon, or so I hope. Front-line staff are becoming more important every day."
"To achieve that "wow" customer experience, it’s important to have store associates who are an integral part of the process. Sheetz has repeated contact with loyal customers, and it only makes sense to let those associates know how valued they are."
"Employee turnover in convenience stores can roam between 100% - 300% per year. Part-time employees are the largest members of these groups. Sheetz’s belief that they have to Obtain, Maintain, and Retain strong talent to serve their customers clearly calls out the objectives of the organization."

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