Remote work arrangements, such as work from home (WFH), have created challenges for some industries, including convenience stores (c-stores), in retaining talent. While c-stores typically require on-site staffing, the rise of remote work can indirectly affect their ability to attract and retain employees for several reasons:
- Competition for talent
Remote work has expanded the pool of job opportunities for workers, allowing them to consider positions in various industries and geographic locations. This increased competition can make it more challenging for c-stores to attract and retain talent, as workers have more options available to them.
- Desire for Flexibility
Remote work has heightened the desire for flexibility in work arrangements. Employees who have experienced the benefits of remote work may be less willing to accept rigid or inflexible schedules, which some c-stores may require due to their operational needs.
- Shift Preferences
C-store employees often work non-traditional hours, including evenings, nights, and weekends. Remote work may be particularly appealing to those who prefer standard daytime hours, making it more difficult for c-stores to staff these shifts.
- Work-Life Balance
Remote work can provide a better work-life balance, as it eliminates commuting time and allows employees to spend more time at home. C-store employees may find it more challenging to balance their personal lives with on-site work requirements.
- Remote Support Roles
While most c-store positions are customer-facing and require on-site presence, there are support roles (e.g., accounting, marketing, IT) that can potentially be performed remotely. If c-stores are not able to offer these remote options, they may lose talent to other industries that can.
- Employee Expectations
Remote work has influenced employee expectations regarding workplace flexibility and the ability to work remotely, even in positions where it’s not traditionally feasible.
Opportunities to improve employee retention
To address these challenges and increase employee retention in the face of remote work trends, c-stores can consider the following strategies:
- Offer flexible scheduling options where possible to accommodate employees’ preferences and improve work-life balance.
- Ensure that wages and benefits are competitive to attract and retain employees in the face of increased competition from remote work-friendly industries.
- Highlight the benefits of on-site work, such as a sense of community, opportunities for advancement, and customer interaction, to make c-store positions more appealing.
- Explore the feasibility of hybrid work models for roles that can accommodate remote work, such as administrative or support functions, to remain competitive in the labor market.
- Invest in training and development opportunities to help employees build skills and advance within the organization.
- Continuously improve work conditions, safety, and employee well-being to make on-site roles more attractive.
- Stay attuned to changes in consumer behavior and market trends to adjust staffing needs and meet evolving customer demands.
By understanding the impact of remote work on employee preferences and adjusting their strategies accordingly, c-stores can better position themselves to retain and attract talent in the current competitive labor market. But knowing which strategy above can give retailers the highest return on investment can feel a bit like a guessing game. Testing to learn what works and what doesn’t before full implementation empowers effective staffing strategies to succeed.
One retailer tested to see if raising salaries would impact sales. They were surprised to find a tangible improvement. Satisfied employees led to satisfied customers.
To learn more how a testing platform can support your employee retention goals, check out these articles: