July 10, 2021
Operators cannot ignore the labor shortage as they think about c-store staff retention and upselling. The shortage is so severe that many operators only part-jokingly say “If they are breathing, hire them.” All joking aside, the sentiment and frustration is real. Of course, many important c-store selling opportunities are based on the cashiers work.
For starters, as an essential business, it has been necessary to keep stores open. In the current market it is hard to find enough staff, even with new incentives and wage increases. Keeping good workers becomes critical to performance. Perhaps never before has staffing been such a challenge. Even worse, hiring is expensive. It takes time from the key staff that already know the most about the stores. Further, it requires even more of the experienced staff time to train. Finally, new staff introduce additional risks of mistakes or fraud.
“The challenge of retaining talented people makes rewarding great results essential.“
Slaton Whatley, Zelmo’s ZipIn.
Knowing which staff are performing well is the first step for retention. Next, identify which staff are not performing well. The list is the first step towards coaching or training. In both cases, the ability to identify staff behaviors is crucial.
One method used track behavior is upselling results by promotions. It is no accident that some cashiers consistently have higher take rates on promotions that others. Having factual data to show results provides a quantifiable basis for merit pay. Using results, top performers can be recognized and rewarded. As part of the recognition process, they can be interviewed on the tips and methods for achieving the strong results.
Ask top performer to explain their success. In this way, you recognize their good work. Further, it provides specific examples of best behaviors. Next, these practices add training and coaching material. Obviously, the best practices of the top performers are beneficial for training others. As a result, training the staff is example based. Naturally, training is easier.
Combining objective results with common-sense management engages the staff in a positive way. Typically, HR specialist remind us: people leave managers not jobs. Naturally, managers need help to balance staff expectations and job satisfaction. As such, simple tools and data provide a low stress, high impact method to engage with staff. Hence, better results are achieved. Most importantly, c-store staff retention and upselling improves.