Last fall, NACS opened the floor to convenience retail employees and gave them the opportunity to share candid feedback. Employees provided invaluable perspectives on their role in the store, revealing both highlights and pain points.
Many employees shared that they take pride in providing a safe and welcoming experience for their customers and communities. Employees viewed their connection with the community as strong but felt that their relationships with their senior leadership teams could be better.
Many store staff indicated they felt disconnected from senior leaders, especially when decisions or changes that affected their role were made. In the survey, 62.6% of employees indicated they believed that senior leaders value store staff perspectives, and a similar percentage (61.7%) agreed that senior leadership effectively communicates why decisions impacting store staff are made. Sixty-two percent of employees surveyed indicated that senior leadership effectively empathizes with store employees.
The connection between store staff and senior leaders could use some mending—and not just a quick stitch. Further analysis of the response data revealed that employee relationships with senior leaders have the most substantial influence on employee engagement. In fact, interactions with senior leadership have 1.3 times as much impact on employee engagement as interactions with direct supervisors.
As convenience retailers traverse a competitive hiring field fraught with rising labor costs and high turnover, successful leaders know it is often the intangibles that make the difference in employee satisfaction.