Top convenience store chains recognized for their workplace cultures.
By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor
The convenience store channel is starting 2014 with a message for the rest of retail as Sheetz and QuikTrip both placed on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Atlas Oil was also recognized on the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in the U.S.
This marks the 12th year that Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip made the 100 Best Companies To Work For list. It took the No. 48 spot, up from No. 66 in 2013.
Scoring a coveted spot on the list is “big deal to us for numerous reasons, but one is that it’s really an affirmation that our QuikTrip culture is stronger than ever,” Mike Thornbrugh, spokesperson for QuikTrip told CSD. “We submitted our name 12 years in a row and we were selected each time, so at this point we’re 100%.”
Thornbrugh credited QuikTrip’s commitment to giving employees the opportunities to grow and succeed with its continued success. “Seventy-five percent of the rankings are based on anonymous comments by your employees and those numbers have been consistent for a long time. I would be speculating, but perhaps the tremendous growth we’ve been having, which has allowed us to add a lot more employees, build more stores and create more opportunities, had a lot to do with it,” he said.
The Sheetz Way
Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz scored the No. 87 spot to mark its debut on the prestigious list, marking the only Pennsylvania-based business to be recognized.
“We are really proud that we’ve created a place that people feel good about coming to every day,” said Joe Sheetz, president and CEO of the family-run chain. “We work very hard to constantly improve the work lives of our associates.”
Maintaining and advancing workplace practices can be challenging for a company of Sheetz’ size. The chain currently employees more than 15,000 employees at 466 stores, corporate offices and support sites. “Because of our size we work that much harder to implement comparable and attractive benefits for all,” Sheetz said. “Our team has been pretty creative though, developing practices that are a custom fit for our family of employees.”
Sheetz credits its success to several practices, including benefits for part-time workers and competitive compensation. About 83% of current store managers were promoted from within, and 68% started their Sheetz careers at an entry-level, hourly position. The company has never had a layoff. Employees who work part-time are eligible for health, dental and vision insurance, a 401(k), Employee Stock Ownership and quarterly bonuses.
Atlas Oil Co. was recognized as one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in the U.S. This award recognizes top employers that display leadership and innovation in engaging their workplaces. The Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Awards panel of judges evaluated each applicant based on eight elements of employee engagement: communication; leadership; culture; rewards and recognition; professional and personal growth; accountability and performance; vision and values; and corporate social responsibility.
“Over the last three years we’ve worked to incorporate programs that will promote an engaged workplace,” said Laila Powers, director of Human Resources for Atlas Oil. “Our focus has been in developing our team, and creating a work environment that encourages teams to be part of our success. Everyone in the company, at every level, is encouraged to be solution driven and take personal accountability to make Atlas a great place to work.”
Atlas has had significant growth over the last three years, increasing from 250 to almost 500 team members today. “It is an honor to be named a recipient of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Award. This truly is a testimony that we are moving in the right direction,” Power said.