When looking at the overhead costs of running a convenience store, you’ll see that the cost of managing labor takes a large chunk out of your cash flow. In fact, labor costs can amount to as much as 30% of all gross profit dollars.
With the average C-store having between 10 and 15 employees, managing your workforce usually isn’t the most fun part of the job. It is, however, an important part of your businesses nonetheless.
Thankfully, there are a few key things to keep in mind when interviewing and hiring your staff that can put you on the right track. After that, let technology ease your labor headaches and keep you going strong.
Interview Well and Hire Smart
When you’re looking for an individual to fill an open position at your c-store, you might feel some pressure to interview and hire someone quickly. While you certainly don’t want your store to be understaffed, hiring the first person you interview for the sake of convenience doesn’t always pan out well in the long run.
Don’t hire anybody who doesn’t impress you. If they don’t impress you for an interview, they won’t impress your customers as faces of your brand. The experience customers receive when they walk into your store is what keeps them coming back. Therefore, it’s important that your employees consistently have an upbeat and enthusiastic attitude, and this attitude should also be present at their interview.
One of the most common reasons for inadequate performance is a lack of proper training after the initial hire. Once an employee is “ready,” that doesn’t mean they won’t need a refresher course from time to time. Make sure to touch base with new employees frequently and see what they’ve got down pat, and what they may need some extra help with.
Not only does this help keep the employee’s knowledge current, it shows good leadership on the part of you, the owner, or your managers.
Set Expectations and Enforce Rules
Part of good leadership is to set standards and make sure that rules are enforced. This includes where your staff’s behavior is involved. What are your policies regarding uniforms? Tardiness? Or calling out of a shift?
An important side of managing a staff is setting those standards and making sure they are followed. If you foster an environment where the uniform requirements are lax, tardiness is okay if it’s “not too late,” or employees calling in “sick” at the last minute is tolerated; don’t be surprised when it happens all the time.
An employee handbook is a great way to put these rules down on paper so that your entire team is aware of what the policies are. Many stores also require new employees to read and sign a written acknowledgment form when receiving the handbook.
Use Technology to your Advantage
Don’t forget that technology is here to help with your convenience store management! Your existing POS system is likely chock full of features that help streamline your day to day operations. Some may even include training modules to assist your staff.
From the back end, CStorePro’s payroll module helps to track employee hours and generate customized reports based on your specifications which further streamlines the administration process.
Remember, It’s a Service Business!
Your customer expects a certain level of convenience when they frequent your store, and that means a well-trained staff that is both friendly and knowledgeable. Make sure your staff is proficient with all your processes, including the operation of your convenience store software, to deliver your customer’s expected experience.
Remember, it’s a service business first and foremost. And “convenience” is the name of the game!