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Turnover rates in the convenience store industry have always been high, and with unemployment rates historically low nationwide right now, your staffing challenges have probably continued to weigh on you. Creative recruitment strategies and smart hiring practices can help you fill your open spots, but then what? Understanding what makes employees leave will help you improve retention and, eventually, grow your team. Take a look.

Why Employees Leave

They are fleeing a toxic environment. When entry-level jobs are so easy to come by, employees will often prefer to move on to another company rather than report harassment or other challenges with teammates or supervisors. You can’t be everywhere all the time, so it’s important you check in with employees at all levels to ensure there aren’t issues affecting team morale that you’re not aware of. Stay away from generic questions such as “How’s everything going?” Ask specific questions and, more importantly, listen to employees’ answers and investigate potential issues. You can’t grow your team if you’re not providing a productive work environment for everyone.

They weren’t trained to succeed. Employee training does more than just teach people how to complete tasks. It shows employees that the company wants them to succeed. When your training is lackluster, incomplete, or outdated, you’re setting employees up to fail. Who wants to stay in a place where they’re failing?

They don’t see future success for themselves. When you think about how you’ll grow your team, think about it in both the short-term and the long-term. Employees want to succeed. Even if they don’t see themselves as pursuing a lifetime career in the c-store industry, they likely have some kind of career development goals. Help employees see that there are many skills they can learn at your store that apply to a variety of life paths. Who knows, they may even decide to stick around and develop their career with you.

Their life circumstances have changed. Sometimes, employees don’t want to leave but they feel like they have to. They may lose their transportation or child care. They may need to make more money or work different hours. If it’s at all possible – and fair to other employees – try to work with these employees. If it’s not, keep in touch with them for future opportunities.

Sometimes, you’ll know exactly what causes an employee to leave. When you don’t, find out with comprehensive exit interviews. Employees are never as honest as they are when they’re on their way out the door. Use what you learn from exiting employees to grow your team in the future.