Convenience Store News

JUL 2015

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WWW.CSNEWS.COM | JULY 2015 | Convenience Store News 73 It's deeply rooted in the corporate culture. "In our industry, it's important to have frank, open discussions about issues such as race, ethnicity, political orientation and the expectations of different genera- tions," Beth said. "Talking about how these differences can be leveraged as strengths, by understanding them instead of being barriers to success, is good for operation- al reasons. But just as important, it gives people a voice, strengthens engagement and helps us retain employees, especially those who have unique viewpoints." Speedway's community involvement helps the company keep the best talent — and attract high- potential millennials. "Our employees assume respon- sibility for our reputation in the communities where we operate," she told me. "A company that doesn't do its part to support the community isn't just doing itself and the community a disservice; it is also risk- ing the goodwill of its employees. After all, employ- ees have to face their neighbors, their kids' teachers and coaches, their bankers, doctors and many more members of the community." Policies that promote work/life balance are another crucial retention tool, especially in an industry where many operations — pipelines, refineries, terminals and c-stores — never close. "This can mean challeng- ing shift work and employees on-call at all hours of the day and night," Beth said. "Making sure policies reflect the real needs of employees, while still allowing us to be competitive, can make a huge difference in retention of talent." At this point in the industry's history, the talent pipeline may be as important to the bottom line as the one carrying crude. CSN Joan Toth is president and CEO of the Network of Executive Women, Retail and Consumer Goods, a learning and leadership community representing 9,000 members, 750 companies, 100 corporate partners and 20 regional groups in the United States and Canada. Toth is a member of the advisory board for Convenience Store News' Top Women in Convenience awards. Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Convenience Store News.

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