Single Store Owner

JUN 2016

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OPERATIONS 46 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JUNE 2016 Store Ops / Labor / HR / Real Estate / Financial / Field Ops When Your Human Resources Department Is You Despite their size, single-store operators can utilize sophisticated hiring, compensation and other labor practices to compete with the big boys By Tammy maSTROBERTE and consulting company based in New Haven, Conn. "Still, when it comes to employing people, it is the same landscape of challenges whether you employ one person or 1,000." These challenges include staffing strategy; at- tracting a large applicant pool so that an operator can be selective; choosing the best employee for each position; onboarding and up-to-speed training; on- going performance management; and retention and leadership development, according to Tulgan. One of the first things a single-store owner must address is their mindset. They should not fall into the trap of thinking they are too small to compete or to put the time into human resources (HR) and labor. Just because they don't have the big HR, infor- mation technology and marketing departments, this doesn't mean they can't follow the same processes that the big chains do. "All operators should have a process mindset," said Terry McKenna, principle and co-founder of Alexandria, Va.-based Employee Performance Strat- egies Inc., a global firm that helps companies profit- ably grow their business through their employees. "They should have processes in place for recruiting, interviewing, selection, onboarding and ongoing skill development." For example, the interview process should not be viewed as a single event; it is actually a three-stage process, he explained. Phase one puts the individual at ease. Phase two is the interview itself, including reviewing the application and asking behavioral- based questions. Phase three is the debrief, letting the person know the next steps and verifying references. "Every process has steps in it, and there is no reason for a single-store operator not to map it out," McKenna said. "Just start with what you should do first, second, third and map it from there." Onboarding a new hire should also have process- es mapped out, from who will greet the individual to training to how they will end the day. For example, the owner of the store should greet the new hire and introduce him or her to the other employees. Then, S ingle-store owners may not have the large staffs or labor concerns that convenience store chains face, and they certainly don't have the budget and resources they do, but single stores face the same issues and challenges when it comes to finding, training and retaining employees. And despite their size, they still have a number of cost-effective and practical options available to them in order to compete. "The biggest difference with a chain is that [chain] store operators can take advantage of the technology systems, established practices and resources available due to the scale of a larger operation," said Bruce Tulgan, founder of Rainmaker Thinking Inc., a man- agement training

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