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NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience store chains are once again earning high marks from their employees. This year, QuikTrip Corp. and Sheetz Inc. represent the convenience channel on the latest edition of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. QuikTrip was the only c-store retailer to appear on the ranking last year.
Landing at No. 76 this time, Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip was recognized for its low turnover rate, which stands at 29 percent compared to the industry average of 80 percent.
According to Fortune, QuikTrip managers are incentivized by bonuses when their employees want to stay with the company, and new-hire trainers also get bonuses for employees who stay. For part-timers, they receive a bonus of up to $1.15 an hour for every hour they have worked.
In addition, the company's perks include health insurance for part-time employees, fully paid sabbaticals, and college tuition reimbursement.
QuikTrip has made the list 14 times. Last year, it ranked at No. 54. The company has more than 700 convenience stores and 20,342 employees.
"What [CEO Chet Cadieux] has always said remains true today, the mission of QuikTrip is to give our employees the opportunity to grow and succeed," QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh told CSNews Online. "Obviously by making the list for 14 straight years, it's an affirmation, if you will, that our mission is working and we are going to continue to do what we do."
Making the list is extremely important to QuikTrip and the company is honored to be on the list, but its customers are also happy to make the list, he added.
"It's not only important to us; it's important to our customers," Thornbrugh said.
He noted that QuikTrip is not one building — there are 727 QuikTrip convenience stores, plus the company's QT Kitchens and division offices.
"We're spread out, yet that culture and belief in the company holds true everywhere. And to us, that's very important," said Thornbrugh.
A SECOND SHOWING FOR SHEETZ
Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz took the No. 97 spot on this year's edition of the Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. This is the second time the retailer has appeared on the prestigious ranking.
In addition to offering a generous dental insurance plan, Sheetz provides up to $2,000 to cover extra dental work for store-level supervisors and managers, according to the magazine.
Its customers receive free coffee on Christmas and New Year's Day and employees who have to work on those holidays get a free lunch and fresh-baked cookies from the Sheetz bakery.
Sheetz operates more than 500 c-stores in six states and has 15,044 employees.
"At Sheetz, we have a commitment to investing in our people and we strive to achieve this by creating a great environment whether they work at the stores, the office or in the distribution centers," said CEO Joe Sheetz.
To identify the "100 Best Companies to Work For" each year, Fortune partners with Great Place to Work to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America.
Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the results of the Trust Index Employee Survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. This survey asks questions related to employees' attitudes about management's credibility, overall job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts.