Leading Retailer Embraces HR Innovation to Support A Growing BusinessMarch 20, 2023
Learn how Weigel’s uses innovative new tools to recruit and retain talent in a competitive job market.
From humble beginnings come great things—just ask Weigel’s. Back in 1931, they started out with a single dairy and four cows. Today, the family-owned company is an award-winning retailer with 73 convenience stores offering locally sourced produce, baked goods, and other tasty treats. Great products and service have helped to drive growth and kept customers coming back for more.
So much so that Weigel’s is planning to add an additional seven stores in the next year. But the next chapter of the success story depends on attracting and retaining the right mix of friendly, talented, and committed employees, and maintaining a strong collective goal.
And that’s easier said than done. In an increasingly competitive labor market, both current and potential employees have many tempting options beyond traditional retail. For Weigel’s, it’s more important than ever to offer a compelling benefits and rewards package.
“Our motto in HR is to do everything that we can to inspire and motivate our employees,” explains Melanie Wilson Disney, Director of Human Resources at Weigel’s. In practice, that means thinking outside the box to offer employees a level of flexibility that is almost unparalleled in the retail sector. And a key enabler of this unique strategy has been a long-standing partnership with Paylocity.
“Culture is the key to retention. Recognizing and engaging with our employees and connecting different stores to each other—those have been huge, and they all come through Paylocity.”
Rising Competition for Talent Creates New HR Challenges
In a tight labor market, it was becoming increasingly difficult for Weigel’s to attract talent to retail roles.
Keeping Every Employee Engaged and Energized
Although employee turnover has always been relatively high in retail, recent trends have made retention even more challenging. “People want a job that not only pays well but also gives them fulfillment. Otherwise, they are quick to move on,” explains Melanie. To counter this risk, Weigel’s focuses on developing a strong sense of positivity and purpose among employees. But with 1,300 people working across so many locations, keeping everyone connected was far from easy.
Competing Against the Gig Economy
What makes retention even more difficult is the rise of the gig economy. In the past, like many retailers, Weigel’s expected its employees to work regular shifts for weekly paychecks. But with companies like Uber and DoorDash offering more flexible work schedules and the promise of instant payment, Weigel’s saw a growing risk of losing talent. To compete effectively with gig economy rivals, the company wanted to offer more flexibility and additional perks to employees.
Connecting HR With the Wider Enterprise
To maintain organizational performance and profitability, the Weigel’s HR team must also continuously monitor and improve key processes. HR aims to work closely with executives and finance and operations teams, delivering insights that help them build a detailed, consolidated picture of the business to guide smarter decisions. To achieve these objectives, the company needed a trusted source of up-to-the-minute HR data.
“On Demand Payment has been fantastic. It's super-easy to use and very beneficial. It keeps my payroll manager from having to touch the system every day. It has been a great retention tool that helps us avoid losing people to the gig economy.”
Creating an Environment Where People Love Their Work
Paylocity enables Weigel’s to think outside the HR box, with reshaped benefits and work schedules that enhance the employee experience.
Flexible Hours and Payments That Suit Employees
With Paylocity, Weigel’s has radically redesigned their employee benefits. Using On Demand Payment, the company offers workers on hourly contracts the option to receive up to 50 percent of their earned wages during the active pay cycle, rather than waiting for the weekly paycheck. Weigel’s also harnessed the Scheduling tool in Paylocity to build templates for a four-day week. The next step is using Scheduling to enable employees to swap shifts with peers—giving them even greater autonomy to manage their work-life balance.
Company-wide Communications Strengthen Collaboration
With Paylocity’s Community social communication hub, Weigel’s is developing a more collaborative and engaging culture. The company uses Community to announce employee birthdays, highlight positive customer feedback, and run contests. Stores offer high-fives and post photos of high achievers, while employees can connect and message each other. Weigel’s also uses the platform to highlight training opportunities, important news, and marketing bulletins.
Powerful Dashboards Deliver Detailed HR Insights
Weigel’s has deeper visibility into operations with Paylocity’s Insights & Recommendations. Every day, HR leaders check the dashboards and filter data to uncover trends in staffing, overtime, and employee turnover—helping them make better decisions, faster. The company also uses Paylocity’s Surveys tool to gather employee feedback and find areas for improvement. “I really like Surveys. The way the dashboard presents data is great,” adds Melanie.
Intuitive Mobile Tools Make Life Easier for All
Everyday admin is simpler for employees thanks to Paylocity’s Employee Self-Service and Mobile App. They can log in anytime, anywhere to check schedules and timesheets, download documents such as W-2 forms, and more. Melanie notes: “Almost all our employees use smartphone apps to manage their personal lives. Paylocity gives them the same intuitive experience to manage their work. Self-service also means HR receives fewer requests and queries, saving time that we can use for more strategic work.”
Inspiring a Shared Commitment to Quality Service
With Paylocity, Weigel’s can offer a compelling value proposition to employees and jobseekers that few retail competitors can match.
Great Culture Reduces Risk of Turnover
Weigel’s efforts to connect store locations and create a sense of shared purpose have paid off. There is now a genuine culture of fun, positivity, and enjoyment running through the company that keeps people motivated and committed. “You can throw all the money in the world at HR issues, but it won’t make a difference if you don’t get your culture right,” adds Melanie. “Engaging with our people to build a real community helps us become a more resilient business.”
Unique Benefits Attract New Talent
By introducing innovative employee perks and benefits, Weigel’s can outcompete its gig economy rivals. Highlighting On Demand Payment in its job ads has contributed to consistently high applicant rates, even as other retailers struggle to attract staff. And its four-day week offer is another valuable differentiator—giving employees a degree of flexibility and work-life balance that’s almost unheard-of in the retail sector.
HR Makes a Positive Impact on the Business
Paylocity also helps Weigel’s maintain operational excellence and support business development. HR leaders can pull detailed reports in just 15 minutes to help HR, operations, and finance work together to address issues—for example, optimizing staffing levels across stores to maximize customer service. Similarly, HR can provide labor stats to finance to support detailed performance and sales per hour analysis.
Melanie concludes: “Our HR team has become a true liaison point between departments. We keep everybody at the table moving in the same direction, making smart decisions. We are making a really positive impact on the future of the company—and Paylocity plays an important role in that.”
“Over the last few years, there were companies around us that were closing stores. We never closed a shift. With On Demand Payment and flexible scheduling, Paylocity gave us the tools we needed to get people to come work for us rather than our competitors.”
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