business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal this morning has a story about how c-store chain Sheetz is betting that while full-time employees may cost more, they also will result "in better customer service, lower turnover and a more engaged workforce - all of which, executives say, will lead to higher sales and profits."

The story notes that "nearly 5.7 million workers said they were working part-time last year because they couldn’t get more hours or find full-time work, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics survey data. About 65% of store employees in the retail sector work part-time, according to an analysis by search and consulting firm Korn Ferry Hay Group. Companies reason that keeping staff to 30 hours or fewer a week curbs labor costs and allows firms to act nimbly, adjusting staffing to match customer demand."

The Journal goes on: "Sheetz, and others like beauty retailer Bluemercury Inc., acknowledge that full-timers might cost more at first, but say they are more reliable - 27% of full-time hourly workers leave their jobs per year, versus 68.7% of part-timers, according to the Korn Ferry report. Lower employee turnover saves on training and hiring costs, those employers say, and some report their customers spend more when full-timers take orders and ring up purchases."

Sheetz's experience offers an even more stark comparison, according to the Journal: "Less than a quarter of Sheetz’s full-time staff leaves each year; for part-timers, 83% leave."
KC's View:
This reflects what I think is a mature and sophisticated approach to staffing that is another side to the pattern that this morning's Eye-Opener illustrated.

Full-time employees are going to feel more engaged and invested than part-time employees. That engagement and investment, if things go well, will result is higher sales and profits.

This represents confidence in front line employees' ability to drive the company in the right direction, which stands in direct opposition to some cynics who seem to believe that most employees are only good for driving a company off a cliff.