Happiness Equals Reality Minus Expectations

Attendees at the 2016 Smoker Friendly Conference learn how better engaged employees will lead to world-class workplace culture.
August 22, 2016

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – From August 18-19, tobacco and retail industry stakeholders convened in Broomfield, Colorado, for the 2016 Smoker Friendly Conference & Tobacco Festival.

The conference began with Eric Chester, an author and workforce expert, who spoke to attendees about topics from his book, Reviving Work Ethics, and how retailers can better engage their employees and create world-class workplace cultures. He began by teasing the millennials about the stereotypical expectations linked to their demographic, along with a formula for happiness that everyone can subscribe to.

Chester described key employee engagement pillars that all great employers constantly seek to improve on:

  • Compensation
  • Alignment to goals
  • Atmosphere
  • Growth
  • Communication
  • Autonomy
  • Acknowledgement    

He also highlighted what millennials (and all employees) look for from their employers:

  • Positive attitude
  • Reliability
  • Professionalism
  • Initiative
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Gratitude

Chester provided antidotes describing how world-class retailers, such as The Container Store and QuikTrip, engage their employees. One example on compensation came from The Container Store's “1=3” philosophy: One great employee equals the performance of three mediocre ones. Another example dives into how the retailer compensates great employees and controls expenses by not employing people who are not engaged. He also recalled a conversation with hospitality industry icon Bill Marriott, when Marriott said his company communicates what employees are doing right first and then asks, "What do you need to do your job better?"   

Also during the event Thomas Briant, executive director and legal counsel of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), talked about what the new FDA Deeming Regulations mean for retailers. More on this topic will be presented at the 2016 NACS Show in Atlanta during the education session, “The Impact of FDA Deeming Regulations on the C-Store Tobacco and Vapor Business,” at 9:05 am on October 20. The NACS Show takes place October 18-21.

Smoker Friendly International is an organization with more than 800 independently owned and operated retail stores and corporate sites. Smoker Friendly is the parent company of NACS retail member Gasamat Oil Corp|Smoker Friendly Stores.

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