Employee Training & Empowerment

Planke Styrmo

Director Strategic Projects North America / Global

Circle K

Convenience store associate roles are some of the most fast-paced and demanding in retail. In addition, when associates join a store, they must acquire new skills and ramp up quickly. To help drive associate engagement and retention, Kristian Planke Styrmo engaged training firm Attensi to help him implement a next-generation training initiative designed to address high-pressure, high-turnover retail jobs that also meet the needs and preferences of younger employees.

Kristian coordinated the development and international rollout of a mobile, online training program featuring lifelike customer scenarios in a 3D simulation of Circle K stores. Kristian and his team asked store managers, employees and retail trainers across three markets for feedback to ensure they were developing an engaging, relevant and consistent training experience that prioritized common issues and market-specific nuances. The curriculum is formatted to leverage gamification principles to quickly empower employees in an engaging way. The program was initially rolled out in the UK and European markets, where Circle K has 15,000 employees, and has since expanded globally.

Since rolling out the training initiative, Circle K has seen staff turnover decrease considerably. In addition, 85% of staff reported that they felt the training made them better at their jobs. As a result, average basket sizes saw a significant increase, directly attributable to staff upselling.