How Training Keeps the Store Manager Pipeline Stocked

Client: Campbell Oil Co., North Carolina

Growth:  Grew 22 C-stores to 40 in 3 years.

Background:  Campbell Oil is a fast-growing petroleum company located mostly in a rural area but near several large metropolitan areas. Retaining enough store managers is a challenge as the nearby cities have a lot of organizations that are continually hiring.

Business issue

Growing a pool of talent for supervisors and store managers. Kathy, a DM, handles price book responsibilities as well as supervising six stores in her district. Kathy wants to be sure she has the ability to fill in management positions to enable her to keep only those staff that are executing according to company guidelines.


When store managers leave or cannot perform their duties, there is a need to have capable staff that can quickly take over a store and keeps it running well.


It’s important to have someone who has worked in the organization and who has the capabilities required, ready to promote, to prevent a gap in store management. The candidate also must provide a level of confidence and trust necessary to be assigned a high level of responsibilities. For cashiers and other staff who are hired initially in lower paying jobs, the promise of opportunity for good performance is a key benefit and motivator. Kathy, the DM, encouraged her store managers to work with promising staff to take on more responsibility.


Amber is a strong store manager. She and her assistant manager spend time teaching cashiers and new hires the basic operations, using Quik Data as a guide. Once the basics are covered, then they offer a supervisor position to those that can start to take on store management work. This ensures that the store has oversight from staff while managers are off-duty.

Lessons learned:

Engaging all team members in on-going training builds the ability to perform and meet guidelines. Extending the training to future positions allows a manager to see how a person may perform in a management role and ensures they fully understand their existing job.

By providing hands-on experience before any promotion is offered, the ability has already been proven and so less risk is involved in the promotion. Having a talented staff ready for more responsibility allows the organization to move more quickly to fill a hole and lowers the cost associated with turnover. Even better, when new stores are added, it is easier to fill the additional management positions needed. The company benefits from having corporate experience and the employees see the value in staying with the company.

  • Lance Eslyn, Director of Operations Campbell Oil

    Having a talented staff ready for more responsibility allows the organization to move more quickly to fill a hole and lowers the cost associated with turnover.
    Lance Eslyn, Director of Operations Campbell Oil

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