ALON Brands, the largest U.S. franchisee of 7-Eleven stores and with more than 300 locations across Texas and New Mexico, established the Clean TEAM employee incentive program in 2010 to enhance the convenience store experience and drive customer retention. ALON convenience stores are given points for excellent service and facilities, with the highest scoring store managers receiving recognition through Clean TEAM. As ALON Brands’ agency-of-record, they asked Three Box to plan and implement the program, keeping it fresh and interesting year-over-year.
In Clean TEAM’s early years, the highest scoring store manager out of all 300+ company-owned stores received a new car as the grand prize. However, the grand prize became a challenge when multiple managers started getting perfect scores, and some markets were having more success with the program than others. To keep the program relevant and exciting, ALON and Three Box got creative.
ALON needed a cost-effective way to recognize more team members, while increasing engagement and performance in markets struggling to meet Clean TEAM standards. Three Box suggested hosting a banquet dinner and ceremony to honor top performers from each market, instead of individual awards presentations exclusively in the winners’ markets. We worked closely with the ALON team to plan the event. All deserving employees were invited, along with one guest each, for a fun, rewarding evening with ALON executives. By hosting a companywide event, store managers could relax and enjoy the banquet. The change created a better experience for winners and, as a result, helped improve Clean TEAM performance across the board.
With one company-wide event, ALON is able to recognize more people across a larger employee audience, while keeping costs manageable. Since refreshing the awards program in 2012, the employee recognition event has evolved to:
- An increased average Clean TEAM score from 91.98 (2011) to 97.08 (2015)
- A more than 450-percent increase in perfect scores (2011 to 2015)
- 100 percent of stores receiving Clean TEAM Certification in 2015
- Positive feedback from customers on the ALON convenience store experience
- Media coverage in local and industry trade outlets, including CSPnet, Convenience Store News and Convenience Store Decisions