Convenience store chain’s contest demoralizes employees

From our file marked, “What were they thinking?” comes this story about an employee contest that left morale in the gutter.

If there were a contest held to find the most demoralizing, deplorable, and downright despicable HR tactic, this one from Davenport, Iowa-based QC Marts would win, hands down.

“Now here’s the kind of morale-building exercise you don’t often hear about,” writes Tim Gould in this HR Morning article. “The management of a chain of convenience stores held a contest in which employees were asked to bet on who’d be fired next.”

A memo titled, “New Contest—Guess the Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!” made the rounds at more than a dozen QC Mart stores, and employees were told that “secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m.”

The prize for guessing correctly? $10. Upon receiving the memo, four employees quit.

So, c’mon QC Mart … tell us … What were you thinking?

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