Hughes Petroleum

November 19, 2014 15:54 ET

Prestigious National Human Resources Award Presented to Edmonton Family Business Hughes Petroleum

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 19, 2014) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Ask almost any Alberta business owner what their biggest challenge is and you'll likely hear attracting and retaining staff is number one.

Alberta has an unemployment rate of 4.5%, when full employment is generally considered 6% so knowing how to attract and retain staff is not only a key competitive advantage but also a strategic imperative. In an industry notorious for low pay, long hours and very little job security, Hughes has broken the mold and was recognized last week as having the Best Employee Engagement strategy in the country.

Employees who are highly engaged are more productive, stay with an organization longer and are more likely to recommend their employer as a great place to work. In a tough labour market employee referrals are so important and Hughes boasts 20% of their workforce now have relatives working with them as a result of their referrals.

"Being a great place to work is critical to our success at Hughes, it provides the foundation for the industry leading customer service we aim to provide."

- O'Ryan Hughes, Hughes President.

Many organizations think they know what their employees want, but they are often wrong. For Hughes, research was the key to find out what their opportunities were. Last year, Hughes went through a strategic process including: Employee Engagement Surveys, Focus Groups and they set up a staff Value Council. Some of the results were expected, but some came as a surprise. Once Hughes had their marching orders it was all hands on deck and they worked hard over the course of the last year and a half to refine their culture and people strategy. This resulted in 5 employment promises to all of their staff:

  1. Opportunities for career development
  2. Excellent training and development
  3. A culture of diversity an inclusion
  4. Supporting our community
  5. Rewarding performers

"I am so proud of our team and how hard everyone works to engage our people. The results speak for themselves. We are on track to reduce employee turnover by 150% and almost 90% of our workforce would recommend Hughes as a place to work for their friends and relatives. The award was just the icing on the cake," said Melissa Fisher, Hughes HR Manager.


"I love how people work together here and how we get the supervisors help right away. When somebody ask me why I like working for Hughes, I answer 'because I feel like I am a part of the family here.'" - Employee on the West End

"The supervisors let you do your job without interfering. When you do make mistakes, they point them out so you can learn. When you do good they also let you know." - Employee on the South Side

"Good benefits, flexible hours, great customers." - Employee, downtown Edmonton

"Flexibility, friendly staff, wage is great, awesome customers." - Employee in Spruce Grove

"I enjoy working for Hughes because it's a friendly and fun atmosphere and I actually enjoy going into work each morning. The management is great and knows all of their employees on a first name basis." - Employee on the North Side

"I see there is a very equal opportunity employer, no discrimination. I had a few family members working for Hughes even before I started." - Employee, downtown Edmonton

"I have been working with Hughes for almost 6 years. I love working for Hughes. It's like a family to me. All supervisors are caring and understanding. They try to work on our problems and schedule. We are a team and I love that." - Employee who works at all 22 locations

About Hughes

Established in 1956, Hughes Petroleum Ltd. is an Edmonton, Alberta based retailer and wholesale fuel distributor operating the Hughes brand of Gas Stations and Car Washes in Edmonton and the surrounding area. For more information, visit their website at

About the HR Awards

On November 7th, 2014 in Toronto at the Liberty Grand, Hughes Petroleum Ltd. went from being a nominee for one of Human Resources' most prestigious national awards to a winner in the category of BEST EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY. This award highlights the employee engagement strategy that has achieved the most impact to employee morale and performance across an organization.

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