Oct. 30, 2019
By Drew Holler, Senior Vice President, Associate Experience
The future of work and the impact of technology on how we work is a hot topic around the world, and at Walmart, we are no exception. In fact, when we think about the future of work, we know we have to get it right to serve our changing customers and provide great jobs for our associates – both now and in the future. As the world’s largest private employer, we know we have an important role to play, and we believe that the future belongs to everyone. The future of work at Walmart is bright.
Here’s what we know: Customer needs are changing, and retail work is changing to meet those needs. Today’s time-starved customers want a simpler shopping experience in stores and online. Today’s workforce wants a sense of belonging, work that matters, and empowerment to make a difference. All of this is happening as the nature of work is being redefined by technology, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality and robotics. This fundamental change provides employers a chance to unleash their teams’ creativity to solve problems like never before. To do this, employers must meet their employees’ needs by providing education for new skills and an environment where individuals can thrive.
We are obsessed with helping our associates unlock their potential and creativity. We are doing that by creating roles associates want, getting rid of the tasks they don’t and ensuring they are ready to succeed through lifelong learning, whether it’s through our more than 200 on-the-clock training academies or higher education that’s available to them for $1 a day.
We believe this is the key to winning the future of retail. There are many examples where we are seeing the power of our associates’ creativity and how that’s helping our customers. These aren’t always stories that make headlines, but they add up to a big impact.
Problem Solving in Retail Stores
Megan Brown is a frontline, hourly associate in our Galt, California store, where we are piloting a new way of working that takes advantage of technology and automation. It’s a transformation that streamlines tasks and creates multi-functional roles to empower associates to own their piece of our overall business.
As a host, Megan owns her area daily. She’s entrusted to identify solutions to help her team meet its goals. She keeps her area clean and organized, and is quick to help her teammates to ensure a clean, fast, friendly experience at the front of the store. She delights customers by providing an exceptional experience with refunds and money services and listening to questions and concerns. Megan is essentially an entrepreneur within her store, learning in real time as her contributions improve customers’ lives.