Sept. 17, 2020
By Dacona Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Walmart U.S.
During this trying and uncertain year, one thing has remained a constant: Our associates have done an incredible job serving customers and making a difference in their communities. They’ve gone above and beyond to make sure customers have access to the items they need while making health and safety a top priority.
As a company, we’ve prioritized their physical, emotional and financial well-being: We’ve distributed $1.1 billion in bonus payouts, created an emergency leave policy, adjusted store hours and taken numerous safety measures. More broadly, over the past few years, we’ve made significant investments in associates’ pay, benefits, training and career opportunities.
Today, we’re taking the next steps by introducing a team-based operating model in our Supercenters – similar to the one that has been very successful at Sam’s Club over the past year and in our Neighborhood Market stores this year. We’re investing in new roles and skills training to give us the flexibility to serve customers anytime and anywhere. In turn, associates will have more room for career and pay growth.
Across the store, we’re creating small teams of associates who will be cross-trained and given ownership of the work and their area for everything from in-stock to visual standards. This means they’ll gain more skills and be able to support associates who want to take time off or just need extra help during a busy shift. For example, associates who prepare fresh food will be trained to maintain pricing and standards in their area – giving them broader skill sets that allow them to help customers and grow their own careers.
To lead these new teams, we’re introducing new, future-focused leadership roles in our Supercenters, both at the salaried and hourly level: store lead (formerly co-manager), coach (formerly assistant manager) and team lead (formerly department manager). These new positions will develop their teams, deliver our strategic priorities and be responsible for empowering our more than 1 million associates as they take bigger roles in the business – something they’ve proven they’re more than capable of doing during this pandemic.