Having full-time associates has never been more important than it is right now. Our growing pickup and delivery business calls for us to create more full-time job opportunities as our stores increasingly operate as both fulfillment centers and retail spaces.
We are following the full-time staffing approach that has been successful in our distribution centers and fulfillment centers, where more than 80% of our current associates are full-time. We were on this journey well before the pandemic began. In 2016, about 53% of our U.S. hourly store workforce held full-time positions. Reaching the two-thirds mark by the end of the year means we will have approximately 100,000 more full-time positions than we did five years ago – representing meaningful investments in our associates’ pay, hours and stability.
Having a stable, reliable job is important. At Walmart, that starts with having a consistent, predictable schedule that makes it easy for associates to plan for all of the important things going on outside of work. That’s why we’re offering full-time associates set, consistent schedules, with the same hours on the same days each week. For example, an associate who works in the deli could go into work each day knowing they’ll be off in time to pick up their kids from school.
This approach has other benefits, too. Associates will be scheduled to work alongside their teammates and their leader on every shift. This is one way we’re building on the team-based structure we introduced in stores last year. Having these small teams of eight to 12 associates work together will lead to a more connected, productive and enjoyable work environment. Associates are cross-trained within their team’s area of the store, and they get real-time, one-on-one feedback and mentorship from their leader. All of this helps them build careers with Walmart if they choose. And all of this ultimately results in even better customer service.
We’ve made some great strides to support associates’ career growth, lifelong learning pursuits and well-being in the past year. We instituted a COVID-19 emergency leave policy and paid time away from work to get vaccinated, partnered with Thrive ZP to provide enhanced well-being options, continued our Live Better U program that offers associates a college degree for only $1 a day and supported veteran hiring and equity in education initiatives.
And those are just a few examples. We know our associates will always be the biggest difference-makers in our business, so we will continue to evaluate how we structure the store to best serve customers and also balance the needs of our associates. We’re committed to offering good jobs that provide access, stability and opportunity. These latest changes are more of the ways we’re investing in careers, not just jobs.
*This post contains certain figures regarding hourly associates in our Walmart U.S. segment. These figures may differ from figures included in other sources, including our 10-K and ESG Reports.