Why Investing in People Makes Sense for Our Business

By Emily Schmid
November 2, 2015
Opportunity Ad

“Our company is built on people. The success we’ve had is because our people.” That’s what Walmart founder Sam Walton used to say, and it’s what we still believe.

As the largest private employer in America, with 1.3 million associates, Walmart has a big responsibility to the people who work hard to serve our customers. That’s why earlier this year, our CEO, Doug McMillon, announced a series of changes for associates in the U.S. that will not only provide higher pay but also the ability to advance in their careers.

We’re raising wages for our associates

To be exact, over this year and next, Walmart is investing $2.7 billion in higher wages, training, and education. This means more opportunity for our associates and even better service for our customers.

We’re providing more scheduling flexibility for our associates

But wages are only one portion of the equation – the number of hours worked is just as important. So another element of our commitment is a new approach to scheduling that allows associates more options for when they work. It’s a program called Scheduling Choice – which is currently in pilot and should roll out next year – and it’s already been successful in reducing turnover by 15% in stores that are participating.

We’re launching new training to give our associates clearer pathways to advance

We’re also helping our associates gain skills that will help them advance in their careers. Our Pathways program, which we’re also piloting and plan to roll out across the company next year, will provide associates with training on three things: the retail business model, the basic skills needed to do their jobs, and the soft skills that are critical to success. We know that we’re a first job for a lot of people, and we want to make sure that the skills our associates gain with us will help their next jobs be those of greater responsibility and pay.

Did you know that more than 75% of our current store management teams started as hourly associates? Clearly Walmart has a rich history of creating opportunity for advancement, and our current investment shows that we’re determined to build on that.