To deal with the shifting tides of the retail market, superstore Walmart is refocusing its training efforts to be more employee-centric and focus more on customer service. “Retail is changing,” said Erica Jones, a Walmart public relations representative from the company’s Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters. “The way customers shop is changing. We need to provide our associates more tools to keep up with the times.” The retail giant has slowed down store expansions in the past few years to invest in remodeling and increasing employee pay. It’s also opening dedicated training centers in select stores across the United States, with 100 open now and 200 by the year’s end. While it’s still too early to tell if these actions will be successful, it’s looking good anecdotally. Store managers are reporting improvements in the frontline supervisors who have been through the new training programs. The goal is to make employees feel valued, with the understanding that loyalty is born out of a mutual investment. “Our goal is to build a stronger pipeline of talent in the stores and show a career path,” Jones said.
Walmart Invests in Employees' Training