5 Walmart Super Ways Of Handling Its Employees

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Nov 02, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Walmart decided to give its associates a 10. In return, they gave it a serious high five, as in $5 billion. That's the amount by which Walmart's sales rose in the first six months of 2016 after it boosted hourly pay to $10 in 2015. Revenue advanced to $149.5 billion from $144.2 billion in 2015, according to its second-quarter earnings report.

Put another way, better-paid, better-trained workers are creating a better in-store experience for Walmart shoppers. Today, the world's largest private employer reports its non-management workers make an average of $13.69 an hour, up 16% from 2014.

Higher Service Scores, Lower Income: A reduction in employee turnover almost from the outset. An increase in the percentage of stores that meet the company's internal goals for customer service, to 75% in 2016 from 16% a few years ago. An improvement in customer surveys, with "clean, fast, friendly" scores rising for 90 consecutive weeks from early 2015. A rise in spending at stores by its own employees. A decline in operating income in the first half of the year, to nearly $8.8 billion from $9.5 billion, due to higher labor costs and other investments, according to Walmart's earning report.
Other ways to success should not mean all bets are off when it comes to investing in worker compensation and training. It takes time to recoup a few billion dollars, after all.

Better caliber of workers: Before adding its dedicated training centers, Walmart did not provide its employees a clear structure for achieving management status. This would be like treading water just out of sight of land. It's not surprising, then, if a lot of workers were less motivated. Since investing in the centers, Walmart has begun attracting a higher standard of worker.

More orderly stores: Hourly employees generally are not likely to make workplace cleanliness a priority, unless they are properly trained, experts sa. Using Walmart as a case in point, the retailer said its customers are reporting higher satisfaction rate in store cleanliness, as well as speed and customer service.

Brand loyalty: Consumers are drawn to brands that share their beliefs, and most believe in a better living wage. Three-quarters of Americans support increasing the minimum wage to at least $12.50, according to a 2015 report from the Hart Resource Association. 
Friendlier environments: Workers who feel appreciated are more likely to seek camaraderie with others (and would be less likely to gripe). The more friends an employee makes at work, the more she is likely to love her employer. More than 70% of employees who have 25 or more friends at work (71%) love their employer.

Less Shrink: It should be noted that not all of Walmart's 2.3 million employees are paid a minimum of $10 an hour. Those who joined the company since the beginning of 2016 started at $9; they get a buck-an-hour raise once they complete the chain's skills and training program.

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