I’ve been avoiding shopping at Walmart for years.
Part of the reason has been that I hate to see employees treated like they don’t matter. Walmart has been one of the biggest offenders in my opinion.
What if paying workers more, training them better and offering better opportunities for advancement can actually make a company more profitable, rather than less?
They kept wages down, limited hours to avoid being obliged to provide benefits, and would cut people early like it was a slow lunch shift at a seafood restaurant. Except in this case, the employees didn’t have a chance to make their own tips.
The left brain in me though had admired Walmart’s operations management and extremely efficient way of doing business.
For example, Walmart runs their own weather center to predict needs in the market, and help route logistics. Their swift response in many natural disasters bests FEMA because they have the real-time data and the ability to act fast.
The efficient use of resources is admirable when it means making the best and most cost-effective use of machines, and other resource inputs to make the operation run smoother. When it becomes deplorable, is when Human resources are treated in the same way.
It looks like there may be hope for Walmart yet.
The following snippets are from an article in the New York Times
A couple of years ago, Walmart, which once built its entire branding around a big yellow smiley face, was creating more than its share of frowns.
Shoppers were fed up. They complained of dirty bathrooms, empty shelves, endless checkout lines and impossible-to-find employees. Only 16 percent of stores were meeting the company’s customer service goals.
But in early 2015, Walmart announced it would actually pay its workers more.
That set in motion the biggest test imaginable of a basic argument that has consumed ivory-tower economists, union-hall organizers and corporate executives for years on end: What if paying workers more, training them better and offering better opportunities for advancement can actually make a company more profitable, rather than less?
Read the full story on how Walmart has been changing their model here:
Also published on Medium.