In response to the changing retail landscape, Walmart has begun rolling out its new employee training academy in the US, which by the end of 2017 will reach a quarter million employees, studying in approximately 200 centres.
Wamart has created an end-to-end training program for its employees called Pathways, aimed at associates at all levels of store operations, from entry level positions to store manager roles.
Walmart says the new employee initiative is in direct response to the changing face of retail and changing consumer behaviour as well. “We need to provide our associates more tools to keep up with the times,” the company’s public relations person told The Kansas City Star.
Pathways is part of Walmart’s strategy of slowing down its in-store operations and focusing more on remodelling and raising employee pay. So far there are 100 academys set up; each Walmart Academy is a dedicated facility, located within a designated store where supervisors and department managers receive two weeks of hands on training in both the classroom and on the sales floor.
Areas of study include core retails skills, retail fundamentals, specific department training as well as leadership, merchandising and technology, to name a few, all of which will enable its employees to have the skillset and confidence to run outstanding departments and deliver excellent customer service.
Pathways is designed to also accelerate job titles. The company says it doesn’t just see a store associate in its meat department as a low wage job, and neither should its staff.
It’s too early to tell weather the academy will truly help in motivating and retaining Walmart employees, however the company expects once its full fleet of training facilities are up and running, 14,000 associates will cycle through it annually.