Walmart Advantage

In today’s society, customers are constantly searching for the best bargain for their money. Customers enjoy shopping and getting the best deals for their hard earned dollar. Thus, several retail stores have emerged and taken over the smart shopper’s frame of mind. Although there are several retailers in today’s society, the leading retailer would be Wal-Mart Stores.

It was in 1945 that a young man by the name of Sam Walton decided to open his own department store. Therefore, he purchased a store in Newport with the help of his father-in-law. Sam borrowed $20,000 from his father-in-law to go along with the $5,000 he had initially saved. Founded in 1962, Wal-Mart followed an amazing pattern of success and growth eclipsing all the other department store retailers by the early 1990’s.

Sam quickly learned that buying straight from the wholesaler would enable him to lower his prices as well as sell a larger quantity of product, ultimately increasing his sales volume and profits. Sam was a fast learner, which would prove to benefit him in the long run. He instilled three basic beliefs to build the company on: 1.Respect for the individual

2.Superior Service to the Customer 3.Strive for Excellence

Sam would soon open larger stores, which were called Walton’s Family Center. “The reason for its popular success is it still follows Sam Walton’s values: by hometown identity, each person is welcomed personally by People Greeters, the prices are low and customers do not have to wait for a sale to see savings.” (Kickul, 2004)

Drug Testing

Drug testing is a common procedure organizations use to evaluate potential and current employees. A large number of factors influence testing results. Not all people are alike, nor are the drugs they take alike. Some of the factors that influence test results are: the individual's drug absorption rate, metabolism rate, distribution in the body, excretion rate, drug quantity, drug quality and testing method employed. At Wal-mart, drug testing is a known requirement for all applicants.

Wal-mart Stores have a commitment to maintain an alcohol / drug free workplace that requires a drug screening test as a part of its selection and hiring process unless required by state law. Drug screening consists of the testing of a urine sample or any other medically recognized test designed to detect traceable amounts of controlled body substances.

If after a second confirmatory test approved by SAMHSA, it is determined the specimen contains a controlled substance or was altered or substituted, the candidate will be disqualified from consideration for employment and any offer of employment will be immediately withdrawn. Furthermore, any hired employee may be required to submit to an alcohol / drug test under any circumstance during employment (Walmart, 2006). Quality of Work Life

Regardless of position or status, dissatisfaction with working life is a problem that can affect almost all workers at one time or another. Frustration, boredom, and anger combined with work life can be costly to both the individual and the organization. Although it is difficult to isolate and identify all of the attributes which affect the quality of working life, Wal-Mart is very selective when offering benefits to their employees. Wal-Mart strives to meet the diverse needs of their associates by offering a wide range of choices in their benefits package.

Overall, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. offers more than 50 different benefits that are designed to help associates meet their unique personal, family, and financial needs, and are divided into four categories that are easy to recognize: My Health, My Money, My Home, and My Career (Walmart, 2006). My Health benefits provide a range of medical coverage options that are designed to protect associates from catastrophic medical costs.

My health benefits offer peace of mind, protection for the unexpected, and can help associates take care of themselves and their families. My Health benefits also include Life, Dental, Short-Term Disability, Long-Term Disability, and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (Walmart, 2006). My Money benefits offer associates several ways to save and invest for their financial security.

Their Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plan helps associates save for long-term financial needs and Associate Stock Purchase Plan allows associates to buy stock through payroll deduction. My money benefits also include financial education, pay programs, and discounts for associates and their families (Walmart, 2006). Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. believes that it is important for associates to find the right balance between their work life and personal life. My Home benefits are intended to help achieve this balance.

My Home benefits include educational reimbursements; discounts on child care, travel, and many other services; and professional counseling services available at no cost to associates and their families. My Home benefits also include long-term service benefits, leaves of absence, and scholarships for higher education (Walmart, 2006)

My Career benefits are designed to give each associate every opportunity to grow, prosper, and advance in his or her career. Any associate with the desire and the ability to get the job done will find many career paths and opportunities to explore. My Career benefits include classroom training, computer-based training, in-store and on-the-job training, mentoring, and a host of other opportunities to give each associate the knowledge and skills they need for a successful career (Walmart, 2006). Pension Plans

A pension is a steady income given to a person usually after retirement. Pensions are typically payments made in the form of a guaranteed annuity to a retired or disabled employee. Some pension plan designs accumulate a cash balance that a retiree can draw upon at retirement, rather than promising annuity payments. The Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plan helps associates save for long-term financial needs including retirement. Associates are eligible for the Profit Sharing and 401(k)

Plan after working at least 1,000 hours in one year. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. may contribute to all eligible associates' accounts annually, regardless of whether the associate chooses to contribute. Associates have a variety of investment options from which to choose. Employees are immediately eligible to roll over funds from their previous employer (Wal-Mart, 2006).