Company Information Sam Walton opened their first Walmart store since July 2, 1962. “People think we got big by putting big stores in small towns. Really, we got big by replacing inventory with information.” They opened their first store in Rogers, Arkansas. By 1967 they owned 24 stores and bringing in $12.7 million in sales. By 1970 Walmart went national. They also became a publicly trading company. In 1980’s the first Sam’s Club opened and the first Walmart Supercenter opened as well. It combines a supermarket and general merchandise all in one place. In 1990’s, Walmart was named America’s Top Retailer. They also opened their first Sam’s Club in Mexico City in 1991.
Sam Walton passed away in 1992 at age 74. By that time, Walmart employed 371,000 associates in 1,928 stores and clubs. In 1993, they hit their first $1 million mark in sales. Between 1994 and 1998, Walmart opened stores in China, United Kingdom, and bought Wolcott 122 stores in Canada. (www.walmart.com) By 2014, Walmart employs 2.2 associates at more than 11,000 stores worldwide. At this time it serves over 200 million customers. Walmart’s earnings per share increased 10.6 % to $5.02. They had an addition of $22 billion in net sales, and they are now a $466 billion company. They returned $13 billion to shareholders in dividends. (Walmart 2013 Annual Report) SWOT
Strengths •Wide range of products •International operations •Cost leadership strategy Weaknesses •Labor related lawsuits •High employee turnover •Negative publicity Opportunities •Trends towards healthy eating •Retail market growth •Online shopping growth Threats •Resistance from communities •Rising prices Gap Analysis Walmart has had to face several labor related lawsuits every year. They cost the company millions of dollars. The company is criticized for poor work conditions, low wages, unpaid overtime work and female discrimination. It also suffers from high employee turnover. It increases the company’s cost because they have to do a lot of training of new employees. I think the reason for the high turnover is because they have low skilled and poorly paid jobs.
These two gaps are best filled by training needs. I think management needs a better training assessment for their employees. Walmart does have a lot of stores and a lot of employees currently working for them as well, but not everyone stays. In order to keep employees, I think they need a better training program. Walmart uses computer for their customer service training. I think that type of training should be done as an intense training. Customer service should be one of the most important trainings for Walmart because they deal with customers on a daily basis. Needs Assessment
The two methods of needs assessments that would be needed at Walmart would be a Person Analysis and a Task Analysis. A person analysis helps to identify employees who need training. It could be from performance problems, changes in the job, or use of new technology. It also helps determining employee’s readiness for training. (Noe 123) The process for person analysis is input, output, consequences, and feedback. Input relates to the instructions that tell employees what, how, and when to perform.
Output refers to the job’s performance standards. Consequences refer to the type of incentives that employees receive for performing well. Feedback refers to the information that employees receive while they are performing. (Noe 124)
Task analysis results in a description of work activities, including tasks performed by the employee and the knowledge, skills and abilities required to complete the tasks. (Noe 135) The steps for a task analysis are: (Noe 135) 1.To select the job/jobs to be analyzed.
2.Develop a preliminary list of tasks performed on the job. Like interviewing and observing other employees and their managers, and talking with others who have performed a task analysis. 3.Validate or confirm the preliminary list of tasks. This will involve having a group of SMEs answer in a meeting or on written survey several questions regarding the tasks. 4.Identify the knowledge, skills, or abilities necessary to perform each task successfully. The information can be collected through interviews and questionnaires. Conclusion
Walmart does have a lot of training methods they use at this time. I know this personally because at a previous job I use to send people to them to be employed at several locations in Chicago, IL. The training they used for customer service was computer based. In my opinion, customer service training should be done on a group setting for a couple of weeks. They should also do shadowing as well. I think in person training is a much more effective way to get what you are trying to teach across.
Shadowing is also an effective way to train new and existing employees as well. Employees that have seniority or are in management could be the persons who the employee would shadow. Shadowing would show employees how the other employee would interact with a customer. They can also see how they would handle customer issues.
References: Noe, R. (2013). Employee Training & Development. (6th Ed.) New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Walmart (2013). Walmart Corporate - Walmart Annual Reports. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from http://stock.walmart.com/annual-reports Walmart (2014). Walmart Corporate - Walmart Corporate: Our Story. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/