Having a stable, reliable job has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Walmart, the U.S.’ largest retailer, has announced that it's going all-out to create more of these positions.
The company announced on Thursday that it expects two-thirds of its U.S. hourly store roles to become completely full-time positions by the end of the fiscal year. That would create more opportunities for around 740,000 workers.
The new full-time positions will have consistent schedules, with the same hours on the same days each week. That will give associates with families firmer schedules so they can take care of things like picking the kids up from school.
The company said it believes full-time schedules will complement the other ways it’s retooling for the future of retail. In Walmart’s mind, that future will be resplendent with pickup and delivery services. The retailer is also working to convert existing store space to be part retail space and part fulfillment center. The fulfillment component is the sweet spot for full-time jobs at Walmart these days. More than 80 percent of the workers at its distribution centers and fulfillment centers are already at that level.
“We’re uniquely positioned to offer a combination of stability and room for growth that few others can match. We are prioritizing consistent schedules, skills training and new pathways for growth, so all jobs at Walmart can lead to careers,” said Drew Holler, Senior Vice President, Walmart U.S. People Operations.
“We know offering more full-time opportunities along with skills, training and equipping associates with tools to make work easier will help us continue to attract and retain top talent.”
What a job at Walmart looks like these days
Walmart has moved far beyond greeters in blue vests. Its new employee structure is team-based with pods of 8-12 associates focused on a specific aspect or area of the store. The company feels that having a small team will lead to a more connected, productive, and enjoyable work environment, all of which will result in happier customers.
The pandemic has also caused a shift in how Walmart protects its employees. The company now has a COVID-19 emergency leave policy and paid time away from work to get vaccinated.
One unique job-related twist that Walmart has instituted is the deployment of an app called Thrive ZP to inspire its workers to make better choices. Participating has a nice payday too. Workers who stick with the app for 21 days and share their stories have a chance to win a share of $1 million dollars.