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Walmart Redefines Skilling Strategy to Meet Evolving Workforce Needs

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In a move aimed at empowering its workforce and meeting evolving market demands, Walmart has rolled out several changes to its L&D strategy. 

With a clear focus on enhancing the employability of its associates, the retail giant is shifting gears to offer short courses in skills designed to fast-track associates into over 100,000 in-demand jobs they expect they will need to fill over the next three years. 

As a result, Walmart is placing a renewed emphasis on skills-based hiring, removing college degree requirements for the majority of its roles in an effort to democratize opportunities for career advancement and streamline the talent pipeline within the organization. 

These roles span from salaried management and hourly supervisory positions in stores, clubs, and supply chain facilities to opportunities in technology, health and wellness, and the private fleets of truck drivers. 

The retailer has more than doubled the number of short-form certificates and courses to over 50 options, meaning associates can complete the courses in just four months, on average. Some of the short-course certificates offered include frontline manager leadership, people and business leadership, data science, software development, and project management. 

“The quicker they learn new skills, the faster they can move up,” said Lorraine Stomski, Walmart’s senior vice president, associate learning & leadership, in a statement. 

Indicating a renewed focus on logistics, the company is also producing its own, tailored certifications, including a supply chain operations course created in collaboration with the University of Arkansas.

Although Walmart is removing degree requirements for many roles, it is also keen to emphasize the value of further education and will offer associates opportunities to pursue university qualifications too. 

“We want associates to have ultimate flexibility and control over their career, so we’re making it easy for them to earn college credit simply by attending training,” Stomski shared. Associates can earn up to six hours of credit by attending four days of leadership training at one of the Walmart Academy training facilities, for example. 

Walmart’s Workforce Wins 

Last year, Walmart revealed approximately 75% of its U.S. salaried managers had started out at the company as hourly associates, pointing to significant investment in career mobility and opportunities for advancement – another crucial component of attracting, retaining, and engaging staff.  

Walmart hit the headlines recently for shaking up managerial pay and introducing a new initiative whereby high-performing managers could potentially earn over $400,000 a year. 

Last year, the company has also made moves to expand employee benefits,  announcing plans to enhance the online primary care offering through its employee health insurance plan, extending the services to its workforce in 28 U.S. states.

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