In early 2015 Walmart made a strategic decision to start paying higher wages to store employees. Starting pay went up to $10/hour with department managers getting bumped up to $15/hour. Walmart also started investing more in training that would make workers promotable. What happened?
According to a recent NYT article, the good news is that customer satisfaction and sales have both increased. The not so good news is that profits have lagged the averages for S&P Retail and the S&P 500. Managers report that Walmart is now attracting a different sort of employee, one looking for a career instead of just a job. Productivity seems to be higher as well. Conceivably the profit situation will turn around once enough workers have been trained that Walmart can get a return on the training investments.
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