Wal-Mart Automated Training and Assessment System

Essay by babydoll77stlCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2009

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Entrepreneur Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store in the small Arkansas town of Rogers in 1962. The past four decades have seen Wal-Mart grow into not only the world's largest retailer, but also the largest employer in the United States with the exception of the U.S. Government (fundinguniverse, 2008). Wal-Mart's product line has expanded to include toiletries, clothing, toys, electronics, furniture, house wares, pharmacy service, and in some locations even auto repair. Wal-Mart locations are in fact, so large that one can compare them to a small city. The store manager acts as the mayor, the supervisors are council members and women, and the employees are the townspeople. As such, each store has a well-developed culture and several rules and procedures that must be followed to ensure that each individual is fulfilling his or her role within the group. In order for the store to continue to run smoothly and the customers to be served, new employees must be thoroughly trained in not only the role that he or she is to fill, but also in the culture and norms of the organization as a whole.

Because of the crucial role that effective training plays in the success of each store, corporate management decided that Wal-Mart begin to introduce an automated training and assessment system to improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of new employee training.

The current training program while effective is not as efficient as is necessary to maintain cost controls and meet immediate staffing needs. Currently, new associates are teamed with a veteran associate during his or her first two weeks of employment. This mentoring system ensures that the new employee is competent in his or her job role, and that the new associate has regular access to a mentor wile acclimating to the cultural norms...