HR best practices: Walmart Mexico and Central America pivoted its training programs

Walmart Mexico and Central America employs nearly 100,000 people in the region. Like all businesses, the company and its workforce faced several challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but those challenges prompted the company to quickly pivot its employee training programs both in terms of content and format. The result? The company was able to train a record amount of its staff and meet its goal of entering nearly 500 new assistant managers into the business in 2020.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, one of our main priorities was to continue providing the tools and resources that would allow our associates to further develop their knowledge and skills according to the functions of their position and maintain business continuity, both in the home office and in our physical operations,” said Mislem Sabag, Vice President of Human Resources for Walmart Mexico and Central America.

For example, the company accelerated the launch of an online learning platform that was meant to be released in 2021. “Within 30 days of its launch, it covered 85% of the total workforce, providing them with new skills to better meet evolving demands placed upon the business. Its success can be attributed to its focus on the learning experience of the associate, its integration with other tools that enrich self-learning, and its incorporation of the gamification function,” a company spokesperson said.

The company digitized other initiatives including its Distribution Centers Induction Program, Walmart Academy, and DAR360 program (Descubre y Aprende el Retail) to help employees develop competencies around making data-driven decisions, placing customers at the center of operations, and building management skills.

The rising shift in online sales during the pandemic also prompted the company to put increased emphasis on training new pickers for home delivery.

Overall, the shifts in training helped improve the company’s retention, sales, and order satisfaction indicators, the retailer reported. In the last quarter, Walmart Mexico and Central America’s net profit rose more than 20%.