Betting that a better-paid, better-trained workforce will keep more customers satisfied.
No issue is more central to this year’s contentious U.S. presidential election than the anxiety of the average American worker about stagnating wages. But while Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attempt to woo voters with their plans, Walmart is taking action. On Feb. 20, the world’s largest retailer gave more than 1.1 million hourly “associates” a raise as part of its $2.7 billion campaign, unveiled in 2015, to invest in its workforce. That same month, it launched “Pathways,” a program that will enroll 500,000 employees in its first year in a curriculum designed to teach job skills that could help them climb the income ladder. The investment appears to be paying off: Walmart says it has seen 90 weeks of increased customer satisfaction scores.
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