Walmart Tests Associate Scheduling Tool
Walmart has launched a pilot program in Fort Smith, Arkansas and Denver, Colorado that could change the way work schedules are managed for the more than 1.3 million employees across the retailer's more than 4,000 U.S. stores.
According to published reports, the retailer has previously been criticized by employees and labor groups for work schedules that are inconsistent and unreliable, such as changing schedules with little notice. This makes it difficult for part-time Walmart employees to work a second job.
The new scheduling program allows hourly store employees the opportunity to pick up extra shifts. The program pilot began in February for the Fort Smith Supercenter and two stores in Denver. There are plans to expand to more stores by July and be accessible in all 4,000 U.S. stores by October, according to Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg.
The program has thus far been easy to begin and is helping department managers fill vacant time slots that routinely occur with sometimes little warning. This gives hourly associates a clear view of what open shifts are available and helps managers find the staff they need to ensure their departments can run smoothly. The associates make a request to fill the open slot and are notified within 24 hours of that request.
The hourly associates have been receptive to the voluntary program. The ability to pick-up additional shifts is also helping associates to gain a broader education across store operations in order to fill vacant shifts in departments other than their own.
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