Employment and Jobs

How Walmart rebranded development as an employee benefit

August 14, 2018  • UpSkill America

UpSkill America is an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and allow our economy and communities to thrive. As part of our mission to advance the upskilling movement, we are pleased to share the following news featuring one of our partners.

The following story was originally posted by HR Dive.

Exterior of a Walmart store

An investment in staff development can be a potent attraction and retention tool. Employees want to grow and advance, which makes learning and development a must-have component of the employee value proposition. For businesses large and small, access to massive online learning platforms has made upskilling employees an attainable goal.

Walmart, for example, has found success with a learning program that’s both accessible and substantive — and all for, apparently, $1 a day from employees. The program offers access to online degree programs through the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University. Walmart and Sam’s Club employees enjoy discounted tuition and books, plus access to a coach who helps them navigate the process. The program is open to full- and part-time staffers who have worked for the company for more than 90 days.

Walmart, which has more than 2 million employees, opened its 100th employee training center in 2017. The company has upskilled tens of thousands of staffers in the last three years in a deliberate commitment to learning, putting education within everyone’s reach. Employees are asked to pay only $1 a day — less than the cost of a single semester. The first degrees available will be business and supply chain management, and from those, Walmart will determine whether to expand into other disciplines.

“Walmart’s investment has kicked off what might be the most scalable solution to increasing access to higher education,” Rachel Carlson, CEO and co-founder of Guild Education, told HR Dive via email. “At the same time, a growing body of research shows Walmart is making a smart business decision by investing in the growth and development of their frontline associates.”

This piece was excerpted from “How Walmart rebranded development as an employee benefit” by HR Dive’s Riia O’Donnell. Click here to read more.



In @hrdive, @RiiaODHR describes how forward-looking companies like @Walmart are using #upskilling to attract employees.

“Whoever applies to the Dollar a Day program—we will find them a spot at one of the universities… We want them to grow their potential.” -Erica Jones @Walmart

“@Walmart is making a smart business decision by investing in the growth and development of their frontline associates.” @RachelRCarlson @GuildEducation

“We’ve seen a shift from tuition reimbursement being an entitlement benefit to being a talent tool.” -Chris Duchesne, EdAssist


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