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Wal Mart Automated Training And Assessment System

4205 words - 17 pages

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, ...view middle of the document...

Each location must hire and train an average of 50 new associates each quarter, which leads to about 32,000 training hours per location per year. Considering the high turnover of the Wal-Mart employee base, it becomes very difficult for the company to see any return on this initial investment of time and money into training.In response to both the growing problem of the expense of training a constantly turning employee base and current advances in training technology, management has determined that the implementation of a computer based training and assessment system is crucial to the continued successful growth and operations of the organization. The new training system will work to reduce the dollar and time costs currently invested in training through the implementation of in store computer based training kiosks. Rather than spending two weeks learning his or her assigned role with a veteran mentor, new employees will train using interactive training modules on dedicated computer kiosks connected to the company intranet. As the company currently does not use computer technology in its training programs, the initial cost outlay for the necessary hardware and software is estimated at roughly $20,000 per store. Through a strategic partnership with Dell computers, five computer kiosks will be installed in the employee break area of each store. Along with supplying the hardware for the project, Dell will also provide support for the hardware piece of the project. Training software and modules have been developed and will be maintained and updated on an ongoing basis by a development team made up of representatives of the Information Technology and Training departments. This development team will report directly to senior management on the status and challenges of the plan on a monthly basis.The new training process will occur first on a pilot basis at 10 test stores, and proceed on a phased basis when the nationwide rollout begins in October of 2009. Though Wal-mart expects no major obstacles in the rollout process, preparedness for such contingencies is crucial to the plan's success. Throughout the pilot phase of the project, store managers will participate in a weekly conference call with the development team to discuss challenges and share best practices. These calls should help to identify not only any issues that exist within the system itself, but also issues that may arise because of the change in training process. Communication is crucial throughout the duration of the implementation of the process, and senior management is taking a proactive stance on ensuring that information is free flowing between all relevant levels of stakeholders in the success of this project. To further the success of the program, participants in the online training will provide feedback on the quality and usability of the system at the end of each training module. As both new and existing employees will be required to complete the modules relevant to his or her...

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