Walmart is trying to rally workers around gold stars and 'attitude cards' as part of a massive store-level shakeup

Julio Cortez/AP PhotosWalmart is making changes to store employee structure.
  • Walmart is testing a new employee structure at stores that it calls “Great Workplace.”
  • “The idea is to have more ownership, decision making and authority closer to the front line,” a Walmart spokesman said.
  • As part of the new system, managers are encouraged to carry “attitude cards” to help refresh employees on behaviours supported by the new program, according to Bloomberg’s Matthew Boyle, who first reported on the new system.

Walmart is cutting some store manager roles and increasing pay for others as part of a shakeup of its employee structure.

The new system, which Walmart calls “Great Workplace,” has been rolled out at more than 75 Walmart stores so far, and it will be expanded to more than 50 additional stores next month, the company told Business Insider. Bloomberg’s Matthew Boyle was the first to report on the new system.

The new hierarchy of positions is comprised of store managers at the top, followed by business leads and team leads.

Business leads are salaried and replace assistant store managers, with a higher starting pay. Under them are team leads, whose roles start at $US18 per hour and involve managing a team of eight to 10 lower-ranked employees.


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“The idea is to have more ownership, decision making and authority closer to the front line,” a Walmart spokesman said. “What we are seeing is more excitement and engagement from associates as they become more connected to a mission, leader, and team.”

As part of the new system, managers are encouraged to carry “attitude cards” to help refresh employees on behaviours supported by the new program, including prompts to “be bold,” “be an owner,” and “be open and be kind,” according to Bloomberg’s report.

The system also encourages managers to reward good behaviour with gold stars, which can lead to awards like lunches with store leadership. The star system has been derided by some employees as childish, according to Bloomberg.


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Walmart said “Great Workplace” is still a work in progress, and that different iterations of the program are being tested in various stores.

In some cases, the new system has reduced the overall number of managerial positions, but provided higher salaries to the positions that remain.

Assistant managers and others whose jobs are impacted by the changes have been asked to reapply for the newly created positions.

If you’re a Walmart worker with a story to share, contact [email protected]

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