Like most corporate chains, Walmart is a company known for prioritizing the needs of its customers, particularly in a financial sense. Walmart’s entire business model essentially relies upon offering its customers low prices on a wide variety of goods, and to do so, the company has opted to place much less emphasis on the needs of its employees. While Walmart certainly recognizes the important role played by its employees in the success of its business operations, the company has essentially developed itself in a way that undercuts those valuable employees in favor of fostering a competitive advantage in the marketplace (Lombardo, 2017).
Still, Walmart touts an organizational culture aligned with the company’s core set of beliefs, including: a dedication to customer service and to excellence, respect for the individual, and action with integrity (Lombardo, 2017). Unfortunately, these values demonstrate that there remains significant room for improvement in how the company can more effectively work with its employees to cater to their individual and unique needs.
As the primary source of dysfunction within Walmart’s organizational culture lies within its prioritization of customers over the company’s staff, a good starting point for improvement would be in more closely adhering to its value of respect for the individual (Lombardo, 2017). Developing an environment in which employees’ questions and concerns are taken seriously will allow them a sense of comfort and convey the company as one that is welcoming of individual differences. Differences in gender, personality, and other individual characteristics are often sources of insecurity, and failure to recognize and respect those differences could therefore have a significant impact on employee performance.
Despite Walmart’s current focus on customer satisfaction above all else, the company only harms itself by not focusing more attention on embracing the differences of its employees.