It would be so easy to clean up the image of the company. Over the course of four years I made every attempt to explain to the corporate offices the reason the company was beginning to look so bad.
The downfall of this company will be the loss of the dedicated associate base it originally had when Sam Walton was still alive.
Obviously, although I spent all of my work days among the hundreds and thousands of Wal-mart associates working in the stores the corporate officers did not think it could be I knew something they didn’t.
Sam believed in listening to the associates.
The company still says, “Our people make the difference. " They do and it is the associates will make or break the company as time goes by.
The corporate officers, who are paid very well, may love their jobs simply because of the pay.
The average Wal-mart associate loved their jobs even if the pay and benefits were not so wonderful. Why? Because it was a wonderful place to work when the atmosphere held Sam’s culture and it was something they enjoyed doing.
There is a way to look at it that seems to be overlooked by many. We have all heard of the starving artist. The artist that loves what he or she does so much it makes no difference if they have money to eat.
At Wal-mart, the culture was so fine going to work was fun. Going to work was better than doing anything else. The atmosphere of the store made a person want to be there even when they weren’t working.
A list of, Sam’s culture, what now is nothing more than propaganda is what hangs on the back hall and break room walls.
Liars, thieves and thugs roam the halls of this company now. There are many managers who have no respect for the people that care the most. The corporate officers no longer have that touch that Sam had. The open door has slammed shut and means nothing now that the original culture has died.
Respect is a thing of the past. There is no respect and with the loss of it the associates no longer want to be there for anything more than a pay check.
There were so many good, wonderful things associated with working for Wal-mart, things that made the amount of pay and benefits given unimportant to most of the workers.
The way that they (the corporate officers) are treating Tom Coughlin is the way that they handle the associates now.
There is no respect and there is no “servant leadership" left.
If anyone would seriously look at the way things were done when Tom and Sam were working together I am sure they would find all of it, the entire situation, was taken care of the way Sam would have done it. I can not say I am sure as I wasn’t there but I would bet the most I could, on the fact that Tom did not do anything that Sam would not have approved of.
Come on, be serious, what would Tom have to gain by doing something wrong after all the years he spent doing it right?
There is more to it than that and eventually the source of the problems will be found and I believe that it will be much more than anyone expected. I have my suspicions and believe it or not I feel the only reason, Tom was going to retire was because he knew that the company was being led in the wrong direction and he wanted out and they didn’t want him around anymore.
If they only would do all of it Sam’s Way there would not be so many problems. Now it is “The Walmart Way" Not Sam’s Way.
About the Author:
Seven Years as a Wal-mart associate. Hourly, salaried and with constant contact over the last four years with corporate and executive officers. Worked for the company in four states in ten stores with over 4000 associates.