Walmart to offer bonuses for good attendance
Walmart plans to give bonuses to its U.S. employees who don’t call out often. The goal is to better deliver a consistent experience for customers and reward its most dependable associates.
At the same time, Walmart is adding protections for employees who have no choice but to miss work.
With the change, hourly employees will be allowed five absences per every six-month period, down from nine previously. But they’ll receive six “protected PTO” days a year that can be used to cover any unplanned absence.
Workers who take all six “protected PTO” days are still eligible for the new attendance bonus. They will not, however, receive a bonus if they use any of the five additional days every six months.
Under the new policy, eligible hourly Walmart associates can earn an additional 25 percent on the quarterly cash bonuses they currently receive based on store performance. For an $11-an-hour entry-level sales associate, that could mean an extra $550.
Drew Holler, VP of associate experience for Walmart U.S., told CNN that the reduction in days off was designed to “drive accountability and raise expectations for that small set of associates that do have an attendance problem.”
The changes came after feedback from associates who wanted more flexibility in their work schedules, with some seeking rewards for consistency showing up. More than 300,000 hourly associates currently have spotless attendance records. Walmart employs some 2.1 million nationwide.
The move was also seen as a cost-effective way for Walmart to boost employee attendance as it raised its minimum wage last year to $11 in a tight job market. Other changes last year, including an expanded paid maternity and paternity leave for full-time hourly workers and revamped scheduling system, have combined to bring Walmart’s turnover in the U.S. to a five-year low.
Some worker advocacy groups had complained that the stringent six-days-off every six months unfairly punished employees dealing with illnesses or sick family members. However, United for Respect, a worker advocacy group, said in a statement that the new plan may encourage employees to come to work sick.
- Walmart Introduces Increased Rewards and Protected PTO for Associates Nationwide – Walmart
- Walmart is changing its sick leave policy, and will pay bonuses for good attendance – CNN
- Walmart is revamping its time-off policy and handing out bonuses to employees with great attendance – Business Insider
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Walmart’s revamped days-off policies? Do you have any tips on handling unplanned absences at the store level that balance the needs of workers and the store?