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Walmart US CEO Greg Foran encourages employees to 'add your creative flair'

The CEO spoke at the Walmart U.S. Associates Meeting at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville after other executives discussed programs that have led to increased sales and added incentives for employees. (Courtesy Talk Business & Politics)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS) – Greg Foran, CEO of Walmart U.S., encouraged about 6,000 Walmart U.S. employees to lead with heart and explained the difference between those who do and those who do not as the difference between being good and being great.

On Wednesday, he spoke at the Walmart U.S. Associates Meeting at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville after other executives discussed programs that have led to increased sales and added incentives for employees. Also, Julie Murphy, executive vice president of people for Walmart, explained a program allowing its employees to earn a college degree for $1 per day and how those enrolled in existing Walmart Academies earn credits toward a college degree.

In the meeting, Foran showed a YouTube video of the director and cast of “The Greatest Showman” that led the movie studio to produce the film. He explained some elements of heart include, skill, confidence, trust, courage and creativity.

“The magic is being able to add your creative flair to something,” said Foran, adding that it might be doing something for the customer that’s not in a training video, but “it’s the right thing to do.”

“Each of you have creative ideas about to make something in your store just a little bit better,” he said before encouraging employees to use their creativity and heart. He also thanked them on behalf of the 150 million customers who shop at Walmart weekly and the 1.3 million Walmart employees.

Mark Ibbotson, executive vice president of central operations for Walmart, showed a video of virtual reality training for employees that’s available as a pilot in 10 stores. He also showed a training simulator he likened to "The Sims" game and how it takes an avatar of an employee through a scenario that allows an employee to take action in what to do, for example, in the event of a spill or how to help a customer looking for an item.

Ibbotson said the employee who comes up with the winning name for the game will have their own avatar to use in the game, which is available in Walmart Academy.

Walmart is also testing a smartphone app that will allow employees to set their hours they work for up to a quarter and allow them to switch shifts with other employees or pick up extra shifts that have yet to be scheduled, Ibbotson said. The app will be available to employees companywide by the end of the year.

And starting next week, employees will be allowed to wear blue jeans, an announcement that was repeated and received applause throughout the meeting.

Click here for the full story on the associates meeting.

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