BENTONVILLE, Ark.—Walmart is increasing its starting wage to $12 an hour at 500 stores for the new position of team associate, CNBC reports. The test comes as the retailer is launching a new, flexible workflow system within its stores.
The new hires, which receive a $1 bump in the usual Walmart starting wage of $11 an hour, will man cash registers, stock shelves and work the deli. The retailer, which employs 1.5 million people, making it the largest private employer in the United States, said it doesn’t have plans to hike wages across the board.
The raise in wages comes as the company is transitioning from a department module to a “team approach.” The change gives lower-level employees more responsibilities, while eliminating longer-term jobs like customer-service manager and assistant manager. Those positions will be replaced with coach, store lead, team lead and academy training jobs.
With more training, workers will have “wider paths for advancement,” the company said. “We are really excited about our test that further empowers our associates to take care of customers,” said Drew Holler, senior vice president of U.S. People and Associate Experience at Walmart. “Our associates are enjoying learning new skills and working on small teams within their store.”