Walmart Teaches Managers Compassion

Compassionate leadership contributes to the bottom line.

March 12, 2024

The New York Times dove into the Walmart Academy, a week-long course for store managers.

During the training, managers hear the message that Walmart’s success is possible only if the store managers take care of their workers, their customers and their community.

With “really strong store managers who are purpose-driven and values-driven, we can drive stronger business results,” said Lorraine Stomski, who runs Walmart’s learning and leadership programs.

One store manager noted how since taking the training, she has made time for informal chats with the people who work in her store. “I think those are instrumental when you’re around each other for eight hours, 40 hours a week,” she said.

The focus on compassionate leadership became a notable topic of conversation for companies about two years ago, according to Jessica Kriegel, a workplace training consultant who has researched the topic.

“The big insight here is that employees feeling cared for is directly tied to communication,” Kriegel told the Times. “And the folks who communicate the most with the front line are their supervisors. That’s why frontline supervisors are so critical, because if they’re communicating effectively then the work force feels cared for.”

According to the article, “Managers take part in breakout sessions about how to make all of their workers, from the mechanics in the car repair department to the overnight shift workers mopping the floors and those restocking apples in the grocery department, feel as if they’re contributing to the bigger corporate mission.”