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08/27/2021

Walmart promotes employee well-being with high-tech services

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart is encouraging workers to tend to their mental and physical health.

Walmart is offering associates seven ways to prioritize their self-care, including several options with a decidedly techno-centric focus.

With the start of the new school year and continuing spread of COVID-19, the discount giant is urging employees to take advantage of company offerings designed to reduce stress and promote mental and physical health. The services are:

  1. Schedule time off: Walmart offers a flexible paid time off (PTO) plan, and the retailer is urging employees to schedule some PTO and hold themselves accountable for taking it.
  2. No-cost virtual counseling: Walmart associates and family members are eligible for up to 10 no-cost virtual counseling sessions per concern through Resources for Living (RFL). RFL licensed professionals are available 24/7 to listen and offer caring advice on coping with change, stress, parenting, anxiety, or grief.
  3. Free well-being webinars: Through Resources for Living (RFL), associates can watch free webinars on topics such as communication, stress, self-improvement, and coping with COVID-19.
  4. $9 fitness center membership offer: Full-time, part-time or temporary U.S. associates and their families have access to thousands of fitness locations with the Fitness Pass network, and can take advantage of this benefit for as low as $9 a paycheck.
  5. Sleep, meditation and gratitude app: Through Thrive Global, all associates can download a free app for tools and tips from experts for improving sleep, understanding the benefits of meditation and finding gratitude. The app also offers resources for healthy eating, weight loss support, debt management and financial well-being.
  6. Talk to fellow associates across the country: Through Supportiv, Walmart offers peer support chats 24/7. It’s free, 100% anonymous and includes trained moderators. Associates can also receive article suggestions, videos, podcasts and services that are tailored to their unique needs.
  7. Bring well-being into the workday: Walmart encourages leaders to take time at team huddles or morning meetings to share what they’re doing to prioritize well-being and encourage peers to discuss how they’re caring for themselves.

Walmart began piloting employee telehealth services as part of its medical plan in January 2020, in an effort to provide easier and better care for its workers while also reducing its own costs. 

Employees are also encouraged to share images and posts of their self-care activities on social media with the hashtag at #WellbeingatWalmart.

“Many of us had hoped this summer would bring resolution to the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Lisa Woods, VP, emotional and physical well-being, Walmart, in a corporate blog post.Yet, as we begin another school year and turn the corner to the back half of the year, we are reminded daily of the continuing impact of COVID-19. Infection rates are rising, isolation is growing, and our stress is compounding. As we strive to serve the needs of our families, our business and our communities, we must remember to take care of ourselves also.