Store Remodels Offer Opportunity to Join “SWAT”

For Blake J. and Rojelio C., successful store remodels helped them turn the page, both for the company and their careers.

 

What’s SWAT?

The Sam Walton Action Team (SWAT) helps stores remodel by sending a group of about 30 trained associates with experience in multiple departments. More than 1,000 SWAT associates were hired in 2019, and Walmart plans to hire at least 400 more in 2020.

“For a company to be successful, it needs to keep up with the times and evolve,” says Rojelio C., a field assistant manager in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. “The biggest challenge is convincing everyone that remodels are the best thing for the company, the store, and our customers.”

 

It’s part of his job to facilitate change, and he sees it as a way to strengthen stores and their teams. But some associates need convincing.

 

“Any time strangers come into your home and start moving things around, it’s going to ruffle some feathers,” he says, describing the effect SWAT remodels can have on store associates. 

 

Not long ago, before they joined SWAT, Rojelio and his coworker Blake J., also a field assistant manager in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, were the ones getting their feathers ruffled during a remodel at their store, Neighborhood Market 2979, Fort Worth, Texas. It would help fuel their careers. 

 

A Warehouse-Size Opportunity
 

After leaving Store 2979 to join the SWAT pilot program, Rojelio set a goal to become a field assistant manager. He applied for the position, but was turned down. Instead, he transferred to a market-level warehouse.

 

It seemed further removed from his goal but turned out to be the perfect opportunity. “I realized I was getting to learn all the fixtures that go into remodels because they all had to go through the warehouse. I also got to know many remodel field managers and their bosses and put my name out there.” 

 

This time also gave Rojelio the chance to learn why he hadn’t been given the field assistant manager position. “I had gone about applying the wrong way. None of my superiors knew I was interested.”

 

Once Rojelio made it clear to his supervisors that he was interested in a promotion to field assistant manager, they began to support him and help him learn and improve his skills. He was soon promoted to his current position.

 

On the Team
 

Blake also found opportunity and support in SWAT, working on several remodel projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth region.

 

“I asked a field assistant manager to be my mentor,” says Blake. “Without him sharing his knowledge and helping me along the way, I would have been a step behind the others.

 

“I love the impact you have on a store, transitioning them into an updated layout and an improved shopping experience.”

 

Remodel Done Right
 

Rojelio says the first key to a successful remodel is having the right associates, who are willing to learn and evolve.

 

Second is providing the leadership and training to make sure the team has the proper tools.

 

“Once the project is finished, you get a great feeling of accomplishment and contribution, not just to the store, but also to the community,” he says. “We are the ambassadors of change.”

Interested in a SWAT Remodel Career?

Visit OneWalmart, click 'Me,' and then click 'Career Search' under 'My Career.' Then click 'Home Office & Corporate Positions' and search 'Field Project Coordinator.'

For more stories, advice, and inspiration, download your copy of the Spring issue of Walmart World here!

 
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