Companies that succeed amid COVID-19 will be those that prioritize people: Walmart's Donna Morris
People Matters|August 2020
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Companies that succeed amid COVID-19 will be those that prioritize people: Walmart's Donna Morris
We will do whatever is required to empower our people – and that might mean making changes to our systems, among other efforts such as investing in workforce training and education, says the Chief People Officer of the retail giant, in an exclusive interaction with People Matters
Mastufa Ahmed

As we slowly get back to work alongside the pandemic, organizations while working hard to take care of their employees’ safety and well-being, are also realizing that this is the time to focus on employee productivity as they continue to adapt to the changing times. We caught up with the Chief People Officer of Walmart, Donna Morris to find out how they are battling the pandemic, managing the performance of their employees, and rewarding them.

Donna Morris is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for Walmart. A member of the executive committee, Donna is responsible for attracting, retaining and developing talent for one of the world’s largest private employers.

Donna has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in delivering innovative people solutions, developing and managing teams that operate in an agile way, and helping to build a high-performance culture that promotes diversity and inclusion. Donna joined Walmart from Adobe, where she served as Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President of employee experience.

Donna joined Adobe in 2002 and most recently led all aspects of the company’s human resources, real estate and security operations. She also serves on the board of directors of Marvell Technology.

Here are the excerpts of the interview.

How has Walmart responded to the COVID19 pandemic to ensure employee safety, managing relationships with clients, collaboration with industry leaders, and internal workforce management?

The global health crisis has been top of mind for us since the beginning of this year when our stores in China first responded. Since then, we’ve taken a number of steps to keep our people safe, including changing our store hours, installing sneeze guards and social distance markers in all stores, using new spray kits to sanitize carts, taking associate temperatures, and requiring that associates wear masks. We also donated parking lot space for test sites, PPE and supplies to hospitals, and food to those in need. In these unprecedented times, we’re fortunate to be able to use our size and resources to do good for our associates, customers, and communities.

How has the impact of COVID-19 been on the retail industry? How are you adapting to the changing times and embracing the new normal? What are your focus areas?

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August 2020