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枪击案发生后,沃尔玛该如何应对?| 《财富》专访沃尔玛CEO

Brian O’Keefe 2019年09月08日

在董明伦的领导下,这家全球最大公司已经投入了数十亿美元,以提高员工的适应性。

沃尔玛首席执行官董明伦与两名“沃尔玛学院”毕业生合影。图片来源:Courtesy of Walmart

8月3日(星期六),沃尔玛首席执行官董明伦和妻子正走在共进午餐的路上,这时他接到了一个电话。对沃尔玛来说,那本就已经是混乱而又令人悲伤的一周了。几天前,在密西西比州南海文市的一家沃尔玛门店,一名员工开枪打死了店经理和一名部门经理。而从这个电话中,董明伦获知一场新的危机正在上演:埃尔帕索一家沃尔玛门店里有一名枪手正在四处射击。

董明伦立即前往沃尔玛位于阿肯色州本顿维尔的总部。到那之后,他留下妻子独自下车,径直向沃尔玛的应急运营中心走去。那里的安全、运营和人力资源团队正在追踪现场情况。当时,南海文市的悲剧在他的脑海里仍然记忆犹新。董明伦说道:“但在进入应急运营中心后没有多久,我就发现这次的情况有所不同。”

这次的枪手是一名21岁男子,不是沃尔玛员工,有报道称此人从达拉斯附近的家中驱车约10个小时来到埃尔帕索,打算枪杀墨西哥裔人。这名歹徒用一杆AK-47打死了22人,伤24人。当晚,在代顿又发生了一次大规模枪击事件,这种大屠杀在全美范围内引发了一场有关枪支暴力的最新热议——沃尔玛则成为了讨论的焦点。

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon was on his way to lunch with his wife when he got the call. It was Saturday, Aug. 3, and it had already been a sad and tumultuous week at the company. A few days earlier, at a Walmart in Southaven, Miss., an associate—as Walmart calls its employees—had shot and killed the store manager and a department manager. Now, McMillon was told, a new crisis was unfolding: There was an active shooter in a Walmart store in El Paso.

McMillon immediately diverted his route to Walmart’s Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, and his wife dropped him off. He went straight to Walmart’s emergency operations center (EOC), where security, operations, and human resources teams were tracking the situation. The Southaven tragedy was still fresh in his mind. “But it didn’t take very long once I got into the EOC,” says McMillon, “to figure out this was a different kind of circumstance.”

This time the shooter was not an employee but a 21-year-old man who had reportedly driven some 10 hours to El Paso from his home near Dallas, intending to gun down people of Mexican descent. Using an AK-47 style assault weapon, the gunman killed 22 people and wounded another 24. Along with a second mass shooting that night in Dayton, the massacre kicked off a new national debate about gun violence—with Walmart in the middle of the conversation.

在首席执行官董明伦的领导下,这家全球最大公司已经投入了数十亿美元,以提高员工的适应性。图片来源:Photograph by John David Pittman for Fortune

枪击事件发生几天后,《纽约时报》的安德鲁·罗斯·索尔金给董明伦写了一封公开信,呼吁他利用沃尔玛的影响力,仿效该公司多年来在可持续发展领域中的做法,向枪支行业施加压力。加州一名23岁的沃尔玛员工在线上请愿网站Change.org发起请愿,要求沃尔玛停止出售枪支。截至发稿时,这份请愿书已经征集7.3万多个签名。

迄今为止,董明伦一直避免卷入更大规模的政治和政策对话。枪击事件发生后的次周周二,他前往得克萨斯州与门店经理和员工会面,他说那“只是为了拥抱人们,倾听他们的心声”。同日,董明伦发表了自己写给沃尔玛员工的公开信,反思了枪击事件,表示该公司目前将专注于帮助埃尔帕索的员工和客户,并与执法部门合作。

董明伦在公开信中写道,沃尔玛将“深思熟虑地做出回应”。几天后,当被问及是否已经就如何参与政策讨论的问题做出任何决定时,他表示现在还不是合适的时候。“毫无疑问,我们公司成为了焦点。”他说,“但我今天还没有准备好谈论这个问题。”

董明伦很清楚地知道,此类问题不太可能很快消散。而努力应对复杂的社会政治问题,是管理全球最大公司的负担和责任——沃尔玛的“足迹”已然相当于一个不小的国家。凭借5140亿美元的营收,沃尔玛轻松登上了今年《财富》世界500强排行榜的榜首,公司在全球范围内拥有220万名员工,仅在美国就有150万名员工,是全球最大的非政府雇主。

现年52岁的董明伦在这家大型零售商度过了整个职业生涯,但当他在五年半以前走上最高领导岗位,成为继标志性创始人山姆·沃尔顿之后的第四位沃尔玛首席执行官时,他发现这家公司有点过时了。那时,沃尔玛不仅在网购方面严重落后于亚马逊,就连美国连锁店这一核心业务也举步维艰。董明伦得出的结论是,他需要在员工方面进行投资,以吸引质量更高的员工,提高留职率,并借此最终改善店内体验。

In the days following the shooting, Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times wrote an open letter to McMillon calling on him to use the company’s influence and leverage, as it has in sustainability efforts over the years, to put pressure on the gun industry. And a 23-year-old associate in California launched a petition at Change.org to stop the sale of firearms at Walmart. At press time, the petition had garnered more than 73,000 signatures.

McMillon so far has resisted being drawn into the larger political and policy conversation. On the Tuesday after the shootings, he traveled to Texas to meet with the store’s managers and associates, “just to hug the people and listen to them,” he says. That same day, McMillon published his own open letter to Walmart’s associates, reflecting on the tragic nature of the shootings but saying that the company would focus for the time being on helping associates and customers in El Paso and working with law enforcement.

McMillon wrote that the company would be “thoughtful and deliberate in our responses.” Asked a few days later if he’s made any decisions about how to engage in the policy debate, McMillon says it’s still not the right time. “No doubt, there’s a spotlight on the company,” he says. “But I’m not ready to talk about that today.”

The questions aren’t likely to go away, as McMillon well knows. Grappling with complex sociopolitical issues is part of the burden and the responsibility of running the world’s largest company—one with a footprint the size of a not-so-small country. Walmart easily ranked No. 1 on this year’s Fortune Global 500 thanks to its $514 billion in revenue. And with 2.2 million associates globally—1.5 million in the U.S. alone—the company is the world’s biggest nongovernment employer.

McMillon, 52, has spent his entire career at the massive retailer. But when he stepped into the top job five and a half years ago—becoming just the fourth executive to lead Walmart after iconic founder Sam Walton—he found the company in a bit of a rut. Not only was Walmart trailing Amazon badly online, but also its core U.S. stores were struggling. McMillon concluded that he needed to invest in his workforce—to attract better-quality associates, boost retention, and by doing so ultimately improve the store experience.

2018年6月1日,沃尔玛首席执行官董明伦在阿肯色州费耶特维尔召开的一次股东活动上摆好姿势,与一名员工自拍合影。图片来源:Rick T. Wilking—Getty Images

这个想法并没有受到普遍的欢迎。在董明伦向华尔街称其计划提高员工工资——他表示,沃尔玛已经为此投入了45亿美元——之后,公司股价暴跌。在我于2015年给《财富》杂志撰文介绍董明伦时,他的这种战略还没有成果。当时,沃尔玛刚刚公布业绩称,美国同店销售连续第六个季度持平或负增长。而在8月初,沃尔玛则公布业绩称其美国同店销售连续第20个季度实现了正增长。从2015年11月触及低点到今年8月中旬,沃尔玛的股价飙升了86%,同期标普500指数的累计涨幅为43%,期间沃尔玛的市值增加了1190亿美元。

在这五年时间里,只有沃尔玛每年都入选《财富》杂志“改变世界的公司” 排行榜。在过去,沃尔玛之所以能够上榜,主要是因为无论是在公司自己的运营中,还是在整个供应商网络里,沃尔玛都在推动可持续商业实践方面发挥了领导作用。但在今年,沃尔玛则凭借其对员工的长期投资而取得了成功。这种投资远不只加薪那么简单:公司通过其“学院”计划为数十万名员工提供培训课程。

It wasn’t a universally popular idea. After McMillon told Wall Street that he planned to increase wages for his legions of associates—McMillon says the company has invested $4.5 billion in the effort—Walmart’s stock tumbled. When I profiled McMillon for Fortune in 2015, his strategy hadn’t yet yielded results. The company had just reported its sixth straight quarter of negative or flat U.S. same-store sales. At the beginning of August, Walmart reported its 20th straight quarter of positive U.S. same-store sales growth. From its low point in November 2015 through mid-August, Walmart’s stock has soared 86%, vs. 43% for the S&P 500—a gain of $119 billion in market value.

Walmart is the only company to have been named to Fortune’s Change the World list in each of its five years. In the past, Walmart has earned its way onto the roster primarily for its leadership in driving sustainable business practices, in its own operations and throughout its supplier network. But this year Walmart makes it on the strength of the long-term investment in its people. That investment goes well beyond simple pay increases: The company has offered training courses to hundreds of thousands of associates through its Academies program.

2019年8月7日,一名员工在“沃尔玛学院”的毕业典礼上与众人击掌庆贺。图片来源:Courtesy of Walmart

现在,沃尔玛正在此基础之上发展其Live Better U计划。去年,该公司与职业培训初创公司Guild Education合作推出了这个项目。项目名称来自于沃尔玛“省钱,让生活更美好”的口号。允许员工以每天1美元的价格,无债务地获得大学学位和技能证书。约有6000名沃尔玛员工已经通过这个项目注册入学,另有4000名员已经签约,将从今年秋季开始参加该项目。沃尔玛推出这个项目的一部分想法是,参与者将可拥有适应经济发展的技能和韧性。“你必须要有能力管理变化,必须要有能力学做新的任务。”董明伦说道,“有些人在接受培训后会离开公司,但我们并不介意。”

从董明伦的角度来看,Live Better U是一个连续体的一部分,这是一种长期的努力,目的是确保沃尔玛继续保持 “学习型”组织的身份。这种学习能够在经济和情感上打造韧性,让员工为将来可能发生的任何事情做好准备。(财富中文网)

本文另一版本登载于《财富》杂志2019年9月刊的《改变世界》系列文章中。

译者:艾伦

审校:夏林

Now Walmart is building on that foundation with its Live Better U initiative. Last year the company partnered with Guild Education to launch the program—the name comes from Walmart’s “Save Money, Live Better” slogan—allowing workers to pursue college degrees and skills certificates, debt-free, for $1 per day. Some 6,000 Walmart employees are already active and enrolled in school through the program, and another 4,000 are signed up to start this fall. Part of the idea is that they’ll have the skills and resilience to adapt as the economy evolves. “You’ve got to be able to manage change. You’ve got to be able to learn new tasks,” McMillon says. “Some people will go outside the company after receiving that training, and that’s okay with us.”

From McMillon’s perspective, Live Better U is part of a continuum—a long-term effort to make sure that Walmart continues to be a “learning” organization. That kind of learning builds resilience, both economic and emotional, that can prepare his workforce for whatever comes next.

A version of this article appears as part of the Change the World package in the September 2019 issue of Fortune.

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