Walmart

Engaging Employees Across 28 Countries

CHALLENGE

In 2007 Walmart CEO Lee Scott had a plan. Leverage the retailer’s massive footprint—9,600 stores across 28 countries—for good. Not just for the health of its customers and the planet but for the good of its people, some 2.2 million associates working on five continents. Walmart retained BBMG to create a brand platform for “My Sustainability Plan” (MSP), its first truly global initiative aimed at helping associates live healthier, safer lives, a move consistent with the company’s pledge to help customers “save money, live better.”

INSIGHT

We knew that employees who feel valued and engaged are more loyal and productive. But following our immersive research we realized that we would have to make “sustainability” much more concrete, bring it closer-in to the employee’s lived experience, both inside and outside of Walmart.

SOLUTION

We created a simple, clear taxonomy for the entire program, defining three key focus areas, each with its own “easy wins” based on actual employee goals: My Health, My Planet and My Life.

We gamified the platform, rewarding employees for achieving their simple goals and inspiring them to share progress at daily meetings. Then we developed a unified brand system and a flexible set of universal icons to promote the small actions we can take in our everyday lives.. And we supported an international pilot study and worked with in-market sustainability captains to make sure the brand would resonate culturally with associates in diverse markets around the world.

Finally, for a successful global roll-out we leveraged BBMG’s “Freedom within a Framework” process to create modular toolkits with ample room for customization and implementation at the local market level.

IMPACT

“My Sustainability Plan” offers Walmart associates an online community with the tools they need to create, track and share their goals—from eating right and exercising daily to cutting their electric bill thanks to a programmable thermostat. Associates on five continents participated in the program, helping them not just improve their own lives, but inspire their friends, families, customers, colleagues and communities.

To scale the impact, Walmart announced—as part of its commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative—its intent to share the intellectual property of the MSP program with any organization requesting a license. Since then more than 35 organizations have used this license, including Unilever, UPS, J.B. Hunt and United Healthcare.

“I want you to know how pleased everyone at Walmart has been with the work that BBMG has produced for the MSP program. It really is world-class. BBMG’s agility without compromising quality is refreshing, and it’s great to have a partner who understands what we’re looking for and knows how to make it happen.”

Shannon Frederick, Director of Internal Communications and Corporate Sustainability, Walmart

 

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