The Three Basic Beliefs. The Sundown Rule. The 10-Foot Rule. The rules of thumb we live and work by to show respect and consideration for our customers, associates, neighbors and suppliers. This is the basis of our unique corporate culture and how we bring our mission to life. We’re known around the world as the business that helps our customers save money so they can live better, but it begins with the values and morals Sam Walton exemplified and instilled in each of us.
Since Sam Walton opened the first Walmart in 1962, our culture has rested on three basic beliefs: respect for the individual, service to the customer and striving for excellence. We live out these beliefs – and are constantly improving upon them – in the ways we serve our customers and each other daily.
Our management believes open communication is critical to understanding and meeting our associates’ and our customers’ needs. Associates can trust and rely on our open door policy; it's one of the most important components of our culture.
Observing the Sundown Rule means we do our best to answer requests by the close of business on the day we receive them. It’s one of the many ways we provide superior customer service. Whether it's a request from a store across the country or a call from down the hall, when we combine our efforts and show a sense of urgency, we show people that we know their time is valuable.
Sam’s philosophy lives on today in the Grass Roots process, our formal way of capturing associates’ ideas, suggestions and concerns. “Listen to your associates. They’re the best idea generators,” Sam said – and he meant it. For years, he traveled continuously so he could visit all of his stores at least once a year, asking associates for their ideas.
The 10-Foot Rule is one of our secrets to successful customer service. During his many store visits, Sam Walton encouraged associates to take this pledge with him: "I promise that whenever I come within 10 feet of a customer, I will look him in the eye, greet him, and ask if I can help him."
Sam Walton believed that effective leaders do not lead from behind their desks. "It's more important than ever that we develop leaders who are servants, who listen to their partners – their associates – in a way that creates wonderful morale to help the whole team accomplish an overall goal,” Sam said. In every Walmart store, you’ll find managers out on the floor with their associates, keeping up with the business, trends and the overall customer experience.
Sam Walton believed in the power of teamwork. As our stores grow and the pace of modern life quickens, that philosophy of teamwork has only become more important (and successful) over the years.
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