What Is Coaching at Walmart?

Walmart At South San Francisco

Launched as a small discount retailer in Rogers, Ark, in 1962, Walmart today has a considerable presence both in the US and worldwide.

Its customer-centric business focus and everyday low prices strategy have made it highly popular among customers who love shopping at its local stores, website, and mobile app.

The secret behind Walmart’s success is also its team of hardworking employees and managers who maintain the high customer service standards set by the founders and management of Walmart.

To ensure that all its employees follow the work guidelines strictly and dedicatedly, Walmart conducts training sessions for all employees.

Also, it organizes coaching sessions for those who inadvertently make mistakes while performing their duties.

The coaching sessions, which are color-coded, are quite intensive and play a significant role in an employee’s career path at Walmart.

Due to the coaching’s importance in personal growth, new employees at Walmart are always eager to know the answer to one key question: “What Is coaching at Walmart?”


To ensure customer satisfaction, Walmart takes its customer service standards and employee performance seriously.

To ensure strict compliance with the work policies, it has appointed “performance coaches” who work on improving the performance of employees who fall behind in their duties or do not match the set standards.

The role of coaching in an employee’s career is so important that employees who need to attend coaching sessions are not allowed to change their job location or role for a pre-determined time till their performance is once again considered exemplary.

For the understanding of its employees, Walmart has defined its coaching levels as follows:

  • Yellow coaching
  • Orange coaching
  • Red coaching

The color code of the coaching you receive depends on the severity of your offense or mistake and its repeated occurrences.

Being marked out for coaching should be avoided, as it is an indicator of poor performance and may play a negative role in your annual appraisals or promotions.

While all employees make mistakes, learning from them and improving your performance will help you work better. To this end, Walmart offers performance coaching to all its employees. In this article, we will share elaborate details on coaching at Walmart and how it works.

Performance Coaching

A Coach Filling Out An Employee Performance Evaluation Form

Walmart’s manual on new roles defines a coach as a person who is responsible for the financials, merchandising, staffing, and talent growth for a large area.

The coaches work toward ensuring every individual’s goals are in line with the organization’s goals.

The coaches also communicate with the leads regarding the team’s overall performance. Moreover, they discuss how the team can work together to improve business performance.


A Store Manager Having A Meeting With Her Team

Apart from Walmart’s coaches, an individual’s performance is also a key responsibility of the store managers, assistant managers, and team leaders.

They offer support and guidance to the team members through feedback and corrective conversations.

These discussions are designed to encourage and strengthen the team members to be their best versions.

If a team member violates Walmart’s work policies or undertakes an action that is not in line with the company’s work culture or goals, they are subject to briefing or training sessions, which are known as coaching.

Coaching Reasons

A Tardy Employee Coming Into The Meeting Room

Employees working at Walmart may be subject to coaching for varied reasons related to workplace efficiency or work culture.

A few of the reasons you are assigned to a coaching session are:

  • Reporting to work late regularly
  • Taking longer breaks than the time allotted
  • Misbehaving with customers
  • Not cooperating with co-workers
  • Damaging or mishandling store property or goods
  • Not fulfilling your job expectations
  • Taking leaves without requisite approvals
  • Failure to follow the work policies and guidelines laid down by the company
Coaching Level Significance

If you have been sidelined for coaching, it is important to know what is the level or color coding of the coaching you have been selected for.

  • Yellow coaching is typically a conversation between you and your manager, wherein your errors or mistakes are pointed out.
  • Orange coaching is when a written warning is issued. Being selected for this coaching can limit your transfers and promotions.
  • Red coaching is the final level. Employees marked for it are usually terminated from their job unless they improve their performance substantially.

For more information on coaching and work policies, you may refer to Walmart’s website for employees.

Coaching Levels

An Illustration Emphasizing The Importance Of Skills Development

Not all errors or violations invoke the same penalty or coaching.

Coaching can be formal or informal based on the violation and your manager’s understanding of the problem.

There are different levels of coaching based on the severity of the error and whether it is a repeated offense by the employee.

Some violations may be considered more severe in nature and can lead to the employee being asked to join an Orange or Red level coaching or even being terminated without any coaching.

The different coaching levels that one can get assigned to at Walmart are:

Yellow Coaching

A Coach Talking To An Employee

This is the most common coaching occurrence at Walmart since it aims to address basic work-related issues before they escalate into major ones.

Yellow coaching is usually a verbal conversation between the employee and the coach assigned to them.

It usually occurs when an employee shows signs of being irresponsible toward their work and commits offenses, such as:

  • Reporting late for work
  • Not finishing the tasks assigned to them on a daily basis
  • Not following the stipulated guidelines for completing a task and the like
  • Inappropriate dress code or personal hygiene

While Yellow coaching does not have serious repercussions on an employee’s career, it is noted on their work records.

It could also lead to an escalation in the coaching level assigned to them in case of a repeat offense.

The time duration for Yellow coaching is around 6 months.

Orange Coaching

An Employee Receiving A Written Warning

An employee is earmarked for Orange coaching if they have committed a repeated offense while being active on Yellow coaching.

They may also be directly assigned to Orange coaching in case their first violation is a serious offense.

When an employee is assigned to Orange coaching, the coach issues a written warning to them.

The details regarding the inappropriate behavior and the steps being undertaken to improve are also noted in Walmart’s employee system for future reference.

Employees are not eligible for a transfer or promotion within the organization while Orange coaching is active.

The time duration for Orange coaching is 6 months.

Red Coaching

An Employee Receiving A Termination Letter

An employee is assigned to Red coaching if they commit another mistake or work-related violation while being on Orange coaching.

A repeated occurrence can also lead to the termination of the employee from the job.

Walmart takes Red coaching quite seriously and even assigns a senior member of the team to work with the employee on improving the latter’s behavior or work performance.

A written warning is also issued to the employees and they are asked to acknowledge it.

Similar to Orange coaching, employees on Red coaching cannot ask for a transfer or be eligible for a promotion.


Employees at Walmart are selected for coaching sessions if their work performance is not up to the standards defined by the company.

The company has different levels of coaching: Yellow, Orange, and Red.

The level of coaching depends on the severity of the offense and the employee’s past work behavior.

Employees assigned to coaching should consider it a positive action and work on the feedback given in the coaching sessions to improve their work performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Be Terminated for My First Mistake or Offense?

Walmart is an employee-focused organization and works positively toward improving its employees’ skills or correcting work-related offenses.

As such, it does not terminate employees for their first mistake or offense but assigns them coaching based on the misjudgment or error they committed.

Having said that, one must also note that if the offense conducted is a gross violation of their work policies or sexual harassment policy, they are liable to be terminated on the spot.

What Is the Duration of the Coaching?

All coaching levels have a duration of six months. In case of a repeat offense during the same period, the time duration resets to zero. Hence, you will be reassigned to another coaching level for another six months.

Can I Appeal Against Coaching?

Yes, you can appeal against coaching if you feel that it was unwarranted or the situation leading to the coaching was out of your control and not a result of your actions.

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