Personal cell phones can be a distraction, especially in the retail world where employees are expected to be providing great customer service … not updating their social media accounts. Walmart is capitalizing on the ubiquitous nature of our cell phones, announcing the launch of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative.
BYOD empowers Walmart employees to stay connected from the familiarity of their own device. Through the new program, employees will have the option to download the Walmart app suite directly to their personal devices. This is another way to access the tools that help Walmart associates understand the health of the business, and spend more time on the sales floor serving customers. Additionally, store associates also receive a discount on their monthly phone bills.
With BYOD, when an employee clocks in at work, they have all of the tools that enable them to do their jobs right in their pocket. The app suite includes the PlanIt app — a center for all announcements coming directly from Walmart’s home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
What About Privacy?
Privacy is obviously a big concern with an initiative like this. To address this concern, Walmart has provided a detailed list of what they can and cannot see.
What They Can See:
- Battery Level
- Make and Model of the Device
- Operating System and Version
- Corporate Email and Data
- Storage Usage
- Phone Number
What They Can NOT see:
- Personal Email and Data
- Photos / Videos
- Voicemail – Corporate and Personal
- Text – iOS or Android
- Web Activity
- List of Apps
Spencer Schmidt is a sales floor associate at a supercenter in Fort Smith, Arkansas, one of the first stores that tested the BYOD functionality. He says the best thing about using his own device at work is the convenience of logging in as soon as he clocks in for his shift.
BYOD basically works just like our store devices – I can pop it open when a customer needs help, look up items and find where they are in the store. But with my phone, the apps are always on me. As soon as I clock in, I can see what notes have been assigned to me and start working on them right away.