Target is giving associates even more reasons to stay

Discussion
Photo: RetailWire
Oct 06, 2021

Target is making news again for taking care of its associates.

The retailer announced that it will pay store associates $2 an hour extra for working on Saturdays and Sundays starting on November 20 and running through December 19. It will also provide the same added pay for those working on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas. Hourly supply chain associates will earn the $2 bump for shifts worked between Oct. 10 and Dec. 18.

“This team continues to be at the heart of our strategy. You have shown up consistently for our guests and one another with a tremendous amount of care and we know this busy holiday season will be no different,” Melissa Kremer, Target’s chief human resources officer, wrote in a note yesterday to employees. “This is just one more way of expressing our deep gratitude for your significant contributions. Thank you for the many ways you bring joy to all families and for all you do to make Target a place where we can care, grow and win together.”

Target, which raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour in July 2020, has cut its turnover rate to a five-year low over the past two years. It recently said that it would give more hours to its permanent employees while cutting the number of seasonal hires to 100,000, down from 130,000 last year. The retailer employs around 340,000 full- and part-time workers.

The chain has consistently made news for its employee-positive approach to managing its business, cited for its hazard pay hourly increases during the pandemic and ongoing “recognition bonuses” over the past year-and-a-half.

Target also recently announced the launch of a new debt free college program open to all employees with new recruits eligible to participate from their first day of employment. Target has said it expects to invest $200 million over the next four years to support the effort, which includes covering full tuition, textbooks and fees for employees pursuing college degrees or certificates.

The retailer now regularly shows up on best employer lists. It recently ranked thirteenth on Fortune’s list of the best large workplaces for women. A Great Place to Work review in March found that 84 percent of employees say Target is a great place to work compared to 59 percent at the typical American company.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How does Target’s approach to human resources compare in your mind to other big retail industry employers? Do you think Target management’s view of the importance and roles of associates is different from other retailers in general?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"All I can say is I’m sure glad I don’t compete with Target. Talk about a brand on fire and delivering at all points exceptionally well!"
"Target is killing it. And I hope, as they do, they raise the stakes at all of their competitors."
"There is absolutely a direct correlation between employee service, brand performance and customer satisfaction!"

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12 Comments on "Target is giving associates even more reasons to stay"


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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

Yes, Target’s approach does appear to be different, and they put their money where their mouth is. Paying existing staff more to work extra hours during the holidays is a smart investment that will pay off for Target. Merely hiring up with untrained seasonal temps, some of whom may be unreliable/unmotivated, is an inefficient way to manage the holiday rush. Offering existing, trained staff increased wages is a win for the employees who want to earn extra money and ultimately for shoppers who will likely have a better store experience as a result. Importantly, Target is also offering pay incentives to warehouse and logistics teams who are critical to the process. And finally, they’re launching a scheduling app that gives employees more control over their schedules which will result in better coverage and happier employees because they have more control over their time. It will be a happy holiday for Target.

Lee Peterson
BrainTrust

Smart. Especially given the tight labor market. Now it’s an easy answer to the question, “would you rather work at Target or _____?” The only cynical thing I can think of is, what took so long?

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

More than its rivals, Target consistently prioritizes its workers, satisfies their needs and earns their loyalty.

Empathy for employees gives Target an edge as retail faces a labor shortage. Caring for associates and paying them more to work during the hectic holiday season will endear associates to Target and inspire them to stay.

Jenn McMillen
BrainTrust

Target is leading the way but expect more retailers to follow suit, as turnover and vacancies have become consistent woes for retailers.

Bob Phibbs
BrainTrust

All I can say is I’m sure glad I don’t compete with Target. Talk about a brand on fire and delivering at all points exceptionally well! They have become a big magnet for disgruntled retail employees at all levels.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

This a huge positive for Target – they continue to invest in people and it serves as a great example to other retailers. I hope others follow by example.

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

Still more evidence that Target is becoming a leading destination for retail employment, not just for shoppers. As panelists have pointed out before, Target’s move addresses not only the current labor shortage but also the long-term opportunity to reduce hiring and training costs.

While Costco has always been an industry leader in pay and employee retention, Target is catching up in a hurry.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

How does Target’s approach to human resources compare in your mind to other big retail industry employers? Everyone is looking for the right equation to get the best return for investment from their staff. Target has hit a home run here because unlike retailers that are not as proactive, Target is setting the pace for great performances from their staff members in the future. This action will produce a paradigm shift in the minds of their staff as being the best. That paradigm shift will definitely have a positive effect on customer relations and expectations. Good move.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

A little more money is a nice incentive to get someone to work. Add in good management that coaches and mentors their employees and you have a winning formula. Just look at the numbers. Turnover is at its lowest in five years – and this is while many other retailers and businesses struggle to get and keep good people. Impressive!

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

There is absolutely a direct correlation between employee service, brand performance and customer satisfaction! Target is making the right investments in people, processes and technology to be the people’s choice!

Gary Sankary
BrainTrust

Target is killing it. And I hope, as they do, they raise the stakes at all of their competitors. They’re blowing holes in the idea that retailers can’t find or keep team members. The more honest way to say what is happening is that retailers can’t find or keep team members at pay and benefits at the rates they want to pay. Target is telling their teams “you are valued” and it’s paying rewards for them.

Kevin Graff
BrainTrust

It is now, and has always been, a put-your-staff-first business for retailers. The problem is that too many in the past, and still too many today, don’t get this. Target gets it! Well done.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"All I can say is I’m sure glad I don’t compete with Target. Talk about a brand on fire and delivering at all points exceptionally well!"
"Target is killing it. And I hope, as they do, they raise the stakes at all of their competitors."
"There is absolutely a direct correlation between employee service, brand performance and customer satisfaction!"

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