Target Prioritizes Employee Retention Over Seasonal Hires
The persistent labor shortage is putting already stressed retailers on edge with the busiest shopping season of the year approaching. Target is trying to stay on top of retention efforts in advance of the holidays, by announcing 5 million more hours for current store associates, adding up to more than $75 million in pay.
The company said Thursday that its goal is to hire fewer seasonal employees than in previous years and instead focus on more flexible scheduling, training, pay, and benefits for its existing team.
Target recently introduced a mobile scheduling app that makes it easy for employees to choose or swap shifts. And store managers are being instructed to regularly check in with employees on scheduling preferences and opportunities to work additional hours if desired. Target started offering back-up training a year ago on order pickup and drive up, which helps to staff in-demand posts and gives employees the option to pick up an additional 4 to 8 hours per week.
As a result of these efforts to provide store workers more stable schedules and paychecks, the Minneapolis-based retailer said employees are working nearly 15 percent more hours than they were a year ago.
“We have worked to provide our team members with more consistent schedules, which means more consistent paychecks and a more consistent way to manage their life,” Target chief human resources officer Melissa Kremer said in a statement. “Additionally, we are offering more hours to team members who want them and continuing our important investment in training and development. When we invest in and care for our team we know that guest service improves, turnover goes down and team members can more easily build rewarding careers at Target.”
Target moved to a $15 starting wage in 2020 and added a $200 “recognition bonus” for frontline hourly workers in July. Target also recently announced a comprehensive debt-free education assistance program for full and part-time employees.
Throughout the holiday season, Target will continue to staff the front-of-store with dedicated team members focused on safety and cleaning precautions. Target also plans to hire 100,000 seasonal team members at its stores across the country to supplement its current team. The retailer said many seasonal team members will have the opportunity to remain with Target following the holiday season.