December 2021
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TD Magazine

Target’s Training Program Supports Seasonal Staffing Needs

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The US retailer uses cross-training to ensure it has skilled workers for in-demand roles.

The holidays are here, and Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Target Corporation has been well prepared for the season. A significant part of the retailer's holiday planning has involved increasing employee training and development.


As part of its onboarding process, Target says it gives its team members the opportunity to be trained in other areas of the store so that they may serve as backup support during busy shopping times. The company's backup training program prepares team members to work in high-demand areas, such as the Target Drive Up and Order Pickup, and has been active for more than one year. Employees who complete the program—which the retailer says includes a mix of online instruction and practice time working in the role with peer trainer support—can pick up an additional four to eight hours per week.

In September, Target announced that all team members would have the option to take part in the backup training program and confirmed plans to provide 5 million additional hours to employees for the 2021 holiday season. The backup training enables team members and stores to have flexibility throughout the holiday season to meet customers' changing needs, the company notes.

Offering this training program to its 350,000 employees does more than help ensure Target can meet the seasonal shopping surge it expects online and at its 1,900-plus stores. The backup training program also addresses employee feedback, where workers expressed that they enjoy learning different aspects of the business that fall outside of their core responsibilities.


Through its investment in learning and earning opportunities for team members, Target says it not only empowers employees to put their best foot forward on the job but also supports staffers' professional growth and overall career journey.

"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," says Chief Human Resources Officer Melissa Kremer.

About the Author

Derrick Thompson is a former writer/editor for ATD.

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