“The only constant at Target is change.” This was the first piece of advice I was given, as I started my first day as an Executive Team Leader (ETL) at Target. When I was growing up, I was not entirely sure where my first job was going to be or where I would end up, but I knew I was meant to be a leader, to have a team. With Target, it does not matter what major you chose or what extracurricular you were involved with. Instead, Target looks to people who have a passion for being a part of a team. That is my favorite part of the job, being a leader.
When we come into work in the morning, the first thing I do is determine who is in the store with me throughout the day and who I will get to collaborate with and strategize with to ensure the store operates smoothly. Whether I oversee Food Operations or Guest Experiences, we all play a role as “Leader On Duty” (LOD), which means you are the “captain” of the store. It is up to you to ensure everyone has their role to play and that each team member knows what the priorities are, which is to create great guest service and to drive sales!
In order to operate a great store, you will be well versed in analyzing payroll, digging into reports to determine our merchandise instocks for our departments, conducting interviews to ensure the store is staffed with the right person in the right place, etc. You are empowered to make decisions all day that will test your resiliency and your ability to adapt to change, whether this is by replacing a call-in and having to re-organize your resources within certain departments, or maybe it a lost child and you need to ensure their safe return to their parents. There will be times where you have to have tough conversations, maybe surrounding the performance of a team member, or challenging a peer to think about a situation differently.
Every day, you will get a chance to recognize the team for doing something great. As a leader, we get a chance to recognize our team, whether that is for creating an amazing guest moment or for going above and beyond their core roles. You can recognize them face to face or through written recognition in a card; these are the moments that motivate the team to work hard for you and will motivate them to be a part of the team. With these moments, you will also get opportunities to have a lot of fun! The leaders in our store will do fun things to motivate the team, such as dress up in a banana suit for hitting a certain goal for the day or the LOD will take a pie in the face when we have hit our flu shot goals for the season! As a team, we are there for each other and want each team member to succeed, no matter what their core role.
A day in the life of an ETL is never the same day twice. Each day will provide different challenges and information to digest. This is what makes it exciting to come into work every day; not always knowing what a day can bring, but knowing that I am equipped with the team and the information to solve any situation that comes my way.
-Written by Megan Vandenbos, Target Executive Team Leader