Target ETLs Lori (left) and Keena (right)

Target’s Executive Team Leaders: The On-the-Job Moment I’ll Never Forget

No doubt about it—being a Target executive team leader (ETL) is a big job, and no two roles look exactly alike. They lead the teams at our 1,800+ stores across the country, heading up each of our departments (like the sales floor and food) and business areas (like human resources, guest experience, assets protection and logistics). From making sure their area is running smoothly to helping guests find exactly what they need, ETLs are quick to adapt and ready for anything. They also play a big part in creating a fun and inclusive atmosphere for our teams to work.  

Sound like a job you’d love? Find out more about store management at Target, check out available positions, and read on to meet four of our current ETLs and hear about their favorite parts of the job.

Lori H.
ETL Human Resources, Norfolk, Neb.

Why Target? “In college, I wrote a paper on Target for a business class. I was so interested by what I learned, I applied for an ETL position the minute I graduated in 2007 and was hired shortly after.”

Biggest job challenge: “Doing everything I can to make it so my team loves coming to work. Everyone’s different, so I try and put myself in their situations. I want them to feel confident that they can share anything with me, even if it’s an issue outside of work.”

On going the extra mile for guests: “Once, a guest came in with a dress she’d bought on Target.com for an upcoming event. She’d accidentally ordered the wrong size, and we didn’t have her size in stock at our store. But she had her heart set on that ‘perfect dress!’ So I asked my son, who was coming home for the weekend, to pick one up from a Target store in his town and bring it to our store in time for the guest’s event. She came to try it on and looked great—she was crying happy tears.”

Celebrating the good times: “My favorite Target memory is from the day I got married. Right before I walked down the aisle, I got a message on my phone. It was a video of my entire Target team ‘standing up and turning around for the bride’—they’d staged their own version of my wedding at the store with chairs full of wedding 'guests' and even my wedding 'party.' I’ve never worked in a place where we all care about each other as much as this team does.”

Reggie G.
ETL Food, Lino Lakes, Minn.

Why Target? “I joined six years ago as a senior team lead in hardlines, and became an ETL in 2013. I’ve always been impressed by the merchandising and service level Target provides, and I like the fast pace and focus on team development and inclusion. Also, my mom always said I look good in red.”

Biggest job challenge: “Finding ways to make the food & beverages department run more efficiently and give guests an awesome experience. It can’t happen without the entire team’s buy-in.”

On keeping the mood light: “A colleague and I were stocking produce one morning … and working on our pun game. As we practiced some new material, a guest passing by broke out laughing and stopped to talk to us. It's moments like those that I really enjoy, and hopefully that guest had a little better day because of it.” 

Favorite team tradition: “We have a potluck-style lunches at our weekly team meetings. One day, my mother, grandma and grandpa brought in tater tot hot dish and cookies for the team. It was fun to bring my family to work and show them what an awesome team I get to work with.”

Keena A.
ETL Softlines, Madison, Wis.

Why Target? “I’ve been on the job for one year now. I’ve loved learning to run the business, training newcomers and volunteering in our community. I look forward to running different work centers at some point and becoming a store team leader later down the line.”

Biggest job challenge: “Learning to lead a team with many different personalities, passions and experience levels—I’m putting my Psychology degree to use! Also, finding balance between sales floor and administrative duties—being creative, strategic and risky in a smart way.”

On going the extra mile for guests: “One time, a couple came in and asked for help picking out a front carrier for their baby. I helped them shop, and they ended up choosing a Moby Wrap. They seemed a bit intimidated by the long fabric wrap, so I offered a demo—showed the mom how to wrap herself and safely insert her baby for a comfortable, convenient experience. She was so pleased, she gave me a hug before she left.”

A little friendly competition: “It’s important to our team that guests are greeted and welcomed as soon as they walk into the store. In fact, a few of our leaders have challenged each other to see who can be the first to say hello. It’s become a little game for us.”

Lauren S.
ETL Human Resources, Lincoln, Neb.

Why Target? “I’ve been here four years and it’s been exciting. I wanted to be a part of a team that’s committed to helping others, both at the store and in the community. And no matter where I go within the company, I’ll always have a great team to support me.”

Biggest job challenge: “Our store is right by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln campus, and serving that many students on a daily basis can be tough. But it’s fun watching them grow and helping them prepare for their lives after school as they keep coming in to see us.”

On going the extra mile for guests: “One day, a guest came in and told us her grandkids were coming for a visit—and she needed help! We shopped the whole store with her and helped pick out all the essentials, plus found a few fun things to throw in there too. She left with a cartful of food and supplies and nothing but great things to say about Target.”

Proudest moment: “Last year during the holidays. We had great plans in place from the start, so we were able to enjoy the rush and not stress about the little things. Everyone knew their role and was willing to help out when needed. Seeing the team work so well together even during the crazy times was heartwarming.” 

Want to hear more about life inside the bullseye? Meet more of our team members on the Pulse blog.

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