Target has a long and rich history of investing in our team members. For example, we support our team’s career and skills development through leadership programs, robust training and tuition reimbursement. We provided more than 100,000 new team members with discounts when we hired them last holiday season. And we support our team members in their times of need.
Last fall, Target announced another major investment in our team—an increase in pay. We moved to an $11 minimum hourly wage in October, and committed to pay our team members at least $15 an hour by the end of 2020. Now, we’re taking the next step by moving to a $12 minimum wage this year, starting with our existing team members.
We sat down with Stephanie Lundquist, Target’s chief human resources officer, to learn more.
Target made a big commitment last fall, announcing a wage increase and a significant investment in future wages. Why make that move?
It’s always been our guest experience that sets Target apart, and exceptional experiences start with our team. We know that an investment in the nearly 350,000 individuals who show up every day to help our guests is an investment in the experience we bring to them. And as we looked toward the future and all of the investments we’re making in our business—from our reimagined stores to our supply chain—our team is at the center of bringing it all to life. So, we’re investing more than ever in pay, hours, development and training opportunities for our team.
How did the team react to the announcement that wages were increasing to $11?
Overall, we received an overwhelmingly supportive response to our investment from team members, job candidates and the community. Our existing team members were excited about the move and even more enthusiastic about our commitment for the future. It also helped as we were hiring more than 100,000 seasonal team members for the holidays. The weekend after our announcement, which is one of our biggest hiring weekends of the year, we doubled the number of job offers we made compared to the year before. And we saw a significant increase in job applications throughout the entire holiday season.
How and when will the increase to $12 minimum wage go into effect?
Building on the commitment we made last fall, we’ll increase to a $12 minimum wage this year, beginning with our existing team members. For tens of thousands of team members, it will be their second significant wage increase in a six-month timeframe. And for all team members, a $12 minimum wage will be higher than the state-level minimum wage offered in all 50 states.
As a leader of the Target team, how do you think about where and how you invest?
We believe that taking care of our team members means investing in their whole selves. That certainly includes pay, but it also means giving them opportunities to grow professionally, take care of themselves, their families and each other and they are passionate about making a difference for our guests and their communities.
Over the past year and a half, we’ve invested hundreds of thousands of paid training hours to develop our team members’ product knowledge and service skills and provide continuous learning programs. We’ve invested in wages and benefits so our team members can take care of themselves and their families. All of this is in addition to the benefits we offer our team members every day, like a merchandise discount, additional discounts for healthy product options, tuition reimbursement, industry-leading access to free counseling services and more.
What does it mean to you to make these kinds of investments in the Target team?
When we announced our wage increases last year, it was one of my proudest days at Target. I’ve worked in retail my entire career and have spent more than a decade at Target, focusing on how we take care of our team members and help grow their careers. I’ve traveled to stores across the country, talking to our team members, and I understand the impact that increased wages make on their ability to take care of themselves and their families. And for our team, it allowed us to say: we appreciate you, we care about you, and we’re investing in your future.