Q&A: A Millennial Employee at Best Workplaces™ Winner Target
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Image: Joya Lewis, 32, Store Manager at a Target store in Brentwood, Missouri.
Approachable leaders, unique recognition opportunities and management that delivers on its word. These are just some of the ways Target engages its millennial employees.
We interviewed one such millennial employee at Target, one of the Fortune 2020 Best Workplaces for Millennials™, to find out why millennials love working at this company. Here’s what we learned…
Q 1. What is your name? Age? Job title? Target location?
Joya Lewis. Age 32. Store Director, T1102 Brentwood (25 Brentwood Promenade Ct, Brentwood, MO)
Q 2. What three words would you use to capture what it’s like to work at Target? Can you say a bit more about why you chose those words?
Target’s foundation is grounded in strong processes and supportive teams that allow them to put you in positions where you can bring value while expanding your experience.
Although at times our work can be challenging, it is so rewarding because you are pushed developmentally to grow personally and professionally – in positions you may not have seen for yourself.
While you’re in these roles, you meet and work with leaders that teach you, guide you and cheer you on. This support is not only offered once or twice, but throughout your whole career.
Aspiring to achieve big goals is often met by amazing rewards at Target. Throughout my nine years with this company, they have rewarded me not only monetarily, but with recognition and the ability to be a part of groups and experiences that show their appreciation for my contributions.
Q 3. Can you tell a story of one of your favorite moments working at Target?
One of my favorite moments at Target was when I had the opportunity to lead a store visit with our CEO, Brian Cornell. I was a Human Resource Business Partner at the time, and the Store Director was out of the country when Brian planned his visit.
My leadership team could have chosen another Store Director or leader to run the visit. Instead, they asked me to help prepare the store and team for a CEO visit, which allowed me to highlight not only the store, but my experiences as well.
I had never been so nervous in my life! However, soon after the visit started, Brian took the time to show me a picture of an unbelievable spring Minnesota snowfall that had recently taken place. He made me feel so at ease, and after that, my nerves subsided.
Q 4. When you think of colleagues your age, how has Target succeeded in creating a great workplace experience for millennials?
Two things come to mind when I think about the experience Target has created for myself and other millennials.
First, Target truly values bringing your authentic self to work every single day. Target is not looking for a cookie-cutter version of a person you think will “fit” into corporate America. Target is looking for who you genuinely are, the thought process, the knowledge that only you as an individual person, with your individual experiences can bring.
Second, Target values the opinions of their team. There have been several instances where my peers, my direct leader and even their leaders have reached out and asked my opinion on one thing or another.
Target does not only ask for your opinion but also takes action on what is said. That means a lot to millennials.
Q 5. Target has taken several steps to safeguard, recognize and reward employees during the pandemic—including pay raises and support with mental health. What do these enhanced benefits mean to you personally? Have you taken advantage of them?
I have taken advantage of enhanced benefits such as the free counseling and the virtual visits with doctors who are available 24/7.
Target offering these benefits shows me that not only are they aware of what is happening in the world and how it is affecting their workforce, but that they want to actively help their team members navigate new obstacles.
It makes me extremely proud to work for a company that consistently seeks ways to improve the life of their team.
Q 6. Your CEO “vowed to face pain with purpose” in the wake of the George Floyd killing and civic unrest. Can you say how that pledge and related actions affected you?
To me, the pledge made it clear that Target is focused on listening, having tough conversations and bringing about actionable, visible change.
In the time since the tragic death of George Floyd, I have been a part of several calls at Target where I had the opportunity to share my experiences as a Black woman in America and hear the stories of my brothers and sisters at Target.
I’ve been a part of training where we talked about racism, how it can show up in the workplace and how we can all be better for each other and our teams. This has had a profound effect on me because it shows I am a part of a company that recognizes there is a broader problem and is actively working towards real solutions.
Q 7. Is there anything you’d like to add about working at Target?
Target has provided me so many opportunities. I had never flown on an airplane before working at Target. I packed up and moved to a new state, starting a new role that I never even imagined.
In my nine years with the company, I have had the opportunity to lead in various roles and meet people that I am proud to call my Target Family & Friends. I am so thankful for the experiences I have had, and will continue to have with this amazing company.
Do you give employees from all levels exposure to senior leaders? Does your company value bringing the whole self to work? Nominate your workplace for one of our renowned Best Workplaces™ awards to join the ranks of companies like Target.