Target Corporation Advertising by CrisLapuz

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                                    Target Corporation

       A bullseye, the color red, and the slogan, “Expect more. Pay less,” are three

recognizable characteristics of one of the most dominant discount retail stores in our

nation. The objectives of the Target Corporation are to provide their customers with

excellent service and high quality products at affordable prices (Target Corporation).

       Opening their first store in 1962 in Roseville, Minnesota, the Target Corporation

has grown into one of America’s largest companies. Employing over 350,000 people at

approximately 1500 stores in 47 states, Target has set high expectations dealing with the

diversity of their company and the issues that accompany it in their workplace (Target

Corporation). Our purpose of this paper was to learn more about Target’s diversity

through research, and interactions with their employees, their company website, and our

personal experiences as Target customers.

       “The Strength of Many. The Power of One,” (Target Corporation). This is the

philosophy implemented by members of the Target Corporation. That phrase represents

the company’s values pertaining to the importance of being committed to diversity in

their workforce. Target’s statement about diversity illustrates the “power of individual

uniqueness and the strength created when teams leverage those unique capabilities and

experiences.” (Target Corporation).

       Target’s goal is to incorporate diversity into every facet of their business. Bob

Ulrich, chairman and CEO at Target, sends the message of, “Our ability to offer our

guests an exceptional shopping experience depends on team members who understand

the diverse communities we serve.” Diversity is apart of their company’s culture.

Whether it is their team members interacting with customers, each other, or the

community, they strive to make sure that diversity is integrated into every Target

experience (Target Corporation).

       Target believes that what makes them a unique corporation is the “diverse

individuality of our team members,” (Target Corporation). Hiring a diverse group of

team members is the initial step Target takes in ensuring they achieve their commitment

to diversity. Their goal is to make sure that the diversity of their employees mirror the

diversity found in the communities in which they are located (J. Groves, personal

communication, March 17, 2007).

       According to national statistics, Target is well above average when hiring

employees of diversity. The national average for the hiring of employees who are an

ethnic minority is thirty percent. Target exceeds this statistical expectation; forty-one

percent of their employees are of an ethnic minority background. The graph, found on

Target’s website, represents the break down of the positions that minorities hold with in

the company. It compares the United States’ average with that of Target (Target


       Another statistic showing that Target is committed to diversity is that of the

number of women whom they employ. The average company across the United States

employs a staff that consists of forty-eight percent women; fifty-nine percent of Target’s

workforce is women. In part with this statistic and the treatment of their female

employees, Target has been honored as an organization with multiple national awards

recognizing their commitment to gender diversity. In 2005, Target was named one of the

“Top 30 Companies for Executive Women,” by the National Association for Female

Executives. As well as in 2004, they were named one of the “100 Best Companies for

Working Mothers,” by the magazine, Working Mother (Target Corporation).

       Target strives to include diversity in every aspect of their business. One of the

first places where they make diversity visible is in their recruitment process of

employees. They are, “committed to recruiting team members with different

backgrounds and distinctive experiences…in the end, a diverse team is good for our

business,” (Target Corporation). As a company, their goal is to search for and find the

most qualified applicants who are high-performing, highly motivated, and bring with

them diverse experiences and talents.

       In their search for these candidates, members of Target’s team attend career fairs,

visit colleges and agencies, as well as offer internships to potential employees. Specific

recruiting efforts include being involved with diversity career fairs associated with the

National Black MBA Association and the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s and

teaming with agencies such as Goodwill Industries and Easter Seals to recruit applicants

with disabilities. INROADS, is another organization that Target collaborates with to find

potential employees. INROADS, is an international organization that focuses on

developing the skill sets and talents of minority youth in the workplace. These minority

youth are sponsored at Target as interns with the company (Target Corporation).

       Once the recruiting process has taken place, the hiring of employees is the next

step. As previously stated, Target intends to hire employees who reflect the diversity of

the communities in which they are located. To guarantee they are hiring an employee

who meets their guidelines and would fit into their company’s mix, interviewers ask the

candidates multiple situational questions. For example, they ask the applicant to describe

past situations in which they were faced with a certain dilemma and to explain the

decision they made as a result of their thoughts and reasoning. Target is looking for

energetic team oriented people who can provide leadership in a variety of circumstances.

(D. Mullins, personal communication, March 20, 2007).

       Once hired, each employee is required to complete courses focused on the

diversity that one will probably encounter in the workplace. The classes offered by

Target help their employees understand the value and importance of diversity in the

company as well as strengthen the employees’ individual roles in the business. The

classes usually occur during the first three months span of their employment. Classes

cover issues dealing with differences amongst the employees, effective communication

skills, working in a multicultural workplace, and managing inclusion (Target


       Diversity Business Councils are another opportunity for employees at Target to

continue their diversity education. These business councils were created by Target team

members of diverse backgrounds. The goal of the councils is to jointly help individuals

to further develop their careers at the same time as improving the Target work

environment as a whole. The four councils supported by Target are the African

American Business Council, Asian American Business Council, Gay Lesbian Bisexual

and Transgender Business Council, and the Hispanic Business Council (Target

Corporation). These councils encourage employees who value diversity to increase their

involvement within the organization.

        Target also enforces policies to ensure the workplace is as team friendly as

possible, because only then will its team members be able to best contribute to the

corporation and its goals. When EEOC charges arise, Target uses two main policies

when confronting and addressing the diversity issues that do arise. These are found in the

corporation handbook and are available within Target’s internal website available to its

managers. The first policy is the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. According to

this policy, “Target Corporation’s employment practices will be implemented without

regard to race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), religious beliefs, age,

disability, sexual orientation, citizenship status, military status or any other basis

protected by federal, state or local fair employment practice laws” (P. Meyer, personal

communication, March 11, 2007). And because Target greatly believes in and values its

commitment to diversity, many standards/specifications are provided so that its stores and

employees better understand and adhere to this policy. They include the following:

    o All supervisory team members must understand and support the various

        provisions of the policy.

    o The federal government poster “Equal Opportunity is the Law” must be

        permanently displayed in visible and common areas visited by all team members.

    o All “help wanted” advertising must be consistent with the Equal Employment

        Opportunity policy as well as with federal, state, and local fair employment

        practice laws, and must read “Equal Employment Opportunity Employer” at the

        bottom of the advertisement.

    o Reasonable accommodation must be provided to qualified applicants and team

        members with disabilities, as long as such accommodation does not result in

        undue hardship to Target.

    o Reasonable accommodation must be provided to an applicant’s or team member’s

        sincerely held religious beliefs, as long as such an accommodation does not result

        in undue hardship.

    o An applicant or team member must not retaliate against another who files a

        discrimination charge, participates in an investigation of such a charge, or

        opposes an unlawful employment practice (P. Meyer, personal communication,

        March 11, 2007).

        In addition to the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, Target also enforces the

Harassment-Free Workplace Policy. According to this policy, “Target Corporation

strictly prohibits unlawful harassment on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, national

origin, citizenship status, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or any other

protected characteristic. Target is also committed to a workplace that is free of

intimidating or threatening remarks or behavior, stalking, violence, or the threat of

violence” (P. Meyer, personal communication, March 11, 2007). Because Target values

the diversity of its team and believes that its team members are some of its most vital

assets, especially in carrying out its policies and goals, they want to make sure it is clear

what types of behavior are prohibited, so that any misunderstandings and any violations

are prevented. The following kinds of behavior are forbidden:

    o Inappropriate conduct based on race, color, sex, gender, national origin,

        citizenship status, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any other

        protected characteristic.

    o Inappropriate conduct by or towards anyone, including any team member

        (manager or co-worker), and/or guest.

    o Threats of harm to Target Corporation or any of its employees, intimidating

        behavior or remarks, and/or violence, the threat of violence, or stalking.

    o Inappropriate conduct through any form of communication—voicemail, email,

        etc. (P. Meyer, personal communication, March 11, 2007).

        To further clarify and prevent any violation of this policy, the following are more

specific examples of what behaviors may constitute as a violation: sexual harassment,

foul or obscene gestures, derogatory remarks about another’s protected characteristic

(race, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.), and/or threatening

behavior or remarks of violence. As part of the Target Corporation, all team members

have a responsibility to assist in promoting its goal of a positive work environment.

Therefore, if anyone feels they have been a victim of or have witnessed conduct that is in

violation of this policy, they have a duty to report the violation to the next level of

management immediately, i.e. to a Store Team Leader, an Executive Team-Leader, a

Human Resource Manager, etc. Upon receiving such complaints, management is then

responsible for informing the next level of management of the charges, who then has a

duty to advance the complaint further. Throughout this complaint procedure, it is

imperative that the confidentiality and sensitive nature of the complaints are respected (P.

Meyer, personal communication, March 11, 2007).

       Target believes in making sure the appropriate steps are taken so that the problem

is corrected and doesn’t occur again. In doing so, Target investigates all complaints as

thoroughly, quickly, and confidential as possible. If, after investigation, a violation of the

policy has occurred, Target will then promptly take appropriate corrective action, up to

and including termination. Also, in order to create and maintain a positive work

environment, Target has a no-retaliation Policy, which prohibits retaliation against

anyone who has reported or investigated an alleged violation of the policy. If it is found

that this no-retaliation policy has been violated, discipline may result, up to and including

termination of the person involved in the retaliation (P. Meyer, personal communication,

March 11, 2007).

       After talking to Patti Meyer, a District Human Resource Manager for Target who

is responsible for issues that arise within and among various stores, it is evident that

Target is the equal opportunity employer that it aims to be. As a District Human

Resource Manager, her responsibilities are to go into each of her stores and make sure

they are following Target’s policies and procedures, specifically the Equal Employment

Opportunity Policy and the Harassment-Free Workplace Policy, for each and every

person. She handles both the proactive and reactive sides of diversity issues. She, on a

regular basis, deals with a lot of team members who claim they are treated unfairly

because of their diversity. In response to such claims and complaints, she has to prove

that Target did or did not commit such charges and did or did not give unfair treatment.

When a team member is terminated, she must make sure that it is not based on diversity,

that it is all performance or conduct based. In firing an employee, she must have more

than enough documentation that they violated Target policy or that their performance was

not up to Target standards (P. Meyer, personal communication, March 11, 2007). In

addition to valuing the diversity of its team members, Target Corporation realizes the

importance and value of its guests’ diversity.

       Another way Target values diversity is through their commitment to their guests.

Despite the fact that the main guest who shops at its stores is the middle class housewife,

Target recognizes the importance of reaching out and targeting other diverse individuals.

“The key to success of Target stores is that we are dedicated to delivering what our guests

want, when and how they want it. And that means fine-tuning our offerings to many

diverse audiences” (Target Corporation). Whether it’s by providing ethnic food varieties

on the grocery shelves or Latino music on the music shelves, guests can find many

multicultural merchandising options. In addition, at Target’s website,, guests

can also look for toys that reflect their family’s heritage (Target Corporation).

       Target believes each of its stores should be a reflection of where it is located, and

that its guests come first. It knows that without the support of its guests, success would

not be possible; therefore, Target aims to treat its guests the same as they do its team

members (P. Meyer, personal communication, March 11, 2007). In communicating its

value of and commitment to diversity, Target also runs advertising campaigns, making

sure to always represent in some way of all of its guests in its commercials and

advertisements (Target Corporation). Often times, Target will slightly change its ads

according to the communities the ads circulate in (P. Meyer, personal communication,

March 11, 2007), because Target wants to ensure all of its guests can “see themselves at

Target” (Target Corporation). In its commitment to diversity, Target also acknowledges

the diversity of its communities.
       Target values involvement with the communities in which they are located. Jim

Groves, a group leader, at the Distribution Center in Cedar Falls, believes that Target’s

involvement within the community is an equation. To ensure community involvement,

Target hires people who are leaders and hold the same values towards community

involvement just like the company does. Target wants to make the communities in which

they are located, better places to live. They partner with many organizations to give back

to their communities (Target Corporation).

       These partnerships include the Tiger Woods Foundation which helps children

identify and achieve their dreams by building their character. Take Charge of Education

was started in 1997 to raise funds for schools. To this date, they have raised over 183

million dollars. Another program started by Target was the 5% Club. Every week Target

gives back 5% of their profits to good causes within their communities. 5% from over

1500 stores totals at least 3 million dollars a week (Target Corporation).

       Target does not only give back to their communities monetarily, but they also

volunteer their time outside of the workplace to benefit their communities. Over 70,000

people associated with Target participate each year, donating approximately 315,000

hours. One organization that they work with is Operation United Way. Target

employees volunteer their time to participate in projects such as making meals for

homeless and elderly people and reading with young people. They also volunteer their

time to raise funds at walks that benefit the American Cancer Society, the American

Heart Association, and other research organizations. The differences that Target’s

employees make with the time and money they contribute to their communities are
beyond measurability. These acts of kindness gained Target national recognition. Target

was named, “Most Charitable Company,” by Forbes in 2005 (Target Corporation).

       The final way in which Target values its commitment to diversity is through its

suppliers. They believe that if a supplier is good for business, then it is good for its

guests. “By fostering relationships with minority- and women-owned vendors and

suppliers, Target furthers its diversity objectives and invests in the success of businesses

across the country” (Target Corporation). In 1998, Target launched the Minority and

Women Business Development (MWBD) program. Doing so helps it become a favored

business partner of many entrepreneurs. Each year, Target contracts with these minority-

and women-owned businesses in fulfilling an array of needs. In supporting this goal of a

diverse business setting, Target also partakes in supplier trade fairs across the nation.

They know that with the help of diverse suppliers, their stores will be a reflection of the

diverse guests that they have (Target Corporation).

       “Make the connection” (Target Corporation). This is exactly what Target strives

for in their commitment to diversity. Through this commitment, Target stays connected

to their team members, guests, communities, and suppliers. They realize that their ability

to provide their guests with an exceptional shopping experience depends on team

members who understand the diverse communities they serve. This is where their focus

on making a connection with every aspect of their corporation comes into play. They

believe that diversity is a positive and advantageous source of power that makes good

business sense and helps ensure future success; therefore, their goal is to respect and

value the individuality of all their team members and guests. Their business culture and

national recognition are evidence of their efforts in working for the common good of their
team members, guests, communities, and suppliers. In conclusion, we believe Target

Corporation is doing a great job with their commitment to diversity. Taking into

consideration all of their efforts, accomplishments, and goals, Target would be a great

organization to work for because they value, respect, and make the most of individualism.

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