Brand new Team Leader...mind if I vent?

#1
-I've been with Target since 2009. After my seasonal period was over, I moved into the cash office and guest service. I then spent the next year in human resources. After that, I moved into my newest position: Softlines Team Leader.

Moving from an office setting to the sales floor is rough, to put it lightly. I spent the last year working with the ETL team and have gained a wonderful "big picture" perspective of how a store works. Now I'm learning how to look at it from a "moment to moment" point of view. Practice, and not just theory.

I'm having a hard time adjusting. I'm seeing so, so many things being done wrong. I understand the theory behind best practices, and i understand that everything can't be followed perfectly, but that they should be the basis for everything done at Target. However, I'm the new kid in a group of team members who have the "we don't do ___ at our store" attitude, and don't want to be bothered with me asking "why?"

I also work in a low volume store. So I find myself frequently being the only person working in softlines (which is closest to the front of the store), therefore, being the one who frequently answers calls for back-ups and getting carts from the lot.

Our store is low volume, but has very heavy guest traffic...so softlines is almost always a war zone. I'm a very organized person, and I'm having a hard time adapting to a universe where my area is a mess, and I need to be constantly pulled away to help other areas.

This is mostly just venting, since i know that, with time, I'll fall into a groove. But does anyone have any words of wisdom? I'd really appreciate!
 

Rock Lobster

Executive Team Leader
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Always stay positive and always be "innovate" coming up with solutions... Even if they aren't going to work, if they see you trying to come up with ways to improve your area it gives a good perception of you... I have a lot of people in my store with the same attitude, "Well we have always done it this way" or "Best practice won't work on this we are too big, too small etc..." The best way I can handle those people is to make sure to tailor your message to them! Instead of coming up and quoting best practice (even if you are right), always try and get their buy in! Everyone is different, but usually if you can word it in a way that makes them think it was their idea and you are just partnering with them on it, they are more willing to change!
 
B

Barcode

Guest
#3
Yeah it can be rough being the only person in your workcenter, but when I did carts (1 person workcenter at a high vol. Super-T), I was able to help out a lot of other areas (abandons,zone,gstl breaks,etc.) while still getting my workload done. You sound like you are very thorough with your work, so I'm sure you do a phenomenal job at what you do. Just do your best to help out the other areas when needed, you will get a lot of appreciation for being flexible!

Although since you are a TL you should be balancing between Delegating and Ownership as far as tasks go. Kinda hard though when you don't have a "team" lol. :D

Also, best practice can sometimes be viewed as "guidelines". I know a lot of different teams do things different ways based on what works for them, so I would just go with your gut feeling on what you would consider best practice. Just weigh the pros and cons of "your way" versus "their way", and make adjustments where you need!
 
#4
Be proactive! Softlines is the big thing for spot, right now. Do your best & focus on stuff coming up. Your big chance is coming next week. Show them what you can do.
Be ready & don't forget the bike.
Plus here is a great place to vent.
Hang in there!
 
#5
Do you have any idea what the markup on softlines is? It is the money maker for the store. Let your team know that! When they realize the importance of softlines they may see that what they do is a key part of the stores success. Usually at huddles everyone is talking about attachment rates. That is because you make very little money on a $900 tv, you need the extras to make the profit. In SL those dump bin panties are a goldmine!!! I know it is very discouraging when you here people wanting to maintain the status quo. Even though you are the closest to the lanes you should not be the only one and the first one responding to all calls for backup. Is it possible that you could get together with the GSTL and during morning hours if a backup is called she/he could jump on and you would be there to step in as GSTL if needed? With carts in a lv store I know usually there is no cart attendant until the evening. Carts should also be a shared task in a low volume store. An idea that did work in one store I was at was to have a different TM each hour go out and clear the lot.
Would it be possible that one day a week you could come in at 5am to do some planning for your department? Get organized. In Hr you had certain tasks that needed to be done on certain days, treat your department the same way. You could get into the infant furniture on Mondays, tackle the jean wall on Tuesdays etc. If you divide it into segments it might not seem so daunting. Lastly softlines does not seem to get respect in most stores. The evening zone is usually not good, just passible. We have designated Thursday morning as softlines superzone day. Right after the morning huddle we head to an area in softlines determined by the SLTL that needs the most attention. Lingerie and mens basics are often the areas we hit for the superzone. This week I am sure we will be doing infant gondolas because of the huge ad.
Just remember a SF-TL would not be able to walk into HR and do what you did. It will take some time to get it down. But I am sure you have learned a ton in your short time on the floor. Stay positive. Look at your numbers, which areas are showing increases? Share the info with the softlines team. Recognize your team members and let them know how important they are to the success of the area. Recognize your flow team. If they know they are appreciated, they will go the extra mile for you. Do you have another store in your district that is the same type? Reach out to that TL and see what they are doing and what works for them. See if there are any ideas you could borrow. Prioritize and plan your day, just remember that something will pop up it always does. Ask for help from your ETL. That doesn't mean ask them to do your job, but for advice.
 
#6
i
-I've been with Target since 2009. After my seasonal period was over, I moved into the cash office and guest service. I then spent the next year in human resources. After that, I moved into my newest position: Softlines Team Leader.

Moving from an office setting to the sales floor is rough, to put it lightly. I spent the last year working with the ETL team and have gained a wonderful "big picture" perspective of how a store works. Now I'm learning how to look at it from a "moment to moment" point of view. Practice, and not just theory.

I'm having a hard time adjusting. I'm seeing so, so many things being done wrong. I understand the theory behind best practices, and i understand that everything can't be followed perfectly, but that they should be the basis for everything done at Target. However, I'm the new kid in a group of team members who have the "we don't do ___ at our store" attitude, and don't want to be bothered with me asking "why?"

I also work in a low volume store. So I find myself frequently being the only person working in softlines (which is closest to the front of the store), therefore, being the one who frequently answers calls for back-ups and getting carts from the lot.

Our store is low volume, but has very heavy guest traffic...so softlines is almost always a war zone. I'm a very organized person, and I'm having a hard time adapting to a universe where my area is a mess, and I need to be constantly pulled away to help other areas.

This is mostly just venting, since i know that, with time, I'll fall into a groove. But does anyone have any words of wisdom? I'd really appreciate!

My opinion, which isn't worth much, is to find a new job. You will never be able to "adapt" to Target's micromanaging and "mess" especially at a low volume store.

I worked at a low volume store in the past and you end up doing everything yourself without proper ETL support. (The ETL's don't want to do it, either, after all.) You will not only be expected to do all of the floor work, but also have to stay on top of your leadership statuses, business walks and other "leadership" duties. The money they pay you ain't worth the trouble.

Sorry for the negative reply, but after all, I am spikegrouchy!

By the way, this site looks great. I haven't been on it since it went down months ago. I am still a flow team member after stepping down in March. Still getting 40 hours a week. Still doing all of the "dirty work." But hey, at least the pressure is off and no more Zoloft!

Good Luck!
 
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