Incoming External ETL

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May 22, 2020
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1
I am an incoming external ETL straight out of college with a degree in Human Resource Management with 5 years of retail experience. I also have a military background as an Officer in the National Guard. After spending quite some time looking through threads, I am learning that a lot of ETL's are not team players and that the leadership structure is similar to that of the military, and most of them get burnt out and don't take care for their team members.

Any tips on how to be a successful ETL?

I also don't have a set area I am designated in yet, I hear to avoid ETL-LOG at all costs, and ETL-HR is the sweet spot. Please share the best areas for ETL's or maybe give a breakdown of what each does

Thank you!!!
 
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Welcome!
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
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Hello and welcome to the team! Thanks for taking the time to ask this question!

Any tips on how to be a successful ETL?

I also don't have a set area I am designated in yet, I hear to avoid ETL-LOG at all costs, and ETL-HR is the sweet spot. Please share the best areas for ETL's or maybe
ETL-LOG is an old position that "shouldn't" exist anymore. It became the ETL-GM&Food Sales or the ETL-GM at Super Targets. This role oversees the GM and Food/Beverage salesfloor areas, as well as the "logistics" processes for those areas, ie. Transitions (presentation team), pricing (owned by the salesfloor teams), instocks (owned by the salesfloor teams), backroom (owned by the salesfloor teams), truck unload (inbound team), and order fulfillment. Usually covers a VERY large amount of the salesfloor/backroom, and some operations areas that can be tricky.

ETL-Specialty Sales manages these processes, but specifically in Style, Beauty, and Tech. They also oversee the Visual Merchandiser and are responsible for that process. Specialty Sales is supposed to be more focused on active selling to guests, but I think we've all seen varying degrees of success with that implementation.

ETL-Service and Engagement is the salaried manager over the front end: Cashiers, Guest Services, Order Pickup, Cart Attendants and those Team Leads. Overall responsible for making sure that the store is staying clean, cashiers are providing great service, add ons at the front (Redcard, Target Circle, guest surveys, etc). IMO not a bad starter position.

ETL-AP: In charge of store security and reducing/eliminating shrink. Can't really go into any more detail about that role.

ETL-HR: Manager that oversees all store HR processes, time off requests, scheduling, performance management, interviewing, and maintaining the brand in offstage areas like the break room. Because of the issues that ETL-HR deals with, they tend to be pretty close to the store director. This person likely spends a lot of time in their office, outside of a weekend leader rotation. All the stores I've worked at have only had 1 or 2 team members that report directly to the ETL-HR, so they usually are responsible for the bulk of that workload. Not a bad gig if you already know you're interested in HR!

I was a Sr.TL and am now a TL, so take this with a grain of salt:

I think a successful ETL should communicate frequently with their TLs. Email, statuses, meetings, working with them, etc, because your TLs are the ones managing the day-to-day operations of your business. Set high expectations with them, so they can set high expectations for their teams.

Have a plan in advance, few weeks out, few months out. What areas are resetting in the next few months? Domestics, seasonal, kitchen, etc. Make sure your TLs and TMs are actively working towards emptying out the backroom, merchandising, etc. Who is going to be completing this? Oh, you're going into BTS/BTC?? Start planning now for hiring needs. Are TMs leaving to college? Start getting requisitions open so you can have replacements onboarded and trained by the time that workload hits.

If something is not going right, find out why. Indound can't complete the unload in a timely manner? Go in early and observe. Dig into that process on workbench. Is what you're seeing matching what you should be seeing? Why/why not? Don't ever sit on broken processes without coming up with a plan to follow up. Do your TLs have any suggestions? Help them grow as leaders by getting them involved. Push the ownership down as much as possible, but remember that you are ultimately responsible for that execution.

Be willing to be an advocate for your team. Is your payroll getting allocated to other areas of the building for some reason? Are other leaders treating your team with the respect they deserve? Is there any way you can streamline your team's day? Give out recognition freely, people have no idea how far a sincere "thank you, I appreciate you going above and beyond" or "WOW, that looks AMAZING! Let me take a picture of that!" Can go for morale.

A lot of people will say you need to be on the floor stocking, cashiering, or getting carts for 50 hours a week. I disagree here. DEFINITELY make it a point to get on the floor and help out your team when necessary, as it's a good way to get to know them and observe the process in action, but as an ETL, you are supposed to take time to sit in an office and plan things, and have meetings, etc. Develop your teams enough that you can take that time off the floor to do these things, and that your business is continuing to run. The best teams operate the same way whether the leaders are there or not.

It sounds like you have a lot of leadership experience, so I'm sure you know these things and much more, and I apologise for getting a little bit preachy there. Welcome to the team!
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 6, 2020
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29
First of all the fact they haven't told you what department you are in yet seems odd.

That being said to know your employees on a personal basis (i.e. family, interests, etc.). I learned that from my father years ago.

Your retail experience will help a lot when it comes team members respecting you.

My store hired TWO ETLs with no retail work experience and just a college degree and they were terrible.

Good luck.
 

Planosss

User friendly.
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Honestly, with your superb resume and kind heart, you’ll do great.
 
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Rock Lobster

Executive Team Leader
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Jun 11, 2011
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"Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."

- Yoda
If you want to be successful at Target as an ETL, you have to shut off your brain and do what your bosses think are the solutions to the problems. If you have a problem you are tasked to address, the actual answer may be A and your boss or their boss will tell you B. Do B always, and if you have time, do A too. Even if B leads to failure they will call it success. That is all you have to do... oh and talk about how much you want to promote, its the only way they can keep you hooked so if you say you want to move up they recognize it as someone who they can "sucker" into doing more.
 

Meli4Target

Executive Team Leader- Human Resources
Joined
Oct 30, 2013
Messages
159
I am an incoming external ETL straight out of college with a degree in Human Resource Management with 5 years of retail experience. I also have a military background as an Officer in the National Guard. After spending quite some time looking through threads, I am learning that a lot of ETL's are not team players and that the leadership structure is similar to that of the military, and most of them get burnt out and don't take care for their team members.

Any tips on how to be a successful ETL?

I also don't have a set area I am designated in yet, I hear to avoid ETL-LOG at all costs, and ETL-HR is the sweet spot. Please share the best areas for ETL's or maybe give a breakdown of what each does

Thank you!!!
As a current ETL-HR, I assure you, being in HR is not "the sweet spot". However, welcome! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or concerns.
 
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