Employee Engagement in Challenging Times

by Julie Strantz

Many organizations have gone through challenges such as struggling with revenue, battling for market share, or going through internal changes. During those uneasy times, it is important to remain focused on employee engagement and ensure continued buy-in for the business to survive.

I recently attended the HR Tomorrow Conference and Andi Marston, VP of HR at Target Corporation, provided valuable insight about how to encourage employees to grow their careers within Target during the transformation of the organization.

How Target Maintained Employee Engagement

Although Target has been going through a challenging time, there were several positive changes that occurred as well. Aside from Target changing their communication style to be more transparent with both employees and consumers, the organization undertook additional initiatives to move forward with their culture and enhance employee engagement.

As part of that shift, Target focused more on leadership and how to ensure more integration with the business, employee careers and individual development, and making changes to the performance management model for more concise rating structures and a stronger growth-learning model.

Creating a Balance

The changes implemented were well received by employees and leadership. The new model has created a better balance and allowed for stronger employee engagement. Processes are simpler and more effective, which allows for a stronger focus on building the brand and growing the organization.

Target is now poised to come out of their challenging times stronger and better than ever. As with any organization going through change, it is imperative to ensure employee engagement is an area of focus so the company can be move onward and upward.

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