Target boosts wages to $12 an hour
- Target is raising its minimum wage from last year's high of $11 an hour to $12 an hour this year. By the end of 2020, current employees will earn $15 an hour, says the retail giant, citing what it calls "a long and rich history" of investing in employee engagement and development.
- On top of its standard employee discount on merchandise, Target says offers workers tuition reimbursement, access to free counseling services, a leadership program, and product knowledge and paid service skills training.
- Target's CHRO Stephanie Lundquist said in a Q&A on the company's website that the wage increase received overwhelming support from employees, job candidates and the community. Following last year's announcement of the wage increase during the holiday season, Lundquist said the number of seasonal workers it hired doubled from the year before.
Retailers are increasingly making investments in employees' pay, development, benefits and general wellbeing. Many in the industry are feeling the pressure to boost their investment in workers to compete in the tight labor market.
Target made somewhat of a splash when it announced it was raising wages at the end of 2017 amid seasonal hiring. It was seen partly as an attempt to stymie job-hopping and turnover — a common problem in the retail space. Other retailers, including TJ Maxx, raised their wages around the same time.
But many experts observed that these wage shifts seemed to align with minimum-wage hikes occurring in individual states, such as Massachusetts and Washington. The combined forces of tough retailer competition alongside an emerging patchwork of state and local wage laws has likely led to retailers opting for sweeping changes, rather than adjustments for individual stores.
But wages aren't the only tool employers are bringing to the fight. More companies are taking a look at paid parental leave and employee development opportunities for all of their employees, not just salaried workers, to improve retention and create a more familial company culture.
Follow Kathryn Moody on Twitter