Target is one of the most successful retailers throughout the United States. However, after the company attempted to branch into Canada, Target become one of the largest retail failures throughout the globe. In 2013, the company decided to branch out into the Canadian marketplace. At the time, Target was one of the most successful retailers in North America. But launching their stores throughout Canada became a major fail for the organization. The employees were young and unexperienced. Furthermore, the company did not have the adequate amount of time in order to train these young and unexperienced workers on the technology needed for them to fulfill their job responsibilities. The following discusses how the functional responsibilities of the VP of Human Resources contributed to Target’s failure in Canada.
Target describes themselves as a fast, fun and friendly place to work, where soft skills and attitudes are equal. Throughout the United States, Target is known for providing their employees with ample training. When the company expanded to Canada, the company sought to hire people with the right personalities. However, these young individuals only received a couple weeks of training. The employees throughout the Canadian stores lacked the time and institutional knowledge to properly mentor their new employees. Furthermore, the company did not have enough man power to complete everything that needed to be completed within the given time frame. The staff was exceptionally young; the older employees were in their mid-thirties. The staff members were also considered to be unexperienced in the world of retail.
Another issue that arose from the tight time frame was the fact Target Canada used different technology than the retailers throughout the United States stores. Thus, none of the employees understood the new technology. Not only did the store have inexperienced employees and a tight time frame, they also had to understand how to use a type of technology that not even the headquarters in the United States could understand. According to several employees of Target, the company just didn’t have the manpower to launch a retailer throughout Canada.
Regardless of Target Canada being a massive failure, the company still had several strengths. The company had a high growth rate, high revenues and profitability, along with reduced labor costs. In regards to weaknesses, on the other hand, the company lacked when it came to brand portfolio. The high growth rate of the company gave the company several opportunities to branch out to further global markets. However, the unexperienced and young staff made it difficult for the launch to run seamlessly. Furthermore, Target Canada had problems keeping their shelves stocked with merchandise. This was an issue for the customers, as they started to become irritated by the empty shelves throughout the Target Canada Stores.
When it comes to the responsibilities of the VP of Human Resources, there was not enough training prior to launching the retail stores throughout Canada. Furthermore, the young, unexperienced staff was also the fault of the VP of Human Resources. The VP of Human Resources is supposed to maintain staffing levels throughout the company. However, according to several Target employees, the company lacked the manpower to adequately launch the retail chain throughout Canada. Moreover, the VP of Human Resources is supposed to assess and analyze development and training needs. This was not fulfilled. The employees were not trained well enough on the technology used throughout the Canada stores.
While recruiting was not necessary an issue, it is the responsibility of the VP of Human Resources to make sure the company hires the right individuals for the job. It was noted that all of the employees of Target Canada were young and unexperienced. With a young and unexperienced workforce, it is important to have adequate training to make sure the employees understand all of the components of their job. While it was not discussed whether or not the technology the human resource management team used was difficult to understand as well, it is the responsibility of the VP of Human Resources to evaluate the technology and procedures used for human resource data management. The VP of Human Resources is responsible to come up with adequate solutions to make sure all members throughout the organization know and understand the technology they use to fulfill their job requirements.
Overall, the main issue when it comes to the VP or Human Resources is that there was not enough time to adequately train the staff. While retail may not require months of training, it is important for the staff to know and understand how to work all the computer and technological systems associated with their job. While the company was short on time, the fact that none of the staff knew or understood the technology was a major issue for the company. This was one of the biggest issues when it came to the employees. The VP of Human Resources should have made a larger attempt in understanding the technology used throughout the stores. While it is not the fault of the VP of Human Resources that the technology put in place was difficult for everyone to understand, it is the responsibility of the VP of Human Resources to make sure adequate training is set up so all employees understand how to fulfill their job requirements. When it comes to the responsibilities of the VP or Human Resources, the employees should have been put through additional training in order to be prepared enough to help with the launch of the retail stores.
- Castaldo, J. “The last days of Target: the untold take of Target Canada’s difficult birth, toughlife and brutal death”. N.d.