Target's New 'Amazing' Script For Training Employees Leaked
Big corporations have long used relentlessly cheery speeches and other tools to motivate employees. But sometimes those efforts can come off as trite, childish and downright cheesy.
Target Corp., apparently, is no exception. As Gawker reports, the big-box retailer is rallying its employees to provide customers with an "amazing" shopping experience in Target's bid to take on Amazon.com, the online purveyor of everything from books to electronics to personal-care items.
Documents provided to Gawker from a purported source within Target might provide some insight into the "Five Weeks of Amazing" training program. It includes tips on how to provide customers with an "amazing" shopping experience, according to the documents reportedly supplied to store management (copies of which are in the gallery below).
During the first minute of the 20-minute presentation to employees, managers should emphasize the importance of service. Done "really, really well," the script reads, "service can drive sales and generate a lot of guest loyalty."
By encouraging employees to provide outstanding service, Target is hoping to do something Amazon can't: engage shoppers on a personal level. From the script: "Our stores are where guests can see what's new ... find inspiration ... and most of all, where they can our 'Expect More, Pay Less' brand promise come alive in series of memorable moments."
Further, the memo says Target's "great merchandise, cool displays, clean and bright stores [create a] wave of happiness that hits them when they walk through our doors."
The presentation also distinguishes between what Target calls "a moment" and "amazing." An example: "A moment is when we look up from what we're doing to say hi to the guest who just came down the aisle. Amazing is when she tells her husband how friendly everyone at Target is."
Having to cheerlead employees to provide "amazing" service might seem unexceptional, except -- as AOL Jobs recently reported -- getting a job at Target is about as easy as getting into Harvard University.
Target looks for specific qualities among its applicants, including "a friendly and upbeat attitude" -- seemingly desirable traits for workers whose mission it is to provide customers with "amazing" service. As a hiring manager for a soon-to-open San Francisco store told the San Francisco Chronicle, Target wants candidates with a "can-do attitude."
But a little extra training and encouragement, it seems, can't hurt.
And what does the Target source have to think about all of this "amazing" stuff? "They are really making a big deal about using the word AMAZING, [but] I'm not amazed."
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. Follow David on Twitter. Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org. Add David to your Google+ circles.more...