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Opinion: Target’s bold holiday move is a win for all of us


The company’s chief executive officer, Brian Cornell, said he made the decision after employees told him they wanted to spend the holiday with their family – which, of course, is exactly where they should be.

Target’s move to prioritize employee welfare sends a powerful message about the company’s values ​​at a time when Americans are struggling. rethink our approach to work. And, whether customers realize it or not, this benefits them too. Other companies would be smart to follow suit.
In September, 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs — an astounding record that clearly shows that the pandemic has prompted Americans to think more deeply about what they value most. Massive exodus, which many are calling for great resignation, which reflects the country’s new recognition that there’s more to life than work (or overwork).

While closing to customers doesn’t necessarily mean some employees won’t be working, Target’s announcement still sends the public a strong signal that the company is getting the message across.

The new policy is also very wise. At a time when many employers struggling to find and retain workers, it will likely give Target an edge in the recruiting battle. Traditionally, retail workers are often overworked by consumer demand during the holiday season, and may even be enticed to work extra shifts to pay for their family’s festive activities. Of course, doing so means sacrificing what they could otherwise put first: Time with loved ones, rest, and self-care.
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As someone whose spouse often has to work on major holidays, I can attest that the inability of a family to be together on important occasions takes real damage. This year, my husband got Thanksgiving, but that’s the trade-off for other big holidays. He won’t be around to make Santa cookies with our toddler on Christmas Eve, or to watch our baby open presents on his first Christmas morning. These are the moments you can never get back.

In my family, those sacrifices are worth it because my husband’s job is to protect public health. As an emergency room doctor, when he’s not with us, he often saves lives. The same goes for police officers, firefighters, EMS and other essential workers who we all rely on to keep us safe, even on special days. special – and to whom we are indebted.

But there’s absolutely no reason for non-essential employees to work on major holidays so people can buy consumables.

Americans who want to shop for Thanksgiving can still shop online – or they can buy their products in person before or after the Independence Day holiday. But Target’s decision, in addition to sending a message to the business community, has a social meaning: it subtly encourages people to focus on the things that really matter, like the people in their lives. our own, instead of our consumer culture.

It is also a very good thing for our country. From research that what makes us truly happy is our close relationships with other people – not the latest fashion or door-to-door bargains – and that’s exactly what we should all be able to look for. on Thanksgiving.
Ultimately, this policy benefits employees, consumers, and the Target bottom line. This decision has burned through the company’s reputation as an organization that puts people first, and consistent research shows that Consumers like to patronize companies with a positive social impact. This is why retailers and other companies that aren’t necessarily open on major holidays should be quick to announce similar policies.

Thanksgiving is a time when we are all reminded to think about what really matters. It’s refreshing to see a company do this. And if other companies follow Target’s lead, prioritizing rest and personal time when it can mean the most, Americans will have something more to be grateful for this year.

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