I keep getting told by my boss I'm not nice, and we have a culture of nice. If I ask if I've hurt anyone or done something wrong, I get told it is not about doing, it's about the personality, that I'm aggressive and go getter and it offends others. Some other women I met here in fireplace chats think this is similar to what is told to them. Anyone know what this means? I'm an engineer / programmer, am I getting managed out? My 1/1s lately have been about my personality while saying that work is not the most important part of my job, just working hard isn't cutting it, I need personality coaching and so on. None of my peers have a problem with me, and I barely interact with any more than engineers to get my work done. Another woman in my team is going through the same and my male coworkers are all surprised my manager complained abt our personalities. Anyone know if this is a target pattern?
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To be direct, You are being set up for a Performance Plan. The intangible personality feedback is a red herring. The fact that you are a female and a diversity hire complicates your manager's desire to manage you out of the group and out of target.
The options you have are to remain and deal with the Niceness patrol, or look for another position in a different group, of get cracking and get another job outside of Target.
Personally, I'd just get a new job outside Target and put the bad experience behind you.
Hmm. The software here censored one of my words in my last post thinking it was a vulgarity. I meant like the drink, not the rooster. ;-)
Target cares more about feeling than results. The results only matter if/when you completely biff them and screw up, but otherwise, there's no sense in being excellent, especially if it comes at the expense of straining your work relationships. Strive instead to do the bare minimum and work on your c---tail manner instead.
Now that sounds like I'm being sarcastic, and actually I'm being a little sarcastic. But it's 100% true. The unspoken messages I got over the years (I worked at TGT Corporate for five before quitting for a better role) is this: When given the choice between an excellent result that might potentially strain relationships vs. a mediocre result / improving relationships, ALWAYS go for mediocre. There's no room for excellence when preserving feeling matters.
It sounds sad, it sounds like sarcasm, but it's the truest thing I learned about working at Target. They honestly are not results driven, they are relationship driven. They think that's actually a virtue, but it only works in good times. In times when the competition starts eating your lunch (cough Amazon) suddenly you're in a room full of charm school graduates incapable of deep thought and hard work.
Yeah, target technology s---s for women, no doubt there. Coz women mostly get sh-- done and don't go getting to know you-ing, smiling fake Minnesota nice smiles, and scheduling recurring meetings. Lemme ask, if you are the no b---s--- and I work kinds, why'd you work here? There's others out there in Minneapolis. Amazon lets you work from remote locations now if you find the right kinda work. This isn't a place for serious folks, women much less. Get out before they come for you.
HR is not there to help you. There are there to back up bad managers. Get out. There are many fine companies that need good people. Target is back with the “get to know you” coffee status” types now being managers.
Move out! I do not work at target but this is a common pattern. When they got nothing against you but insecurity, they bring up personalities. Don't waste your time, talking to anyone isn't worth it. Find a better paying job. Minneapolis isn't as bad as you think :) there's plenty jobs out there for skilled engineers like you, and stay off those dying retailers in denial.
Thanks ! I'm documenting everything yes but no one seems interested in what I've documented, I'm also going to talk to hr about leaving early as you suggest. Asking for payback waiver makes sense given my situation. What's the typical severance one is likely to get and would negotiate for, a rough range would help me. I'm just getting started on my resume doing the rounds outside and given how few companies there in tech in the twin cities, it is going to be a while before I find anything, and it will be in my best interest to be compensated. Thanks for the note, I read it first thing in the morning and felt somewhat better! Going to the work place has been become a drain at target.
The "compensation payback" I referred to was a sign on bonus I would have owed the company, which was waived. HR was great. Going to HR early in the process and keeping them updated on the situation was helpful. Take notes, communicate with email. Get everything in place with HR when you quit and give HR notice before you give notice to your manager. I had a colleague who negotiated a severance to quit several months before me. They want people out.
thanks for the very detailed suggestions and response, I feel better reading the notes of support here. Yes, the word personality was used, and I went to hr saying that I feel it is discriminatory, I strongly feel so. I'm not being paranoid, but I'm from the minority community and female, so I already stand out in a largely homogenous HD office. I often have to be more perseverant to be heard, such as if I tell my manager that something needs a different approach, I find it is taken easier if it came from a male coworker. So I try to be clearer and persistent. I do feel out of place when I have to try that hard, and I'm distrusted to begin with.
Not to get all touchy feely, but I have highlighted this in various smaller groups of people like me and asked for tips. You are right in that I should not and have not shared my situation with anyone at work. My question is if I do all that's suggested here, have hr co-attend meetings, ask for written explanations, it becomes clear I'm challenging my management. I feel then that they will be even more forceful in evicting me. Is this somehow in my best interest, or is it better to lie low and get out? What are the advantages of taking the management on (apart from standing up for yourself), will it help me keep my job until I find another? Or ask for compensation if removed immediately?
Send an email to HR requesting the following: 1. Within the next 5 business days, you'd like to have a 30 minute status with your manager and HR present. Share that your availability on your calendar is updated. If you don't hear back in 48 hours, I would send directly to your manager's manager and cc: your manager and HR. 2. That you would like to have something in writing referencing specific, that is the key thing here, specific feedback regarding your performance and the specific concerns i.e. WHEN did the unacceptable performance occur (you need to request specific dates, specific meetings?, other specific interactions), WHO was present (i.e. who is saying this about you? peers/internal partners/who?, WHAT feedback was shared about your performance to your manager, WHY was your behavior or performance perceived as unacceptable? 2. In your meeting with HR/Manager propose that you will be scheduling meetings individually with people on your team to understand how you're coming across to him/her. Ask "Based on my working relationship with you, what are some things I'm doing well?" What are some things I should do differently? What is my biggest roadblock?" I would refrain from sharing with current Target TM's as to why you're asking - state that you're working on your professional development and would like to better understand how others perceive you. I also wouldn't share anything about your situation, or that you feel like you're being worked out. Keep that to yourself. The more your share, the riskier it is for you - know that your manager and HR may have informants. I have seen this tactic done before. 3. In your meeting with HR/Manager request weekly or bi-weekly meetings with both of them to discuss how things are going and SPECIFIC feedback. Tell them that you'll be scheduling these and that you want current, specific feedback. In the meeting, propose 3 different days/times that work for you and do they work for the HR/Manager? In ending the meeting, confirm in person that you'll be receiving a written summary of the meeting (who will be recapping it, HR or Manager), your plan for soliciting feedback from your peers/internal partners/internal clients (sorry, I don't know if you have internal clients or not) and that you'll be scheduling weekly (or bi-weekly) feedback update meetings with both of them. Document everything and ensure you have a copy of it at home. HR may track your email to your home email address so print a copy, don't email yourself at home. You have mentioned the word "personality" in your posts. If this word is used, that troubles me as I feel it can be quite discriminatory. Document everything (dates/times, who said what, etc...). Again, do not share that you're struggling with your team or friends at work. I've seen time again how people talk about others behind their backs. While it saddens me to tell you this, I truly wouldn't trust anyone given your situation.
Thanks all. I did involve hr as you have suggested, but my manager hasnt attended anything together and not given any corrective feedback. As you all point out, they just made vague accusations taking no names, just saying "people" didn't like me. I couldn't cross verify any other ill feelings towards me from my team, as we work together daily. Like you all suggest, I've started updating my resume and sending it around. It's disheartening because I've been a top performer and am all always advertised as the diversity hire from outside. Suddenly I'm too diverse to exist here. Any idea what kind of time I have left? , what is a compensation pay back waiver? Thanks for sharing your experiences. I hope I'm out of here soon.
As former HR Target, I'd recommend meeting with HR and your manager together, not separate. In the meeting, I'd ask them to send a written summary of your conversation within 48 hours the meeting including the work and behavior expectations for you. I also would recommend that all future 1:1's with your manager, include HR. While I'm not advising this as a best practice for everyone, given your situation, I'd move quickly to this stage. In the mean time, I would highly recommend updating your resume and networking, networking, networking. Based on what you described, in my opinion you are indeed being worked out of the organization.
I had this experience! Great reviews, putting more time in, suddenly things reversed and I was receiving feedback about how I need to be "Target positive." Basically telling me that I'm a rude person that does not know how to communicate? So early in this process I went to HR and forwarded several emails. Then later when I was threatened, HR had a picture of what was going on. HR waived some compensation payback and I was able to depart off to a nice new job (making more). They are trying to manage you out. GET OUT NOW.
HR is coaching managers to NOT put anything in writing. You'll likely not get a written list of things to improve until you are put on corrective action. That's the first time you'll see anything in writing. If your manager really wanted to help you from a personal development perspective, they would likely have a talk with you about examples such as: when you end an email remember to say thank you, or when you're speaking with someone try to phrase things as to not put the person on the defensive, etc. Since your manager is just telling you you're doing it wrong it sounds like they are just trying to set you up to be "managed out". Start working on your resume and know that there is a life after Target. Good luck to you.
I find my work groups to be dominated by women by at least a 2/1 margin in merchandising.
Thanks for the reply. I have sent emails but not received any replies from my manager in written. I went over my situation with hr, but they have been unhelpful. Mostly they have repeated that if my manager gives me feedback, I must take it in my best interests. If I point out that my manager has not given me any written feedback or actionable feedback, they just ask me to arrange that with my manager. Per your experience, how much time do I have? Is this worth fighting or should I start looking out?
Thanks again for your reply.
I do not work for Target, but happened to read this. If I was you, document everything that is going on, and do as much via email as possible for a trail. I would also try to get a look at your file with HR to see what is in there. in my experience, this sounds a good deal like someone is building a case against you for future action.