Employment and Starbucks

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In 1971, three coffee fanatics – Gerald Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Ziev Siegel founded Starbucks in Seattle, Washington (Moon & Quelch, 2006). Howard Schultz, who is now the CEO, joined the marketing team. He made a trip to Italy and became obsessed with the idea of how people were drinking coffee in the cafes. A few years later Howard Schultz bought Starbucks from the three founders and started to expand the coffee brand. Starbucks is the leader in the coffee industry and is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Now let us take a deeper look into the Starbucks organization. The 21st century has brought new trends in the labor force composition that surely affects human resource management (HRM). Starbucks has to deal with these changes in order to make their employees happy and to run their business successfully. One of the examples of a trend that affects HRM is an aging workforce. By now the worker age range of 45 to 64 has grown dramatically and continues to grow (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart & Wright, 2010, p. 32). Starbucks is following the trend. For instance, the company has recently purchased the workshop that is called Aging Workforce (PR Newswire, 2010). Another example of a trend that puts a big impact on the workforce is an increased diversity level. Starbucks understands the importance of a diverse workforce for the company future and “reflects a comparable dedication to diversity as an essential component” in the way they conduct business (Starbucks, 2010). Starbucks states that they hire people regardless to the applicants’ race, national origin, gender, and any other bias (Starbucks, 2010). For example, 28% of Senior Officers (Senior Vice President and above) are female and 22% are people of color (Starbucks Annual Report, 2010). The next change affecting the workforce is that companies have begun empowering their employees. Employees are given “responsibility and authority to make decisions regarding of all aspects of products development or customer service” (Noe et al., 2010, p. 40). Starbucks workers are encouraged to make their own decisions, be enthusiastic and initiative, do everything possible to make Starbucks customers happy, and make the Starbucks experience worth coming back to (Starbucks, 2010). All Starbucks employees are encouraged to work as a team and this is the next trend that influences HRM. Starbucks managers are trying to get every employee to feel part of the team. Company employees are encouraged to support each other and work together to reach the goals of Starbucks while providing delightful customer value. That is the reason why the company says that working at Starbucks is more like working with friends (Starbucks, 2010). Nowadays, the role of HRM at a company has increased a lot. Organizations look at HRM “as a means to support a company strategy” and managers treat HR professionals as “strategic partners” (Noe et al., 2010, p. 42). The HR managers at Starbucks support the company’s business strategy. At Starbucks HRM supports strategies that involve Total Quality Management (TQM), International Expansion and Downsizing. TQM is “a companywide effort to continuously improve the way people, machines, and systems accomplish work” (Noe et al., 2010, p. 43). In order to promote quality HRM at Starbucks, the HR managers support creativity, individual decision-making, and the communication within the organization. For instance, workers such as baristas can always communicate with their supervisors and managers. Starbucks HRM has always supported the company’s strategy that involved international expansion. Starbucks currently operates in 47 countries with over 4500 coffeehouses. In the future, Starbucks has an intention of expanding into new countries since their passion is transcending language and culture” (Starbucks, 2010). However, due to the world economic crisis, Starbucks’s strategy of global expansion has changed to...
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