ANALYSIS OF HUMAN RESOURCE PRACTICE
competitors like Dunkin’ Donuts and new start-up Joyride, Starbucks is poised to be a
leader in the next generation of coffee shops or be left behind as an outdated relic (Sacks,
Unlike most large companies, employees of Starbucks are called “partners” and
are encouraged to join young and build a career with the organization. Human resources
are handled by Starbucks’ “Partner Resources Department” with 500 employees serving
roles in staffing, learning and development, compensation and benefits, organizational
development, and partner services (Starbucks, n.d.). Researchers Korschun,
Bhattacharya, and Swain (2014) describe the engaged employee’s impact on the brand as
Employees who identify with the organization will adopt suggested
workplace behaviors and be motivated to support the company’s products
and brands. Yet prior research also prompts us to suggest that this effect
will be mediated by the employee’s customer orientation. Identification is
known to encourage behaviors that benefit the collective. Thus, the more
an employee identifies with the organization, the more he or she will seek
opportunities to contribute to company performance. Because serving
customers’ needs is a key way that frontline employees help the company
maintain and deepen relationships with those customers, such employees
may view their own efforts to contribute to customer loyalty as helping
drive long-term organizational success (p. 24).
To remain competitive in the coffee and food-and-beverage marketplace, Starbucks needs
to keep its partners happy and the public coming back for more.
ANALYSIS OF HR PRACTICE 4
Recruitment processes are an important part of any human resources strategy.
Economic crisis, market booms, natural disasters, and other unforeseen occurrences
should not send the hiring and firing process into a tailspin. Instead, organizations should
have strong plans to weather any literal or metaphorical storm. Long-term vision should
include anticipation of the need for new hires, job specificity, strong candidate pools,
logical assessment of candidates, securing the best talent, integrating new hires, and
reviewing processes for efficiency and efficacy (Fernandez-Araoz, et al., 2009).
Though Starbucks responded to the recent recession with slashed jobs and closed
locations, later efforts focused on long-term goals and recruitment strategy. The
“Starbucks College Achievement Plan” was recently launched, offering free college
education through Arizona State University Online to all partners, including part-time
employees (Starbucks, n.d.).
Business failures can sometimes be solved through training to develop new skills,
refine efficiency, and instruct staff on new policies, procedures, and tools. Issues
frequently trigger training but training efforts should always trigger business results
(Castaldi, 2012). When a large mistake, error, or need for improvement arises, not every
company is prepared to make improvements. As a large successful company, Starbucks
has more resources available to take staff out of their daily work and place them in
training sessions. Investment in training needs assessment and training sessions
themselves may be daunting for small companies; however, an organization operating in
Sections 2-4: In the following three sections, the writer
focuses on several key points or operations about the case.
Here, the author ties her evaluations of the case to theories or research. What theory can you use as support to show that your case study has a problem, or is an effective practice?
It isn’t enough to simply state what is working or what is not working. You need to support this with evidence from theories, experts, or examples.
Be sure to
each key point
of the case.
ANALYSIS OF HR PRACTICE 5
more flexible environments can reap the rewards (van Eerde, Tang, & Talbot, 2008). As
an example of a luxurious training session, Starbucks took their entire work force off the
line for a three-hour barista training event, focused on making perfect espresso, in the
middle of the economic meltdown of 2008 (MacDonald, 2008). Most retail outlets would
steer clear of a door-closing event during busy open hours. Starbucks, however, deemed
the reward to be greater than the risk.