It was about 11 years ago when I first walked into a Starbucks. I can remember feeling a sense of “not fitting in.” It was not because the workers were unfriendly, or that the setting was very modern. However, ironically, it was the exact opposite as the workers seemed to be very friendly, well dressed, professional baristas who were there more for than just the paycheck. They smiled when they asked for my order, and even knew the ingredients to the drinks without having to look at a chart. The tables and chairs looked new, were clean, and they were actually selling the latest and greatest easy-listening compact discs and books.
My reason for saying that I did not feel as if I fit in was because this was not the type of coffee shop that I was used to. I was used to the used furniture, chalk board written drink choices, few desserts and napkins, and baristas who worked in a coffee ship as a side job type of feeling. And you know what, I was totally okay with that. However, the atmosphere of Starbucks changed not only the way I viewed coffee shops, but people who worked in express food services all together.
It was very apparent to me that people could be just as professional serving coffee and frappes without having to wear a suit and tie. I had found a new place to have business meetings and other important social gatherings. I had a new setting to get away to so I could catch up on my latest book or music album. Also, I had a cool place to enjoy some of my favorite café drinks. The people and setting at Starbucks had gotten my attention and won my business as a customer. I sought to be a part of their culture. I made it one of my goals to be connected with their company by helping them in their goal of being connected with us as people.
From its first day, the Starbucks coffee company sought to be an organization in which people feel connected. To do so, not only did they have to think of unique ways to make customers feel special and warm while enjoying their coffee, but also how to take care of their employees. As an avid coffee drinker and one who enjoys Starbucks, I do not find it ironic to note that I have never met a disgruntled Starbucks employee. Whether it is because they are trained to be happy, or life is good at work, as a customer, I feel their pleasant spirit. To sum it up, their Human Resources (HR) department must be doing something right.
In almost every Starbucks that I have visited, I have noticed that there is no common age group of employees. There are younger as well as older people workers, and they do not have set positions either. Older employees are not always the managers and younger employees are not always running a cash register or performing barista duties. The workload is divided up well as they seek to make the customers feel welcome and connected.
According to the experts at Recuriter.com, talent acquisition and its role for HR professionals refers to the job and procedure of sourcing, attracting, recruiting, interviewing, and on-boarding employees to a company. At Starbucks, they were sure to look for people who were people friendly before they were educated or professional. It would not make sense to hire somebody who worked hard only to try to outdo their peers but cared less about making employees happy while making some money. Once they knew the type of people they were looking for according to the company’s vision, they set out to let the vision be bait to some of the world’s finest baristas. They advertised themselves as more than just a coffee company but a family of business buddies.
In the Starbucks HR team’s talent acquisition roles of recruiting, interviewing, and on-boarding, they set their employees up for long term success. Each Starbucks employee is not referred to as a coworker, but a partner. Each one of these partners begin their career with the company with 24 hours of classroom teaching at one of the company’s regional training centers. The partners can expect to be informed about a wide variety of matters. These matters include: retail skills, coffee brewing procedures, customer service, pouring the right shot of espresso (the timing needed), and more. The classes are given by district managers, specialists, and training managers. For people being hired into management, they receive an extra eight weeks of classes to pick from. Once the partners are hired, the Starbucks company also pays for them to attend professional seminars and workshops as needed said Bob Nelson. By the time they hit the threshing floor of the business, they already “feel connected.” To help them reach their respective confidence level, the Starbuck’s company offers four tiered levels of training for new employees or promotes. These levels are: Barista Basics training, Shift Supervisor training, Retail Management training Program, District Manager training programs.
It makes sense
By now you are probably saying to yourself, “Wow, that is why my coffee tastes so good whenever I buy it there.” I agree as it is amazing what a person can do when they are properly trained. Not only will they perform their job well, but they will feel connected to their coworkers enabling them to share their essence of connection with you through their service.