Starbucks’ Human Resources Management

Starbucks take in to consideration of valued asset that is our people as partners with practices and system that influence partners behaviour, attitudes and performance. Marchington and Wilkinson (2005, p. 4) commented that ‘It is often contrasted with industrial relations and personnel management, with the former laying claim to represent the theoretical basis of the subject while the latter is viewed as the practical and prescriptive homeland for issues concerning the management of people’.

The responsibility are analysing and designing work, determine human resource needs and creating a positive work environment towards Starbucks goals in the business operations. Starbucks are dedicated to perform business responsibility and conduct in a way that we earn the trust and respect from our customers, partners and neighbours as called as ‘Shared Planet’ in the business (Starbucks Shared Planet: Starbucks Corporation, 2011).


Starbucks principles of people management are staffing and resourcing, learning and development, reward management and employee relation who need to understand the related activities where conflict may occur or support is needed, throughout the activities involve. Contributions from partners are important to make Starbucks successful with the engagements and involvement of employees responsible. Marchington and Wilkinson (2005, p. 28) clearly stated that human resource manager have the sole objectives of justifying how employees contribute to improve performance and to understand the integration of HRM with other organisational activities.

Starbucks partners work as a team to achieve goals and objectives by providing training on an ethical basis to its partners who qualified to work and share our ‘Starbucks Experience’ (Starbucks Company Profile: Starbucks Corporation, 2011). Starbucks criteria in its recruitment of partner outlines requirement that include high morale, self motivation and responsible working with our existing partners. Starbucks adopts the group interview model in conducting its interviews to gain a better understanding at employee abilities and qualities in order to measure the rate at which employees cope under pressure.

This brands sole responsibility is to provide guidance to all of its partners on doubts and concerns, in addition to investigate sensitive issues (Business Ethics and Compliance: Starbucks Corporation, 2011). Coordinating partners work task that have been delegated to ensure that every partners meets the expectation from Starbucks. Treating partners with the right approach, provide great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity are Starbucks main principles which within itself is a strength the brand possess among its competitors (Business Ethics and Compliance ‘Standards of Business Conduct’: Starbucks Corporation, 2011).

Starbucks faces conflict within its operations with respect to its partners on its human related issues whereby partner’s behaviour and perception tend to be different. Partners lack motivation at work due to unclear doubts thereby causing confusion which leads to dissatisfaction. This in itself is a weakness the brand need to addresses due to its high labour turnover where Starbucks offers part time job to the society that will cause lack of partners when needed aggressively. Partners expect to have a desirable and interesting work environment.


Starbucks leaders and partners work as a team to share the responsibility and decision making to make it successful and achievable. According to Hiriyappa (2009, p. 199) commented that ‘Leadership is an in¬‚uence relationship among leaders and followers who strives for real change and outcomes that re¬‚ect their shared purposes’. As a Starbucks leader has to treat partners equal and tolerate with each other in order to build a good relationship within the group.

Figure 3: Leadership Circle

Source: Author

Starbucks works on a strategy to lead the team in a professional way with the cooperation of partners. Our leaders motivate their partners to succeed through a combination of techniques such as engagement, empowerment and delegation of power to enhance performance as well as productivity. Starbucks emphasises on day to day operational tasks and provides guidance to its partners where ever necessary in improving and implementing changes. Leadership here makes sure partners are treated with respect and dignity from each other in order to have a good working environment with other partners (Our Starbucks Mission Statement: Starbucks Corporation, 2011).

On the contrary, Starbucks leaders often challenge their partners’ individual performances over a period which is not appealing to partners leading to dissatisfaction on treatment. Delegation of work amongst partners has a negative repercussion on its partners due to partners wanting to specialise in a sole section of the store instead of multitasking. Coordination is tight where partners do not have the freedom and flexibility to work in such environment with the strict rules and regulation that Starbucks implemented. Starbucks partners work task are multitasking where every partners need to know every single position to the given task being schedule accordingly.


The organisational culture of this brand seeks to describe the manner within which partners react amongst themselves and how others being partners perceive and respond to these behaviours at work. Group behaviour within partners at Starbucks is engagement of the group, share common norms in mutual interest and shared sense of collective responsibility in the group. According to Schein (2012, p. 199) believes that ‘The staff members start out with their own assumptions, values and behaviour patterns in initiating the group and therefore will bias the culture that is eventually formed’. Starbucks policy has always to incorporate a sense of belongingness in the form of groups for partners in decision making and express of idea to improve the overall strategies.

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Conditions of working in a group benefits each partner through communication, team building and engagement of work task (Diversity at Starbucks: Starbucks Corporation, 2011). Individual partner behaviour indicates the culture being brought up which learns and appreciates other partners’ culture. Working in Starbuck as a group offers partners a high level of knowledge by inspiring the work task being done as a result of motivation to the partners through the togetherness as a group. The use of groups sometimes introduces a relaxed approach to work since togetherness brings small talk due to different backgrounds and the task at hand is slow to getting done leading to a minimisation of the human capital for the brand entirely. This leads to a minimisation of efficiency.

The behaviour of partners tends to be different from each other where the group have to accept. The negative perception of a partner will affect group to work as a team where issues of environment and motivation of the group is low. Arguments are often when partners do not have the cooperation to work in a group with the behaviour they have in themselves. Partner’s behaviour tends to change when problem occurs in their personal situation and environment. Starbucks partners play different roles at work and after work where dissatisfaction within the group and different culture which affect the work environment.


Starbucks main expectation from partners is to multitask with the commitment of understanding and involvement of every single work position delegated. Partners, in this case, end up becoming inefficient due to them not being trained to execute multitasking policy that’s being emphasized. This results into lack of motivation because partners feel less productive to the team.

Starbucks faces bureaucratic recruiting and selection of partners to work in stores where human related issues that arise which need solution. Interviewing a new partner is the main idea to know a person characteristic and ability to work with Starbucks in a long run to avoid high labour turnover. Selection scheme needed to recruit a reliable partner to work with the existing partners in Starbucks as a team to achieve goals and objectives. Starbucks does not provide proper training and development that to fit all partners understanding because of partners backgrounds tends not to be motivated while working.

Partners getting appraisals on reviewing and measuring their overall performance shall be different responds from each partner that criticism could not be accepted. Starbucks tends to employ partners from different countries with different backgrounds. This might be unfair and not being valued because of partners differences. Partners feel underappreciated leading to a lack of motivation. Partners tend to leave that cause time and resources being wasted which cost of training new partners incurred. Partners leaving will lead to different perception within partners not being loyal and the need of adaption with new partners work.


Planning: The Starbucks structure needs to be reviewed often to help eradicate any pending issues. Emphasis should be placed on planning in a way that satisfies partners. Determining the needs and wants of partners should be the sole motive of a manager in creating a better working environment. Analysis should be placed on the plan before being implemented as a company policy. The planning of the structure has to be more advance in order to make Starbucks partners work more efficiently and professional. Designing the work task being delegated to partners where partners are more satisfied and comfortable working with Starbucks in the long term.

Recruiting and selection: Starbucks branch managers have to go through training and development to have an ‘eye’ in order to choose the right candidates to become part of Starbucks partners for recruiting new partners. Terms and conditions of recruitments need to be stated clearly as a guide as well. Following the right recruitment procedures will minimise inefficiency of partner’s contributions and involvements at work because the right candidates are chosen. The process of recruiting and selection need to be balanced in a way to satisfy the requirements of Starbucks and the ability to work in a team takes in to consideration.

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Training and development: Provide training and development to partners is very important that will affect Starbucks reputation and performance where Starbucks partners need to provide customer service. Intensive training has to be undertaken regularly for partners in order to improve partner work input and output levels within the store and keep focus levels high. Starbucks need to provide proper and intensive training to partners such as customer services, food and beverages, health and safety and other appropriate training. Starbucks partners tend to be more interested to work with the training provided to improve individual abilities and commitments.

Performance management: Evaluating Starbucks partner’s performance on a high expectation will help Starbucks to have a better reputation towards our services to the consumer. Analyse the work performance on every partners of the negative and positive in order to improve in a better way. Accept feedbacks from partners about other partners work performance and issues when task is being delegated to partners. Evaluate the work performance in such a way that is easy to improve partners when issues is being analyse. Evaluate the performance of the partner’s previous performances in order to have a better outcome from the contribution of work task.

Employee relations: Having a good work environment needs to be taken in to consideration because partners will be more motivated. The work station layout and environment of the work place is very important due to its ability to bring out efficiency levels and contribute to a better outcome. In addition to a good work environment that will show positive outcome that benefits Starbucks towards the contribution of the partners. Respect and being treated fairly within partners is a positive environment that benefits a work place which every partner gets to concentrate on work that is been delegated. Partners tend to be more motivated leading to a more involve manner in adhering to the decision made by management and contribute better ideas as well as opinion to improve Starbucks strategies.


Starbucks partners’ individual performances are being challenge by leaders where partners tend to be in a situation of dissatisfaction and lack of motivation to work in a group. Partners have a negative impression of working in a group with other Starbucks partners to perform and contribute better outcomes. Partners fall back in participation on contributing ideas and opinions towards Starbucks group goals and objectives because partners tend to concentrate on self improvement. Partners in the group will not get along with other Starbucks partners with the situation where leaders analyse on individual performance.

Work task being delegated by leaders to partners that is not their expertise will cause problem in the whole process of work performance in the group. It is very important that leader take in to consideration of the ability and profession of the individual partner contribution. In this case, Starbucks would like every partner to multitask in the work in order to perform other partner’s responsibility so as to be more productive and also in other circumstances.

Leader’s coordination is tight on individual partners that will cause pressure where partners in the group will not cooperate with each other. Expectations from leaders on individual partner’s performance are different that will affect the work performance within the group where partners tend to emphasize on personal performance. Individual partners concentrate on their work performance rather than group performance with the strict rules and regulation being implemented.

Starbuck leaders tend to be too close with partners where an issue of lack of respect from partners and it is difficult to balance between work and private life. The relationship between leaders and partners has to draw a line where engagement is involved in the work performance towards reaching goals and objectives of Starbucks. In this case, partners tend not to commit on Starbucks expectation and not serious on the work performance being delegated.


Starbucks leadership is important to achieve its goals and objectives from the commitment of all partners involved and form a group to work together. In management department of leadership are planning, organising, directing, co-ordinating and reviewing the work process in order to achieve the goals and objectives. On the other hand, leadership is influence by one person that direct people to do something to achieve the goals which concern is not taken in to consideration. Consideration here means that management should have two leaders so as to create more adequate solution to issues that may arise. The authority of a manager is to direct the work and behaviour of others is an asset to manage the group.

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Starbucks leaders should be more engaging leaders, in order to work in a group closely with the partner’s where involvements and commitments take place. The goals and objectives need to be accepted by manager and partners in order to achieve better outcome and avoid problems in the future. In addition to that the ideas and opinions from both sides need to take in to consideration by the higher management before being implemented. In this situation partners need to satisfy working with the involvement in Starbucks and being appreciated with their work task.

Leadership task and skills need to be improved by motivating the partners to get involved in the goals and objectives being set by the Starbucks where planning, organising and exercising control over the group performance. Starbucks need to make sure that all partners understand the work task in the group in order to be done in an effective way without any doubts. Partners performing on the group task being delegated need to be more accommodative of other partner differences. Leaders need to have a range of skills such as persuasion, teaching, support and providing an example in order to motivate the partners in the group.

Lussier & Achua (2010, p. 70) clearly stated that the democratic leadership styles by Kurt Lewin, University of Iowa indicates that leader encourage participant in decisions, work with the employees to determine what to do and does not closely supervise employees. This is the style that Starbucks need to practice where partner’s suggestions that brought up is taken in to consideration. The contributions of the partners are important in the group to be more effective and strong. Advantages of democratic leadership are the increased of morale and support on the decision making and with the ideas and opinions being shared among the partners will have a better outcome. Starbucks partners involvement, contribution and commitment on decisions making within the group will motivate the partners to work more efficiently.

In addition situational theory of path goal theory needs to be taken in to consideration where the leader influences the way how partners perceive goals and the potential path of achievement. There are leadership behaviour that is been determine as guidance where directive, supportive, participative and achievement-driven as well as situational factors take in to consideration such as partners characteristics and environmental characteristics. In directive where giving guidance, providing standard, specifying the basis of outcomes and rewards is been considerate. Supportive are showing concern for partners, making work more pleasant, being friendly and approachable that will motivate partners to work. In addition to that consulting and involving partners are participative where partners feel being appreciated to work with Starbucks. The achievement-driven are setting challenging goals, providing high expectation and conveying confidence in order to show the ability of partner’s involvement.


Starbucks is a successful company in the food industry where concern on the partners is important to the company. Starbucks company mission and vision is achieved with the participation from partners will lead to good reputation that shows the achievement being meet. Partners are treated with respect and dignity where partners felt being appreciated and have the sense of belonging within Starbucks. Partner’s involvement on Starbucks goals and objectives that have achieved will maximise Starbucks revenue and partners efficiency of work performance. Partners tend to be more motivated and get involved in the development of Starbucks with the proper structure and standardisation of Starbucks. Managing people at Starbucks is a huge challenge where Starbucks recruit employee from different countries and backgrounds.


Armstrong, M. (2006). A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice Tenth Edition. London: Kogan Page Limited .

Business Ethics and Compliance ‘Standards of Business Conduct’: Starbucks Corporation. (2011). Retrieved September 4, 2012, from Starbucks Corporation Web site:

Business Ethics and Compliance: Starbucks Corporation. (2011). Retrieved September 4, 2012, from Starbucks Corporation Web site:

Diversity at Starbucks: Starbucks Corporation. (2011). Retrieved September 6, 2012, from Starbucks Corporation Web site:

Hiriyappa, B. (2009). Organizational Behavior. New Delhi: New Age International.

Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2010). Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development Fourth Edition. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Marchington, M., & Wilkinson, A. (2005). Human Resource Managemnet at work: People Management and Development Third Edition. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Our Starbucks Mission Statement: Starbucks Corporation. (2011). Retrieved September 5, 2012, from Starbucks Corporation Web site:

Schein, E. H. (2012). Organizational Cultureand Leadership Fourth Edition. San Francisco : John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Starbucks Company Profile: Starbucks Corporation. (2011). Retrieved September 4, 2012, from Starbucks Corporation Web site:

Starbucks Shared Planet: Starbucks Corporation. (2011). Retrieved September 4, 2012, from Starbucks Corporation Web site:

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