Today, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz posted a letter to the company’s Facebook page outlining a handful of major changes coming soon to the coffee giant. These changes will arrive just a couple of days after a petition accusing Starbucks of “killing morale” garnered enormous attention.
According to the petition, Starbucks made huge labor cuts as a result of disappointing revenue numbers. They’ve reduced the number of hours available to employees in order to save money and bi-annual raises and promotions only occur once a year now.
Today’s letter penned by “Howard” says that recent tragedies and violence in the United States have prompted the CEO to revisit the company’s relationship with its employees (a.k.a. partners), specifically to reconsider the company’s highly valued levels of trust. The letter goes on to outline several key developments.
First, beginning October 3, “all partners and store managers in U.S. company-operated stores will receive an increase in base pay of 5% or greater.” The percentage increase will be dependent on location and other market factors to ensure that Starbucks remains everyone’s go-to spot for those purple drinks people are losing their minds over. Starbucks will also add a “future annual enhancement to our Bean Stock program,” the company’s cleverly named stock compensation program. This improvement seeks to recognize contributions of tenured partners that exhibit consistent success. Hooray continuity!
But you know what they say, mo’ money, mo’ problems. Several people have commented on the Facebook post expressing concern. One commenter in particular was worried because the pay increases for some employees still put their rate under the living wage.
In addition to monetary changes, Starbucks also plans to reform their benefits program starting on July 18. Schultz’s letter states that they hope to make choosing a coverage plan comparable to choosing an airline. Mostly, you want the plan with the greatest amount of leg room and free booze. Realistically, this way partners can choose a plan that fits their needs and budget. Estimated savings for eligible partners range from $800 to $2,600 annually and savings go right back into employees’ paychecks. Still employees are worried that the changes could be harmful.
Still, many others have said good things and shared their endless gratitude for this step in the right direction.
The letter wraps up with a quick paragraph about scheduling followed by the promise of a more flexible, personalized dress code that still matches the company’s green apron.