Starbucks’ Human Resource Management Policies and the Growth Challenge

Starbucks’ Human Resource Management Policies and the Growth Challenge

To study the human resource management policies of a large service-oriented retail company

Starbucks is one of the best known and fastest growing companies in the world. Set up in 1971, in Seattle, the company grew slowly initially, but expanded rapidly in the late 1980s and the 1990s. By the early 2000s, there were nearly 9,000 Starbucks outlets across the world and the company’s eventual retail target was to open 30,000 outlets. It was widely believed that the company’s success and rapid growth could be attributed largely to its committed and motivated workforce.

This case discusses the human resource management polices and work culture at Starbucks. Starbucks cared about its employees and was one of the few companies in the retail sector to provide generous benefits to both full time workers as well as part timers.      

This ensured that employees remained motivated, and Starbucks had a relatively low employee turnover. However, in the early 2000s, the company faced the challenge of finding and retaining the right number and kind of employees to man its future growth.

Issues:

  1. To study the human resource management policies of a large service-oriented retail company

  2. To appreciate the value of motivated and committed employees in service-based industries

  3. To understand the relationship between positive human resource management policies and work culture and employee motivation

  4. To analyze the importance of employee retention vis-à-vis rising human resource costs

  5. To examine the human resource challenges faced by the company as it embarked on its expansion plans

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