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October 22, 2014

Strategic Human Resource Development Assignment

With the increasingly globalizing economic models, companies and organizations all over the world are implementing and adhering to financial concepts and ideas that can help and promote their globally conducted operations, which on one hand will increase their economic portfolios, on the other hand will also add to their greater leverage in their economic standing among their competitors.
Facilitation of these operations has also become an integral component of contemporary organizational practice after the unprecedented financial success of outsourcing activities.
One of such companies which will be assessed through various dimensions during the course of this discussion is the Indian multinational and the largest coffee manufacturer and distributor of coffees in India known as Starbucks (Dana, 2006).
1.      Strategic HR management
Human Resource Effectiveness
The organization pays immense attention and emphasis on the fundamental features of Human resource management. Starbucks is famous for having developed its human resource program in a way through which this department of the organization can formulate policies and ideas that can help and facilitate employee training and development in all aspects. This can further be manifested from the fact that every new employee recruited by the organization undergoes maximum 24 hours training by the organization for the first two to four weeks. The purpose of the training is to ensure that every employee of the company is able to acquaint itself with the master skills and values of the company.
Furthermore, it ensures that throughout the training session and other programs that are periodically organized and held by the organization, the newly hired employee is able to affiliate and associate himself with the family value based nature and human resource structure of the organization. Apart from the training programs the effective strategic management of human resource established in the organization is also expressive in the form of competitive salaries and there on time payments, unlimited chances of growth and other multiple fringe benefits such as medical insurance.
With the passage of time and especially in conditions hen the economy does not present a very positive picture Starbucks and its HR department has been formulating policies that can help the organization raise its effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. The very concept of Starbucks and its human resource mechanism was to ensure the formation that can be regarded as the third place for people to meet and interact other than home or offices. The organization has been effective in developing the culture where people can easily stay in Starbucks for hours having more than one cup of coffee and sandwiches.
In Starbucks it is no more about the products that they sell, but about the environment that they have effectively catered and garnered in developing a third place for people where they can freely talk, interact and communicate with each other.

Human Resource Metrics
HR Metrics help us in determining the factors through which human resource plays a role in contributing to the business on the whole. In the case of Starbucks the role of these metrics and the way they come into effect and influence the business of the organization is quite clear. Just to mention few of the most fundamental roles in which human resource comes into play is first and foremost in the role of recruiting people which are skillful enough to help the organization attain greater heights of development.
At the same time the policies defined by human resource in Starbucks provide the company with a distinctive organizational leverage and position whether its in the form of workforce or the nature of benefits that employees are provided, human resource metrics in Starbucks always hold a proactive and stable position in contributing to the development of the organization.
HR technology
For any particular organization or its any integral department to develop, it is mandatory that it should be incorporated with the most state of the art technology. At different phases of time Starbucks has integrated its working mechanism with technologies that has helped the organization in keeping itself and its human resource structure in line with contemporary technological development taking place in organizations.
Starbucks was among the first companies to incorporate an ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning system in the organization that provided the human resource department direct access to have a look at the different recruitments that have been made at various locations of Starbucks offices around the country and the world (Kirkbride, 1994).
At the same time various other softwares and technological programs have been developed in house by the organization to streamline their functions and strategies when it comes to human resource.
HR planning
The stage of planning is significant since it allows an organization the time margin and space to streamline their plans and formulate their strategies that they need to implement in future. Furthermore, planning in any department provides it a framework of various responsibilities and tasks that it needs to fulfill during a particular time frame. In the context of the human resource of Starbucks the stage of planning is important and takes place to plan and analyze recruitments that need to be made in different departments of the organization.
 In addition to this the HR department also has to come up with policies through which monetary and non-monetary benefits among employees can be restructured and expanded to ensure greater motivation among them and also maximize their level of productivity. Also, another important job that the human resource has to plan in collaboration with the management of the organization as well as with the respective team leads of different departments in the assessment and evaluation of all employees of the organization, which includes the increments of employee salaries and the subsequent adjustments that are made in their salary packages. Other important jobs that also comprise and include the planning of the human resource department in Starbucks include the monitoring of shifts of employees in different outlets and making periodic shifts of employees in different departments of the organization after a defined period of time (Hamilton, 1990).

HR Retention
There are many ways through which Starbucks even in these times when economic conditions are not that optimistic has been able to maintain a high employee retention rate. The policies formulated by human resource department in this context are worth mentioning and considering. Employee retention in Starbucks has mainly been maintained with the help of the working style and the multiple numbers of benefits that the organization provides to its employees.
Employees of Starbucks get 24 hours of in-store training, the opportunity of stepping themselves in information about coffee and serving customers (Filipo, 2004). Apart from the training opportunities that are provided by Starbucks, the organization also plays an important role when it comes to employee benefits which are basically pivotal when it comes to the retention of employees in any organization. In order to fulfill this function as effectively as possible Starbucks provides full health-care benefits to its employees who encompasses all kinds of medical treatments ranging from dental checkup to large scale and expensive surgeries.
In addition to this in order to bring employee and employer on an equal footing Starbucks also took the initiative of providing their employees with a share in the growth of the company. These stock options have increased up to 14 percent of the gross salary of an employee. With the passage of time the organization also drafted a plan through which it could empower its employees by providing them the opportunity to buy shares of the company at a discount rate of 85 percent (Filipo, 2004). Due to these benefits that are provided by the company accompanied with various others, it comes as no surprise that the job satisfaction and employee retention rate of 82 percent.
 Along with all the different kinds of benefits that are provided to the employees of Starbucks there is yet another important reason that contributes to their retention (Filipo, 2004). This reason as it is quoted by many employees of Starbucks themselves is the opportunity to work with an enthusiastic team and at the same time work at a place where they themselves are not treated merely as employees, but as employers who have a value and contribution to make for the progress of the organization on the whole.
2.      Equal Employment Opportunity
At every organization level there has always been a certain set of criteria which has been outlined as far as the employment of individuals and other suitable personnel in any of the important departments is concerned. Many of these departments and areas where employment and their related procedures are considered involve many of the important posts and jobs for some of the prominent government positions which include the Department of Justice, Civil Service Commission and Department of Labor.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Justice in cooperation adopted uniform guidelines to meet the requirement of the federal government, and to apply the exact same rules to the government as applied to the workers as well.
The human resource department of Starbucks does not effectively cope with current problems and activities, but also prepare to meet new and unknown needs in the future. In order to maintain diversity and non-discrimination, the organization stresses that:
·         Diversity and non-discrimination does not mean that organizations must hire minorities and women only. By diversity, it is meant that Starbucks has an open door policy where people of every culture, color, language, race and religion has an equal right to get hired (Lerner, 2008)
·         Every employee of Starbucks has the chance to work in a non-harassing environment where everyone has equal and fair chance to grow, depending on his/ her performance without any prejudices or biases
·         In Starbucks white men have also equal chance and right to get hired and grow
Starbucks, in order to effectively restructure and streamline its compliance and other legal affairs made changes in its organizational structure by naming a new legal and compliance officer, Matthew Swaya. With the help of his naming as the chief compliance officer of the organization it is anticipated that Starbucks will be able to handle its legal and corporate affairs in a much effective and well managed way (Pamoni, 2009). In addition to this keeping in mind that Swaya is man with a legal background, he will ensure that the organization does not engage in any activities that either do not comply with the laws of the state or are outright unethical and illicit.
In terms of cultural diversity, Starbucks has certainly no parallel. People from all over the country, irrespective of their color, caste, and creed, racial or cultural background have been able to find a satisfying source of employment and job by working at Starbucks. An example of national and global cultural diversity at Starbucks can further be manifested with the example of Omollo Gaya. She grew up in a coffee farm in Kenya and immigrated to San Diego to attend college.
One day she made her way into Starbucks for a cup of coffee and she was so impressed by the way she was treated by the staff of the restaurant that she decided to apply and work here (Lerner, 2008). She worked there for four years and was finally promoted to work in the headquarters of the company as coffee tasters. The example of Omollo is an exemplification of the fact that in Starbucks people from diverse backgrounds are not only welcomed, but they are also provided all possible chances and opportunities that can help and enhance their growth.
Affirmative Action
As mentioned above while explaining the example of Omollo, it can be seen that when an organization can easily provide a healthy employment opportunity for a person who belonged to a different culture and society altogether, it is suggestive of the fact that it has no stringent or hardline stance when it comes to affirmative action.
Starbucks is a present day organization that has evolved over the passage of time and believes in the globalized mechanism of business operation and functioning by introducing and incorporating the culture of employee diversity through its human resource policies and mechanism. It is also important to mention here that there have been repeated rumors about Starbucks and the way it has supported racism and racial activities in its organization, but more than once such allegations have proved baseless and completely irrational.
3.      Staffing
Job Analysis
The reputation that Starbucks has established in terms of brand leverage over the years has primarily been an outcome of the way its staff and other people of the management deal with customers and visitors. Their nice and affectionate style of welcoming them, receiving their orders, delivering them with quality stuff all collectively contribute in building a positive image of the organization.
This has all been made possible due to the proper staffing and recruitment of right people for the right position. In this context the human resource department of Starbucks deserves full credit for the appropriate and effective staffing of people for appropriate positions.
Job Analysis is yet again an integral process and component of the employee recruitment process. Since Starbucks is known for his appropriate decision making when it comes to staffing procedures, before recruiting an employee the human resource department, officials of the concerned department and senior management members get together to collectively decide which employee will be most appropriate in a department and what designation needs to be provided to him or her. All these decisions are made based on the academic credentials and past experience history of the employee.
Recruiting and Selection
The recruiting and selection stages in Starbucks comprise of multiple tiers. Once the candidate is shortlisted, an initial interview of the potential candidate is conducted by the human resource department of the organization. The key purpose of this interview is to find more about the candidate and his tangible and intangible characteristics of his personality.
Once the candidate gets through this stage, the next stage involves the interview with the officials and people of the department for which the candidate has applied for and is interested in working. This is the tough stage of the recruitment process since the questions asked here are hard hitting, since they test the knowledge and experience that a candidate needs to have in relation with the field he has applied for. The final stage of the recruitment and selection process is the meeting with the senior officials of the management accompanied with the people from the concerned department. After all these stages are done, the candidate finalized is asked to sign the job offer letter.
4. Talent Management
Talent management is all about engaging, developing and inspiring employees to deliver their goals in accordance and in conformity to the developed business strategy. Many companies can only achieve 60 percent of their projected goals as defined in their business strategy (Legge, 2004).
This mainly happens because of the loopholes and gaps in the communication and delivery process between the members of them, manager and employees. Starbucks in recent times in order to effectively cater to this segment has developed new technologies and software mechanism to ensure greater mobility and flow of information in order to facilitate healthy communication between different team members.
As mentioned in the beginning phase of the discussion Starbucks organizes 24 hour sessions of training for its employees (Pamoni, 2009). The training sessions organized by the organization play an important role in helping the employees realize their jobs and responsibilities that they need to fulfill and what the organization expects them to do.

HR development
With the help of the different technological innovations and software that have been incorporated by the organization in recent times and are being planned in subsequent times will play a pivotal role in the development of the human resource substantially. The integration of greater technological conveniences Starbucks will not be able to only fill the loopholes that currently prevail in its system, but also streamline other related functions that it needs to execute.
Career Planning
A globally established organization like Starbucks provides ample opportunities to its employees when it comes to career growth and planning. The training sessions which during the early stages of an employee recruitment are mostly about the functions and organizational duties he has to execute, after some time focus more on ways through which an employee can effectively plan his career over the years in Starbucks and achieve a position where he is able to enjoy greater benefits and conveniences provided by the organization.
5. Total Rewards
Compensation provided by Starbucks can be divided into various categories depending on the nature of designation and the kind of responsibilities it involves. According to a survey of 580 Starbucks baristas, wages being paid range between $6 to $13 per hour. Shift supervisors, on the other hand are paid an average of $11 per hour (Pamoni, 2009). Similarly assistant managers and store managers can easily make up to $25,000 to $40,000 per year.

Incentives and benefits
Starbucks offers an extremely affordable benefits plan for its employees, with the most affordable plan being only $6.25 per week. Starbucks’ benefits include health coverage, income protection, reimbursement, accounts and several other programs.
6. Risk management and workers protection
Health wellness
Starbucks provides one of the most reliable and accommodative health and wellness plan to its employees. The biggest advantage that employees have with this kind of health program is that it encompasses almost each and everything that a person requires, ranging from dental or vision checkup to a large scale, time consuming and expensive surgery. The Healthcare and Reimbursement Account allows contributions of $100 to $500 each year to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare costs (Legge, 2004).
Safety and Security
Safety and security issued are also effectively dealt by Starbucks through the healthcare program and costs. The total medical package that the organization offers does provide compensation for partners as they are eligible in the case of disability coverage and accidental death. In addition to this all proper measures to ensure complete safety and security of employees is also maintained at all times. Employees working in the restaurant are used to wear gloves and use each and every utensil after washing.
Disaster and recovery planning
While planning any strategy or making any new changes in a previously formed strategy it has become a norm in Starbucks that the human resource department of the organization is bound to develop a contingency plan for the strategy that is being discussed. Even teams who are coming up with their new strategies need to develop a recovery plan for their planning in advance. The practice has gained momentum especially after the market crash of 2007 that actually intensified the need of making plans that provide alternative plans to be implemented.
7. Employee and labor relations
Employee rights and privacy
When a new employee joins Starbucks he is provided a contract which clearly states that neither the employer nor the employee is advised to steal company material and use it for his or her personal benefit. The organization will only have to violate the privacy issue if the situation related to the employee concerns national security or interest or is requested by another employer.
HR policies
The human resource policies of Starbucks focus on areas through which relations between employee and employer can be peaceful to the fullest. Policies of the organization conform with the employees in providing them with all the necessary components and aspects that they need to have a better life.
Union Management relations
In the case of Starbucks relations between union leaders and members and the management have always been quite amiable. A key reason for this has been that union members of Starbucks have always conveyed and presented their problems that they face with the management through a proper channel and process that has been outlined and defined by the organization from the very first day. Implementation on the process avoids any kind of mismanagement in the handling of different affairs that need to be handled by the union and problems that need to be resolved by the management.

Flippo, Edwin B. (2004). Principles of personnel management. McGraw-Hill, University of
Hamilton, S. F. (1990). Apprenticeship for Adulthood. New York: Free Press.
Kirkbride, Paul (1994). Human Resource Management in Europe: Perspective for the 1990s.
Legge, Karen (2004). Human Resource Management: Rhetoric and Realities (Anniversary ed.).
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lerner, L. (2008). To cut down on turnover, find out why employees leave. Boston Globe.

Pamoni, Christiana (2009). The Importance of Human Resources Management (HRM) in

Modern Organizations. Retrieved on February 16, 2011 from:


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