DIVERSITY AUDIT Diversity Audit at Starbucks Starbucks Corporation is a multinational company based in United States. It was founded in the year 1971 and is headquartered at Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is engaged in the business of selling coffee, coffee beans and different types of bakery products all over the world. The company also has a division known as Starbucks Entertainment division which is utilized for marketing films, music and books (Yahoo Finance, 2012). The coffeehouses owned by Starbucks are known for its relaxing atmosphere and the stores are mostly located in places where there is high traffic.
This study entails about the diversity audit that have been conducted for Starbucks. The findings of such diversity audit, its assessment and subsequent recommendations have been presented in this study. Findings Diversity audit was conducted for Starbucks through an online survey of the company’s website and other information required for the purpose of conducting the audit was mostly available over the internet. In addition, some of the employees present in few Starbucks stores were also interviewed to collect relevant facts regarding the cultural diversity prevalent in the company.
The key findings of the diversity audit conducted at Starbucks are given below: Starbucks operates its business and stores in different parts of the world. Hence it is obvious that people from different cultures of the world are a part of Starbucks. The people connected with Starbucks can be any of its stakeholders, including its employees, suppliers, etc. As indicated in its website, it can be found that cultural diversity is given high priority and due respect in the company (Starbucks, 2012a). Apart from selling coffees, Starbucks is also engaged in the business of building up new human connections and relationships.
Celebration of cultures and community involvement are also part of Starbucks activities. At Starbucks, diversity is defined as the composition of three different aspects. They are: a) Inclusion, b) Accessibility, and c) Equity. Inclusion means human relationships and their engagements in the company. Accessibility refers to removal of barriers for all kinds of people associated with the company and the ease with which people can perform their activities within the organization. Equity represents equal treatment for all with justice and fairness being the two important virtues associated with the company.
The strategy of diversity being followed by the company is considered to focus on four main areas. They are: partners, suppliers, customers and communities. The employees of the company are termed as partners here. The company management is involved in the activity of engaging people belonging to different regions and following varied cultures. The people working at Starbucks come from diverse family backgrounds. Starbucks organizes different activities meant for the development of its partners or employees by educating them and engaging them in different kinds of activities.
Starbucks is also committed towards giving high levels of satisfaction to its customers by catering to their unique needs. Starbucks is prompt in its service and values the preferences and tastes of its customers. Starbucks tries to build relationships with its customers through adoption of different cultures as required for the purpose. Starbucks also arranges different community development programs as well to show their concern for the community. Starbucks also creates strategic partnerships by investing in companies in the local neighborhood.
It also provides different kinds of opportunities for economic development which helps to build a strong relationship between the company and the communities in which it is operating its business. As regards the suppliers of Starbucks, it conducts a program termed as supplier diversity program. This program is meant for increasing the presence of minority groups and women as suppliers of the company (Starbucks, 2012a). The diversity effort of the company is mainly directed through a strategic plan formulated by them which is known as Global Diversity Strategy Plan.
According to New York Times, nearly 24% of the corporate officers working at Starbucks comprises of women. Women represent around 31% of the population in Starbucks, and 13% of them are people of color. The team members of the Global Diversity team are engaged in different activities in Starbucks. Employees of Starbucks working in different parts of the world and their working environment are assessed and evaluated by the global strategy team of Starbucks. The company also tracks the progress made in the field of diversifying vendors and suppliers of the company. All these are done through an accountability scorecard prepared for he purpose by the global diversity team (The New York Times, n. d. ). The diversity program run by Starbucks named as Starbucks Supplier Diversity Program is meant for encouraging diversity amongst all the suppliers of the company. The company has set criteria for the suppliers who want to be a part of this program. The two criteria being, a) More than 50% should be owned by either minority people or women, and b) It should be certified by any of the government public agencies like National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), etc (Starbucks, 2012b).
Results of Audit The interview conducted with the Human Resource Manager of Starbucks suggests that diversity is encouraged at all levels and departments of the organization. The women and minorities are given preferences. There are certain criteria laid down by the company regarding recruitment of minorities and women as a fixed percentage of the total employees recruited by the company. The findings from the interviews carried out in Starbucks store includes the employees comprising of different cultures, working together and having a good relationship with each other.
It has been observed that the employees of Starbucks love to share their cultural information amongst each other and want to know more about each other. People from different communities come together at Starbucks and they are encouraged to work as a team. The employees seem to be happy while working in the relaxed and friendly atmosphere at Starbucks. Customers are always greeted with smile as they enter the Starbucks stores. Employees get rewarded for their good performance in the company. Everyone seems to encourage diversity in the company and have due respect for each other.
People are found to be highly motivated to work for the company and wish to have a long term relationship with the organization. Most of them are found to be loyal to the company. Employee turnover is low and everyone likes to be a part of the Starbucks brand. People are found to be enjoying their work in Starbucks and do not feel any kind of compulsion being imposed on them. Assessment All the findings mentioned above suggest that diversity is encouraged in Starbucks in almost all aspects of its business operations.
Special initiatives are taken by the higher officials of the company to bring about cultural diversity in their organization. The company feels diversity to be the key towards being successful in their strategy of expansion of its business in different parts of the world. The corporate culture at Starbucks is multicultural in nature. The morale of the employees working in the company seems to be high and people coming from various cultural backgrounds are found to work together quite efficiently in the company.
The working environment within the organization is also good. Everyone is found to be happy doing their work in the Starbucks stores. The customers visiting the stores are also found to be having a relaxed time and satisfied with the services offered by the company. The company has made a huge progress in the field of imparting cultural diversity in the company through the implementation of various types of initiatives and programs. Hence the managers of Starbucks have been successfully dealing with the diversity issues related to the company.
However, it has been argued sometimes that the steps taken by Starbucks regarding cultural diversity was more of a reactive type than being a proactive one (Grodan, 2008). It implies that Starbucks developed all these diversity initiatives only after they found it necessary for running a sustainable business in different parts of the world. Recommendations As evident from the findings and assessment of the diversity audit conducted for Starbucks, it has been successful in implementing multicultural activities within the organization.
It is recommended that the company should continue giving value to diversity at all levels of its operations. This would help the company to maintain its competitive advantage in the market. It would also help the company to expand its business successfully in other nations of the world where it does not have presence now. Diversity in the organization would ensure that all the employees working for the company are treated equally. Hence, it would bring about a healthy competition within the organization which would in turn result in increased fficiency of the employees. Apart from the employees, the company should also continue to encourage diversity for other stakeholders of the company like its suppliers and the customers. It would mean customers from different backgrounds and culture could be easily acquired by the company, thereby leading to increased revenues for the company as well. References Grodan, G. (2008). Issues Facing Starbucks and Bank of America. Retrieved from http://voices. yahoo. com/issues-facing-starbucks-bank-america-1901086. html. Starbucks. (2012a).
Diversity at Starbucks. Retrieved from http://www. starbucks. com/about-us/company-information/diversity-at-starbucks. Starbucks. (2012b). Starbucks Supplier Diversity Program. Retrieved from http://www. starbucks. com/responsibility/diversity/suppliers. The New York Times. (no date). Leading with Diversity: Starbucks Coffee Company. Retrieved from http://www. nytimes. com/marketing/jobmarket/diversity/starbucks. html. Yahoo Finance. (2012). Starbucks Corporation (SBUX): Profile. Retrieved from http://in. finance. yahoo. com/q/pr? s=SBUX.