Real World Diagnosis and Feedback Assessment
Human beings are constantly faced with problems that often have a negative impact. Plans can be made on how certain activities are supposed to be carried out but during implementation certain challenges arise that have to be tackled to ensure the laid down objectives are met. Problems occur virtually in every aspect of human life, and it is imperative for people to develop mechanisms on how they can diagnose such problems and come up with a perfect remedy. Creative and critical thinking are an important resource that assists human beings in problem diagnosis, solution, and feedback assessment. This is a diagnosis paper that shows how creative and critical thinking can be applied to an issue in a corporation. The paper addresses issues related to employees at Starbucks Corporation and proposes mechanisms utilized for management, foster good relations and maximize their potential for growth and development.
Starbucks Corporation is regarded as the most renowned chain of retail coffee shops in the world, and it mainly profits from roasting its coffee beans and retailing it to its valued clientele. The corporation owns approximately 4,000 branches and is among the most rapidly expanding commerce in America. Starbucks is valued worldwide not only for the superiority of its coffee but also the cozy environment it offers and superior customer service. The corporation has established comfortable surroundings where people can mingle thereby attracting all ages of consumers to take coffee at its stores. Starbucks continues to gain recognition because of its high employee satisfaction rates since its employee turnover rates are 65% and 25% for managers per year as compared to other national chain retailers that are quoted at 150% and 50% respectively (Ulla P. Morais 34). Employees at Starbucks seem to be contented with working at the corporation as compared to those in other corporations within the national chain retail industry. The business model at Starbucks is viewed to be optimal for reviewing strategies that relate to employee motivation, customer satisfaction, and cooperation through teamwork in various organizations.
Starbucks started business 43 years ago with a single store in Seattle of a retailer of whole bean and ground spices, tea, and coffee. Through strategic management and a robust growth strategy, the business thrived and currently the corporation has 19,000 retail stores located in over 60 countries and has over 160,000 employees. The company has 13,279 centers situated in the U.S and its number one among the top 10 Biggest Coffee Chains in the globe (Ulla P. Morais 36). Starbuck’s mission is to stimulate and foster the social spirit an individual, a mug, and a community at a time. The company takes a holistic approach to ethically sourcing the highest quality coffee in a bid to ensure that its customers consume the best there is in the market. Starbucks ensures there is an excellent balance between social conscience and profitability, and it is considered one of the world’s most ethical companies. The company uses responsible purchasing practices by supporting farmer loans, forest conservation programs, and getting involved in volunteer programs that offer assistance to communities where their stores are located. Starbucks strives to create a culture that appreciates and reveres diversity and annexation. To achieve that they have assimilated diversity and annexation into the core of leadership proficiencies and furthermore anticipate that all leaders exercise behaviors that demonstrate inclusion.
The company has continued to be largely successful due to its outlook at relationships among its stakeholders, for instance, it refers to employees as ‘partners’ who are integral to the success of the business. The focus at Starbucks is business ethics and compliance with diversity being part of that focus and it states that the corporation embraces diversity to create a place where everyone works freely. The company encourages employees to treat one another with dignity and to hold each other to that standard. Moreover, the corporation is building strategic affiliations with establishments and institutions that can mirror Starbucks’ variety and inclusion values. For example, Starbucks has built relationships with Multicultural Food and Hospitality Association, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Ulla P. Morais 36). Furthermore, the corporation’s diversity culture and practices include their suppliers where there is a belief that supplier diversity is a smart business decision, and Starbucks needs to support supplier diversity projects like the National Minority Supplier Development Council and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The corporation states that these practices enable them identify and deliver on high-quality products and services in all business channels while driving economic development and value in the communities that they serve. The values ascribed to by Starbucks Corporation are shared by patrons and have been copied by other organizations. A value that stands out for the corporation is community empowerment and according to Starbucks, the business continues to satisfy employment needs and provide exceptional customer service by ensuring all its locations are unique to their local environments. The brand and image that Starbucks has created has enabled it to continue having a strong and loyal customer base that overcomes competition within the industry and maintains its image as the market leader.
The problem of diversity at Starbucks
Diversity in the workforce has been known to be a powerful tool as it promotes a new way of thinking that allows for a melting pot of values, cultures, and ideas (Roosevelt 1). In teams, for instance, when problems arise, the team looks for different ways to solve that problem. It is easier for a diverse team to arrive at a viable solution to a problem as compared to a team that is less diverse. When one has a diverse group, it allows for different cultural, educational, and ethical backgrounds to come together and think about issues in fresh light. It has been proven that human capital diversity such as educational diversity is highly related to team creativity (Han 55). It is, therefore, important to stress the significance of incorporating different diversities in the workplace and understanding the appropriate way to manage the workforce.
In Starbucks, diversity is labeled a challenge when it is seen to be a hindrance that originates from negative publicity on certain topics like discrimination lawsuits and affirmative action quotas. The main problem that is brought about by diversity is the difficulty of communication that do not often originate from literal disagreements but from cultural norms. Diverse cultures not only communicate in different dialects but also abide by different values, draw dissimilar assumptions, and delineate certain actions as inappropriate or appropriate. When such cultural differences are overlooked, they can result in miscommunication that often goes unrecognized. For instance, in China, it is important to understand the impact the face (guanxi) has in aspects that pertain to paying respect to superiors or guests (Ulla P. Morais 37). When such customs are overlooked, then such action unintentionally sends messages that lead to irreversible damage. Another challenge to diversity is majority hegemony where the majority in the business can form a homogenous culture that can act as a threat to company culture. This can result in a business that seems to promote a particular culture over other minority cultures.
At Starbucks, majority of employees are predominantly European, and their culture is encouraged within the organization. However, Starbucks operates in other countries, and it employs staff from diverse backgrounds. Smaller groups within such an organization can feel left out when there is hegemony. Hegemony creates tension between different groups and can ultimately result in smaller groups being assimilated. Assimilation of minority groups leads to groupthink mentality that is not beneficial to any business. The global economy requires businesses to appreciate the existence of varying perspectives and to cultivate diverse perspectives internally to achieve more success. The opportunity cost to accepting group think mentality within the organization is different viewpoints that would have led to better decisions that could have promoted growth of the business (Han 61).
When Starbucks was expanding into new locations in the 1990s, it did not have the right approach towards diversity management, and this set back its performance especially in the new locations it expanded to. The company had an only Anglo-American workforce, and this fact made it miss out on many customers who felt that the organizational culture did not embrace them. The minorities like the African-American, Asians, and Hispanics would often feel that they cannot relate to the brand and would feel a sense of intimidation and lack of comfort. When a corporation has a workforce that comprises of several different backgrounds, it essentially allows its customers to relate to them, and it gives them a sense of belonging to the product or service even before they become actual buyers (Jones 76).
The problem at the time was that Starbucks failed to understand the impact that the problem of diversity had on the organization. When there are issues regarding diversity in an organization, lawsuits are bound to arise. These lawsuits are based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that states that there are certain protected classes based on race, religion, gender, and national origin (EEOC 1). When there is discrimination on any employee based on those characteristics of law, these become potential grounds for lawsuits. Other issues that might arise due to challenges brought by diversity in an organization are high turnover rates and absenteeism (Han 66). When Starbucks started incorporating diverse employees into the corporation, most felt that the organizational culture was not a perfect fit for them. Such employees were not motivated to come to work and would often fake sickness to avoid coming to work or even resign when they felt they had persevered enough.
When diversity is not managed well in a corporation, employees get demotivated, employee engagement reduces, and that leads to an increase in turnover rates and absenteeism. Poor diversity management was a major problem at Starbucks not only because it affected the employees on an emotional level, but also because it affected the corporation economically by placing a financial hardship on it. Training employees is costly to an organization, and the same applies to the costs incurred while recruiting effective team members to fill the vacancies within that organization. Starbucks noted that it needed to keep employees engaged and constantly aware of the impact diversity has on the organization to ensure that individuals work together to improve the business. Having a diverse workforce should be a plus to an organization and not a problem, and change management can be utilized to promote a diverse labor force. Starbucks, at the time, needed to understand that there would be great value that would be added to the organization by having a diverse workforce. The management at Starbucks needed to attend and encourage the employees of Starbucks to attend diversity sensitivity courses and educate themselves on the significance and benefits that diversity brings to the workplace. There are those rigid employees who might want to oppose such change. It is only by having a proper understanding of diversity and the positives it brings to an organization that it can enhance the organization and ensure there is less likelihood of any negative response (Daft 84).
Proposed remedies to problems due to diversity at Starbucks
The way Starbucks would have overcome the problems it faced due to diversity is by ensuring it had a proper understanding of diversity, what it represented, and what it could do as regards to the challenges it faced. Starbucks should have carefully understood the significance of diversity and utilize its powers to transform the company into a more successful company. When a corporation can bridge the gap between different minorities, it can tear down the stereotypes and understand the need for each to have something special, creative, and unique that they can bring to the table. When corporations encourage diversity within the organization, they not only bring more creativity to the table but also allow for a greater demographic to be reached through extensive growth and development (Jones 54).
The initial step towards embracing diversity in an organization is to comprehend the role a manager plays in the process of efficient administration of diversity. Managers can encourage employees to support diversity since they are in places of status. Roosevelt has established that people are often influenced and persuaded by people in higher status, and managers have the ability to either promote the efficient management of diversity or dismantle those efforts (3). Managers are supposed to be committed to supporting diversity so that everyone in the organization accepts that their diversity-related exertions are valued. When it comes to perilous components in the triumph of diversity, management ingenuities are the commitment of top administration and rewards for the sustenance of diversity. There two factors that convey why managers are important and critical to the process of active management. The first is that minority groups are slightly disadvantaged due to how they are perceived. The second is that those slight differences in treatment can result in significant disparities over time. Managers at Starbucks need to ensure that diversity is properly managed through three types of managerial roles in interpersonal, informational, and decisional aspects. Managers at Starbucks need to come up with a way of delivering on the goals of building a diverse workforce by increasing on competencies and shaping a culture of inclusion that develops diverse networks of suppliers.
Starbucks should incorporate different cultures into its workforce by creating and promoting a professional environment that is inclusive of everyone and their unique differences, strengths, and abilities. Diversity in employment needs to be promoted since it is a strategic tool that can ensure the company gains a competitive advantage in the industry. Managers should supervise their employees, popularly referred to as ‘partners’ in Starbucks; who hold different work ethics and originate from diverse cultures. The organization should adhere to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII that states that all partners need to be treated equally and without any prejudice (EEOC 1). Religion needs to be considered because certain religious holidays do not necessarily conform to the U.S holidays. Managers should also understand partner’s limitations and beliefs and not force them to engage in activities or speak in a manner that contradicts their values. When such attributes are encouraged within the organization, it creates a more personal yet respectful relationship between the manager and partner. Cultural competence is quite essential in the effective management of diversity where Starbucks is ethically mandated to treat employees justly regardless of their religion and ethnicity. To gain cultural competence, Starbucks would need to self-asses itself using a cultural competence tool where it can organize events to socialize with employees and strive to understand them better (Roosevelt 4). For the company to be more ethical in embracing diversity, it needs to expand their endeavors towards customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders within its environment and start employing CAFÉ Practices that sets the basic social, environmental and quality criteria.
Starbucks should ensure that the corporation employs personal qualities for leading diverse people, and four characteristics can be proposed to ensure this takes place. First, they should develop a long-range vision that identifies and supports diverse managerial community where managers have long-term plans to include partners of different cultural groups, races, ages and ethnic backgrounds. They need to express that vision through rituals and symbols that reinforce the value that a diverse workforce has towards the organization.
The second approach would be to have a comprehensive knowledge of the scopes of diversity and create cognizance of certain culturally diverse issues that managers need a basic acquaintance. Such knowledge should be put into action by incorporating inclusive language and showing respect for the differences that exist. Managers need to increase their ability to balance workloads from diverse backgrounds to ensure they run the business in a way that is beneficial to both customers and employees.
The third is having an openness to change where managers in the organization encourage feedback from their partners, accept criticism, and are willing to change their behavior. The manager’s behavior often has the most impact on whether diversity will be truly valued in the organization or not. The company should reinforce its training initiatives for employees and mix the ages of work teams so as to balance experience and skills.
The fourth is mentoring and empowering of diverse employees where employees should take an active role in creating opportunities for all employees to utilize their unique abilities. Leaders within Starbucks should offer honest feedback, coach employees as much as possible and offer rewards to those in the organization who show respect to everyone (Ulla P. Morais 45). Mentors should be provided to minority groups and women to develop them with the competencies needed in leadership positions
Evaluation of the success of the program
In evaluating how successful the program is, a thorough evaluation will have to be made on the impact of diversity on the organization. Diversity can have both an adversarial and beneficial effect in that it can lead to conflict and employee turnover or encourage more creativity and innovation. What influences the impact diversity has on an organization are its strategy, culture, and the human practices within the establishment. If Starbucks has an open communication culture and human resource practices, then diversity is bound to lead to more success in the business. The goal for Starbucks during evaluation should be to ensure it builds a diverse workforce, increases on cultural competencies, influences the culture of inclusion, and develops a diverse network of suppliers (Ulla P. Morais 46). If the organization has an HR department that provides policies and training programs in diversity, then it will enhance the skills of management and those of group members. If successful, the training program should be broad and provide different modules such as general training, management training programs, and other diversity courses. The training course should ensure that the company fosters a climate of cooperation, inclusiveness, and productive relationships (Jones 83).
There should be an increase in people being absorbed into the organization from diverse backgrounds, for instance, there should be more women being absorbed into the workforce and management positions. Some evidence of gender diversity should be seen where both men and women are assigned tasks that suit their strengths and not their perceived gender roles. The program is termed to be successful when women and minority groups are promoted to top positions in the corporation. If the firm embraces diversity in its leadership structure, it will be able to attract talented candidates who value its organizational culture. Suppliers will be enjoying the diverse workforce and unions will be satisfied because they often value people being accorded proper treatment and an opportunity for growth (Daft 97).
A balanced scorecard can also be utilized to analyze if the program is prosperous at Starbucks. A balanced scorecard can be used to evaluate workforce representation as well as the progress that is being made on supplier and vendor diversity. The corporation should show that it does business with women and groups considered to be a minority, and this would in the long term have a positive impact on the image and value of Starbucks. Furthermore, there needs to be an Action Memo for the management of diversity where leaders and managers should be hiring and promoting individuals from diverse cultures and with different human characteristics. They should be seen to avoid discrimination and viewing differences among people as being positive. The most beneficial thing to the program should be the fight against ethnocentric attitudes and the creation of an environment where people value diverse ways of behavior, dressing, and thinking. Managers should be seen to employ an interactive and collaborative leadership style where they develop personal relationships with workers and make everyone in the organization feel as if they are an important element to the success of the business (Daft 94).
Daft, R. L. The Leadership Experience. (5th ed.). South-Western: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
EEOC. “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” n.d. eeoc.gov. Web. 27 January 2016. <http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm>.
Han, J., Han, J., & Brass, D. J. “Human capital diversity in the creation of social capital.” Journal of Organizational Behavior (2014): 54-71. Print.
Jones, G. R., & George, J. M. Managing in the global environment. Contemporary Management. New York: McGraw Hill, 2011. Print.
Lee, Kathleen. “Case Studies: Starbucks Coffee.” Web. 2010.
Roosevelt, T. R. Jr. Elements of a Successful “diversity” process. Washington D.C: The American Istitute for Managing Diversity, 2001. Print.
Ulla P. Morais, Jacqueline Pena, Kevin Shacket, Lucien Sintilus, Roiner Ruiz, Yesenia Rivera, Bahaudin G. Mujtaba. “Managing Diverse Employees at Starbucks: Focusing on Ethics and Inclusion.” International Journal of Learning & Development (2014): 30-50. Print.