business news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that "in a survey of office-based US employees, only 52% said they 'completely agree' that Starbucks 'behaves in an ethical and responsible manner,' executives told staff at an Oct. 13 meeting, a video of which was viewed by Bloomberg News. Slightly fewer, 48%, said they completely agreed that they were 'proud of the role Starbucks has in making a social impact.'

"Both of those statistics were 'historic lows,' according to a chart displayed at the meeting. Additionally, only 42% of staff fully endorsed the statement that Starbucks 'lives up to its mission and values,' while fewer than a quarter fully agreed that 'Starbucks leaders make the right decisions for the company.' Starbucks said the study is part of its efforts to engage with its workers.

"This survey offers a rare glimpse inside the Seattle-based company as it grapples with unionization at its US stores. It also shows how Starbucks’ battles with retail staff have changed corporate-employee sentiment, generating unease at a company that for decades has nurtured a reputation for progressive views on issues such as racism, LGBTQ rights and the environment."

KC's View:

When I read stories like these, I cannot help but feel like all of Starbucks' labor issues are self-inflicted wounds.   They could've paid attention to how the market was changing.  They could've paid attention to how stores were not designed to cater to the shifting market.  And they could've paid attention to how front line employees were being stressed out by all of this.

But they didn't.  I suspect they were so busy talking that they weren't listening.  The impact of the pandemic is an explanation … but not an excuse.

Self-inflicted wounds.  They should stop playing the blame game and do more to fix the problems faster.