A company’s organizational culture is composed of values and behaviors. Culture is more critical than ever in employees’ lives and affects performance at all levels of the organization. The process of shaping corporate culture attempts to influence personnel behavior constructively. It is possible to stimulate, plan and predict the desired conduct by shaping certain attitudes, a system of values in employees within a specific organizational structure. However, the organization’s corporate culture, which has already been established, should be considered (File, 2022). Elements of culture include behavioral stereotypes, that is, slang, the common language used by members of the organization; traditions and customs observed by them; rituals performed on certain occasions.
In addition, there are group norms in the organizational culture, in other words, the standards that regulate the actions of the organization’s membership. Each company has commonly known and declared values and principles, which the institution holds and implements (File, 2022). An essential role is performed by the history of the organization and the general ideological and even perhaps political principles that guide the organization’s actions towards its employees, customers, and intermediaries. Thus, it is advisable to investigate how corporate culture is formed at Starbucks.
An organization’s mission is its philosophy, long-term strategic business vision, core values, and beliefs. The mission of Starbucks is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time” (Goh et al., 2020). Howard S. wrote the six Starbucks principles to which staff members are expected to adhere, including treating each other with respect and dignity, applying the highest standards, and working with enthusiasm to please customers (Goh et al., 2020). These are all reflected in the company’s goals: “Delivering pleasure to the people the company serves and doing it with joy” (Goh et al., 2020). The values, norms, and behaviors system were formed because Schultz selected a team of like-minded individuals who love coffee and can convey this feeling to their clients. Almost all successful innovations began with employees’ initiative, with someone doing something that appeared correct to him. For example, the frappuccino was invented, and non-fat milk in drinks was introduced. Schultz cultivated the qualities that enabled him to become a manager: leadership, passion for work, determination, and initiative.
Stories and Language
The company appreciates employees’ knowledge of Starbucks’ founding history and significant victories. Therefore, employees are reminded of how the little Seattle coffee shop was founded in 1971. It was created by three people, namely Gordon Bowker (writer), Zev Siegl (history teacher), and Jerry Baldwin (English teacher) (Goh et al., 2020). They were inspired to create a special place with a welcoming atmosphere and delicious coffee by the owner of Peet’s Coffee and Tea, located near San Francisco. Managers inform employees that it was initially a local cafe with no room for chairs or tables for customers to drink coffee inside.
The business’s defining moment was the appointment of Howard Schultz as Starbucks’ chief marketing executive. He was persuaded to open a full-service cafe, considering that this was highly probable to increase the profitability and success of Starbucks. The strategy was not implemented, which is why Schultz left the company and later purchased it. After two years in business, the firm already had 46 stores (Goh et al., 2020). The brand’s aggressive drive to acquire new customers continues to this day. Through Schultz, Starbucks is a trendy brand all over the world. Consequently, the staff knows its history and experiences its contribution to the brand, which ensures efficiency in the workplace. Starbucks has a wall on campus that shows the history of Starbucks, including when the first cafe opened on the Stanford campus.
The coffee chain also has specific language to describe how to add milk, describing macchiato as “marbled” and mocha as “zebra”. Significantly, the firm has created its algorithm for ordering coffee. For example, the cup size has to be specified before the syrup and the milk consumed before the primary beverage. The cafeteria employees are also referred to as partners, not baristas. Moreover, these language rules were patented in 2003 (Goh et al., 2020). In this way, the business creates a sense of belonging and loyalty for the brand among workers and customers too.
Starbucks is trying to apply design and brand to ensure that their coffee becomes an integral part of people’s daily lives. The store also has furniture to enable visitors to work on their laptops or perform specific tasks due to the cafe. For example, there is one long table in the center where all the students can sit together and study or conversation. The restaurant also has several comfortable sofa-like chairs for visitors to read or socialize together. At the same time, the construction of the Starbucks and the organization of the space permits the baristas to communicate with each other to fill orders. In addition, all workers collaborate in the same room to maximize the completion of a task effectively (Yenice, 2018). Managers interact directly with the staff and work in the same chambers in each cafe. This allows the employee to contact them in case of problem situations quickly. In this way, Starbucks’ organizational culture supports the efficiency of business processes, which contributes to better service, a positive customer experience, and a profitable business.
Rules and Policies
Starbucks employees are guaranteed health and safety in the workplace. Therefore, the company provides all health and safety regulations to its associates. At the same time, the manager supervises and instructs Starbucks workers. It is interesting to mention that supervision occurs without using a hierarchical method (Goh et al., 2020). That is, the responsible manager provides safety advice to staff and listens to their opinions and ideas. Such cooperation leads to better work and trust among workers. At the same time, it is essential to emphasize that Starbucks’ policy encourages people to treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of their position in the business. The policy also requires that all associates support a policy of non-discrimination on any basis. The company’s corporate code clearly outlines its commitment to fostering a strong spirit and a desire to improve itself and the lives of everyone around them (Goh et al., 2020). In this way, ordinary workers and managers interact with each other on the principles of appreciation and respect, which contributes to the company’s success.
It is significant to mark that one of the main elements of the company culture is the rituals and ceremonies that the business does to rally the staff and celebrate significant achievements. Starbucks applies more ceremonies to unify the personnel to work efficiently. For example, rituals at Starbucks can include an earnings conference communication that is held over three months. The business also has branded aprons that employees wear to important events. This method allows employees to feel a unique role and encourages productive work. At the same time, a meaningful ritual for the corporate is to change the main product each season. Thus, seasonal shifts are a specific customary ritual for the firm that employees expect eagerly. Moreover, one of the essential rituals of Starbucks is the tasting of coffee by employees, a particularly crucial ceremony for beginners to gain a sense of the company’s atmosphere. The company also organized a farewell ceremony for Howard Schultz (Yenice, 2018). The employees wore a green aprons symbolizing Starbucks to demonstrate unity.
Another important ceremony that includes a large audience is the Give Good Project. The project connected all employees and many customers; it was created to launch the additional product. It involved a large-scale prize draw in creating a festive atmosphere. Staff-initiated traditions have also formed, such as partnership forums; “frames” with quotes, their history began with Howard Behar (Yenice, 2018). Practice is also the same design and music in all the coffee houses of the world. The main symbols and legends of Starbucks are the history of the corporate name and logo associated with Melville’s novel “Moby Dick, or The White Whale” (Yenice, 2018). Starbucks’ values toward its staff are that people should act independently, not blindly follow their job descriptions. Thus, ceremonies and rituals ensure that Starbucks develops an organizational culture.
Starbucks believes that leadership is all about working on oneself and helping others in each position. The organization supports the pursuit of self-expression and self-improvement, assisting others in realizing their potential and treating everyone with respect. Brand leaders care about workplace successes and relationships within the team. This creates an atmosphere of equality and companionship in the company when everyone can realize their dreams, move toward their goals and develop on a par with their colleagues.
Goh, S. Y., Kee, D. M. H., Ooi, Q. E., Boo, J. J., Chen, P. Y., Alosaimi, A., & Ghansal, M. (2020). Organizational culture at Starbucks. Journal of the Community Development in Asia, 3(2), 28-34. Web.
File. MGMT310: Notes for paper. 2022.
Yenice, S. (2018). Organizational Culture and Managing Change. Rejuventing Pathology.