Starbucks has announced that it will be introducing ‘connection’ sessions with its store employees as part of its updated mission statement. These two-hour meetings, which will involve group activities, coffee tastings, and games, will begin with a video message from the company’s new CEO, Laxman Narasimhan.
According to the company, the meetings are not intended to address operational issues, and previous employee forums have focused on business and culture.
The primary objective of these new sessions is to emphasise the importance of connection and highlight Starbucks’ responsibility in uniting individuals.
The move comes at a time of increased tensions between some Starbucks baristas and executives.
Over 300 stores want to form a union, and the company has faced accusations of targeting union organisers.
In response to the new connection sessions, a representative from the union, Starbucks Workers United, has criticised the company’s approach, stating that if Starbucks truly wanted to connect with its partners, it would participate in bargaining with the workers who have formed a union. The union representative accused the company of using the connection sessions as a way to continue its anti-union campaign.
On the other hand, a Starbucks spokesperson challenged these allegations, clarifying that the company has offered over 390 collective bargaining meetings for the 3 percent of its US stores that have union representation. The spokesperson further highlighted that Workers United has only acknowledged 24 percent of these proposals so far.
The company hopes that the connection sessions will instil a sense of ownership and connection among its employees, encouraging them to feel a sense of connection to their team and customers.
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