The recent Starbucks debacle has certainly highlighted how important it is to train your staff on equality issues. Usually employment lawyers bang on about this to clients in relation to avoiding claims from employees but this situation really brings into focus that the training should also consider looking at how employees treat customers. Think of it as dignity in the workplace - the customer session. 

Starbucks has confirmed that it will be closing more than half its US stores next month to spend the afternoon training staff on bias. Starbucks has apologies and is taking the bull by the horns and looking to tackle this issue immediately. Social media and news pages are ablaze with stories about Starbucks' alleged racial bias and they need to try and contain this issue asap. 

175,000 employees will receive bias training on 29 May. Bloomberg estimates that this is likely to cost the company approximately $16.7 million in lost sales. Not to mention the training costs that might be involved.    

Lessons for other companies? Consider expanding any respect, ethics and dignity training that you provide to staff to include training on exploring and managing bias towards customers. It certainly can't hurt. 

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