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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Starbucks is shutting its so-called company-operated stores temporarily on the afternoon of May 29 -- the day after Memorial Day -- to train nearly 175,000 employees. It booked $14 billion in sales last year across its 9,412 stores in the Americas. So calculated on a per-store basis, it generated an annual $12.2 billion from the 8,222 stores closing their doors for the afternoon in the U.S. The average per day: roughly $35.5 million. On this basis, a half-day shutdown costs them $16.7 million. To be sure, Starbucks doesn’t split out U.S. revenue from the Americas, so Bloomberg’s estimates are on an average per-store basis -- and based on figures for fiscal 2017, which ended October 1 last year (the company also owns stores in Canada and Brazil).