Addressing the Starbucks Effect

Jun 09 2014, 11:46 IST
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Leveraging beverage service to boost employee morale and productivity (AP) Leveraging beverage service to boost employee morale and productivity (AP)
SummaryLeveraging beverage service to boost employee morale and productivity

Today’s employees expect more. More than a good salary. More than a secure work environment. They want the fulfillment that comes from the freedom to make their own choices, the satisfaction that results from believing their employer has their best interest in mind.

Smart companies are looking for straightforward, cost effective ways to deliver workplace differentiators that will pay off in higher employee morale, increased worker productivity and reduced turnover. They’re seeking innovative new ways to build employee-friendly work environments - whether they employ 50 people or 5,000. For a growing number of organisations, that innovative differentiator is on-site beverage service.

Amassing customisation

Call it the 'Starbucks Effect': Consumers who were once happy with a cup of Joe now won’t settle for anything less than a half-caf double-pump caramel latte with foam. While in the past employees once demanded coffee that was ‘hot and black’, today’s employees are calling for coffee customised to their individual tastes. And the industry’s eagerness to cater to individual tastes, initiated and driven by Starbucks, led to a coffee-drinking craze that’s lasted for more than a decade.

This increasing demand for customisation and individualisation is not just evident at the local coffee shop. Advances in information technology have combined with improvements in customer service to make it a customised world, both inside and outside the workplace. Workers have grown accustomed to getting the products they want personalised to meet their individual needs - from the coffee they drink to the car they drive to the music they download and listen to.

For years, it was a common myth that the only things employees really wanted were a secure job and a good salary. But during the past decade, research has increasingly shown that a variety of factors produce a satisfied and productive workforce. These factors range from enjoying respect from bosses and co-workers to feeling part of a team to working toward common and achievable goals. They also include work space issues such as having convenient access to on-site food and beverage options.

As a result, the organisations that want to attract and retain the best talent have focused on creating a better work environment. They’ve invested in team-building exercises, brainstorming process, and other ways of promoting collaboration among managers and employees. They also began paying more attention to the work space itself - installing ergonomic furniture and equipment, improving lighting and enhancing food and beverage service.

Unbridling worker enthusiasm

The payoff for

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