SEATTLE – In a letter sent to U.S. employees on Monday, Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz discussed new compensation, health care benefits, scheduling commitments and dress code changes. He emphasized the company’s “ongoing commitment to make investments in our partners and share some new developments that reflect that commitment.”
Those changes include an increase in the base pay of 5% or more for all employees and store managers at U.S. company-operated locations, effective October 3. When an employee reaches two years of continuous service with Starbucks, the company will double the annual award of Bean Stock, a program that offers stock in the company to employees.
Starbucks is also changing its benefits program and online benefits platform to allow employees to shop, compare and choose health coverage. Starting July 18, interactive tools on the site will let workers personalize their health coverage, select an insurance carrier and choose a coverage level that fits their needs, as well as a competitive price that fits their budget.
Schulz pledged support in helping employees with scheduling enough hours on a consistent basis. “While we have made progress over the years in providing more stability and consistency in scheduling, our field leaders are committed to make every effort to help you meet your specific scheduling needs, especially when it comes to ensuring your benefits eligibility going forward,” he wrote.
Starbucks will also be making changes to the company dress code to allow employees to bring their “whole self” to work, with some speculation that this may be a loosening of the company ban against “bright or unnatural” hair color. More details about the dress code will be released at the Partner Open Forum later this month.