Dignity & Respect – How Are We Doing?
Last week, as I was thinking about the theme for this week’s blog, I received an email from Starbucks. The subject line caught my attention, “This afternoon Starbucks will close more than 8,000…” My heart skipped a beat.
While the subject line made it seem like there was some terrible financial crisis in this company, Starbucks® actually was demonstrating its commitment to the triple bottom line––people, planet, profits. The company closed their stores for several hours so that the partners (employees) could discuss “discuss how to make Starbucks a place where all people feel welcome.”
This action was in response to the recent arrest of two black gentlemen who were waiting to meet someone at a Starbucks store––and they hadn’t made a purchase. The company’s first response was to issue an announcement that all people would be welcome in the stores, with or without buying. The CEO of the company, Kevin Johnson, also personally met with the two men and apologized, promising that actions would be taken to make changes within the company’s policies.
Executive Chairman and founder of the company, Howard Schultz stated, “The incident has prompted us to reflect more deeply on all forms of bias, the role of our stores in communities and our responsibility to ensure that nothing like this happens again at Starbucks. The reflection has led to a long–term commitment to reform systemwide policies, while elevating inclusion and equity in all we do.”
One of my team members visited one of those stores the following morning. She said she walked in and was greeted more warmly than ever before and when she asked a partner about the experience, the young woman beamed, “I’m grateful for having the opportunity to speak with my colleagues about issues that don’t normally get brought up during our shifts. More companies need to do this.”
And we do. I believe that the one infinite resource that corporations and organizations have is their people. And the only way to honor our people is to treat everyone with dignity and respect––whether they are our employees or our clients. Starbucks’ actions are showing us one way to do just that.
I’d love to know your thoughts.
#peopleplanetprofits #triplebottomline #Starbucks #cindyhensonjungle #tapyourtalent