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Published: Friday, 8/15/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

Starbucks vows more stable shifts for baristas

Change follows report on chaotic scheduling

SEATTLE TIMES

SEATTLE — Starbucks is changing its scheduling policies to give baristas more “stability and consistency,” following a New York Times report about the havoc created in a young mother’s life by having to work unpredictable shifts determined by the company’s scheduling software.

In an email to employees Thursday, senior executive Cliff Burrows said that Starbucks has “a responsibility to support” employees in balancing their home and work lives.

The company will upgrade its scheduling software in order to make work shifts more consistent, Mr. Burrows said. Employees will never be required to work back-to-back closing and opening shifts, and schedules will be posted a week in advance.

Moreover, the company will work to transfer employees who have to commute for more than an hour to stores closer to their home “as quickly as possible.”

Starbucks prides itself on providing benefits that are rare in the services industry, such as stock options, health care, and retirement plans.

Nevertheless, the ruckus about scheduling underscores the tensions between running a business through what the company calls “the lens of humanity” and the need to keep its profit growth momentum through expansion and efficiency.



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