Starbucks has just announced a partnership with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), an organization established by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to create better jobs and lives for workers. Starbucks is enhancing its existing training programs to equip at least 2,000 Starbucks partners – comprising store managers, district managers and baristas – with a suite of new adaptive, technical and technological (ATT) skills by the end of 2020.
The new ATT skills are aligned with e2i’s Worker 4.0 framework, which identifies skills essential to a worker in the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). All Starbucks partners across stores participate in these programs and learn new kills, which include familiarizing with Starbucks’ latest innovations and learning how to further serve and build meaningful customer connections.
Ongoing training at Starbucks is curated according to the specific job role of the partner. Technical skills taught include job-specific knowledge – from a barista learning basic food hygiene and Espresso beverage production, to a shift supervisor mastering the skill of managing different shifts and teams with customers at the core. These are supplemented with technological skills, which refer to the mastery of new digital systems and programs; and adaptive skills, the ability to critically apply these skills in day-to-day work situations.
One of Starbucks’ latest innovations is the new Mobile Order & Pay (MO&P) feature that Starbucks Singapore launched within its popular mobile application in September 2019. The new feature, which allows customers to beat the queue by ordering, customizing and paying for their drinks on the Starbucks Singapore app, means that partners will need to adapt to a new way of managing orders as well as the in-store queue.
“The food and beverage industry is rapidly changing, alongside customers’ evolving needs and wants,” said Patrick Kwok, General Manager, Starbucks Singapore. “To keep up to speed with our digitally savvy customers who demand more seamless retail experiences and greater convenience, we need to ensure that our partners are well-equipped with the relevant skills to represent and provide the best Starbucks experience. We have always invested heavily in training our partners and aim to take that one step further with our updated learning and development programs.”
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To nurture partners’ ATT competencies, Starbucks is refreshing the technical skills taught in its existing training programs – Barista Basics, Shift Supervisor workshop and Store Manager Training – which include the delivery of service excellence for each different role.
In line with Starbucks’ focus on people connections, Serving to Lead and Passion for Service are two additional adaptive skills that will be integrated into partner training, ingraining in partners the essentials of customer centricity and how to establish meaningful customer connections.
“e2i is pleased to partner Starbucks on this journey to establish a quality benchmark for training and upskilling among our local workforce,” said Mr Gilbert Tan, Chief Executive Officer, e2i. “The Worker 4.0 framework was developed in close consultation with various companies and workers on the ground, to understand and address concerns and needs as industries undergo transformation. In conjunction with our framework, we hope that Starbucks’ training programs will become a model for other organizations and help meet the changing needs and demands of Singapore’s F&B landscape.”
Starbucks has also invested in new technological competencies to better engage and enable partners as well as support service excellence, such as the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) and Sales & Order Planning System. These new tools, which aim to increase operational efficiency, will complement recent innovations such as the refreshed Point-of-Sales system, business intelligence and IT infrastructure enhancement. This will be accompanied with training curriculum that equip partners with the knowledge and skills to operate these platforms effectively.
“We have always been committed to taking comprehensive steps to build a digital-first and forward-looking environment in Starbucks, with our partners at the core,” said Mr Kwok. “The partnership with e2i is a crucial catalyst in helping us truly transform our workforce to become future-ready, resilient and fully equipped to adapt to the fast-changing demands of the economy. We are thrilled to be on this journey with them and look forward to many exciting developments in the year ahead.”
Beyond implementing updated talent development and management programs, Starbucks will also continue to sharpen its focus on leading the third wave coffee scene by exploring new coffee innovations, as well as prioritizing sustainability measures – offering the highest state of coffee experiences to patrons.
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