August 23, 2014

Starbucks Takes Negative Comments to Heart and Changes Scheduling Policies


Recently, an article was published in the New York Times that revealed that hassle caused by the scheduling policies of several large corporations. With one of the fastest response times in history, Starbucks has responded to the negative article and announced that it would be changing its policies. This demonstrates the company’s commitment to its workers and has turned the whole situation around from one in which Starbucks is viewed negatively to one in which it has a positive image.


It is no secret that workers in the service industry suffer many hardships. Oftentimes it is something that the world wants to turn a blind eye to, or that cannot be helped. In the area of scheduling, however, something could easily be done. This was the purpose of an article that recently went viral online. The article discusses the hardships that single parents face when working and trying to arrange for someone to watch their child. The main problem that the article emphasised was that many businesses do not have regular schedules for their employees and only schedule a week in advance. This makes it very difficult and nearly impossible for single parents to plan ahead.


The article was not flattering to businesses such as Starbucks, and it used the personal experiences of several single parents to get its point across. In response to the article and the negative backlash, Starbucks has announced that it will be changing its scheduling policies. Some of the changes that it will make include giving employees more notice of the hours that they will be working and eliminating “clopening,” the process of closing one day and opening right away the next.


The tone of the article is not positive or forgiving. It paints Starbucks and other companies as uncaring and inhumane conglomerates that do not care at all about their workforce. In terms of public relations, it is a nightmare. The companies involved need to consider carefully how they will handle the fallout from this article.


Starbucks has already made great strides in turning things around. One of the most important things to do when facing major negative PR is to respond quickly, and Starbucks has had one of the fastest response times to this PR crisis in recent years. This quick response has restored some of the positive public opinion about Starbucks. By addressing the problem right away, the company has demonstrated that their employees are important and that they are willing to make changes in order to make their employees happy.


In a world in which the Internet and social media make it possible for information and stories to be shared at lightspeed, it is vital that companies have an equally fast response to negative PR. A slow response makes it seem as if the company is ignoring the situation. Because it responded so quickly, Starbucks has reassured its customers and its employees that it cares about working conditions and it is willing to make changes to make the working environment better for employees. This has raised public opinion and given Starbucks the opportunity to turn the negative PR to positive.



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