After Starbucks employees recently complained about declining morale at cafes due to reduced hours, the company brought forward a 2017 pay raise to this October and offered new healthcare and stock benefits.
But when old-economy traditions like pay and healthcare fail to boost morale, companies must innovate. In its latest move to be "the employer of choice," Starbucks today announced a new dress code that expands not only baristas' choice of pants (they can wear dark jeans now) and hair color, but also the selection of Starbucks-sanctioned headwear.
In a letter sent to employees earlier this month about improving the "partner experience," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz reinforced the company's commitment to being one that "that not only cares for its people but gives them opportunities to be their best selves." Dress code changes would be aimed at "expanding your options, providing more room for self-expression, and allowing you to choose from items that may already be part of your everyday wardrobe," he wrote.