Starbucks announced that it will introduce a series of changes that impact its employees’ mental health and wellness. This announcement came during the Starbucks Leadership Experience.
Mental Health and Wellness Initiatives
One of the many initiatives is focused on mental health. During the conference, it hosted two sessions on mental health.
The company has an employee assistance program that offers short-term counseling to its US employees. But this program will be enhanced to have more input from employees and mental health experts.
Starbucks store managers will start training for mental health first aid. It is a program that teaches people to help individuals with a mental health issue or illness.
The coffee company will also partner with various organizations that focus on tackling the shame about mental health. Furthermore, all employees of Starbucks in the US and Canada can access Headspace premium. It is an app that offers guided meditation.
Why this Initiative
More and more individuals are suffering from mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health stated that one in five US adults are living with this kind of suffering. By taking a positive step forward, Starbucks believes that it can be a major influencing factor for other people to take a positive step forward.
Apart from the mental health and wellness program, Starbucks will also continue its plan to give its employees more time to interact with customers. The coffee chain will begin to move some remedial tasks that its employees do during the day that they need to compete after closing.
Next year, the company will start automating or eliminating an additional 17 hours of tasks every week. Store managers will create schedules digitally, rather than writing them out by hand. Furthermore, the inventory of to-go items will also be automated.
By automating these tasks, employees will have more time interacting with their customers, thereby, delivering better customer experience.
Furthermore, employees can also take online classes from the company’s new global coffee academy online. It will allow them to improve their knowledge of coffee.
But Starbucks is not the only company in this world that take the mental strain of work seriously. The best workplaces in the world are viewing stress as a health concern, instead of just a cost of doing business.
These companies have group sessions with social workers. They subsidize their employees’ therapy bills. Plus, they grant their workers benefits like massages, life coaches and vacations. To long-serving employees, they are offering paid sabbaticals.
This latest focus on mental health and wellness is a smart move. Most workplaces focus on heart disease, diabetes, and other physical aspects. Only a few of them recognize the importance of mental health.
But now, with so many tragic events related to mental health illness, more and more companies recognize the role of emotional health in chronic health conditions. When their employees have a mental illness, it could have a major impact on their business.
According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety disorders are some of the reasons many businesses lose $1 trillion in global productivity per year.
For Starbucks, it is only the beginning. It is excited and optimistic about what it does in this matter. Apart from these mental health and wellness benefits, Starbucks is offering its part-time and full-time employees comprehensive healthcare, as well as college tuition assistance and family leave benefits.
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