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Employee experience investments

Starbucks and PwC Announce Huge Investments in EX

Focus on Employee Experience Is Accelerating with Meaningful Commitments

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Study after study is being churned out outlining the pain points employees are experiencing in their work lives. The need for recognition, flexibility, wellbeing, feedback opportunities, and training have all been outlined in recent data. Having strong EX solutions and technologies is no longer a nice to have but a need to have and two announcements made this month demonstrate that companies are starting to open their wallets to fund this need.

Starbucks Employee Investments

During Starbucks Corporation’s FY2022 Q2 earnings call, Howard Schultz, Starbucks chief executive officer, shared that the company will be making total investments of almost $1 billion in fiscal year 2022 in partner (employee) pay, modernized training and collaboration, and a return to the celebration of coffee. Starbucks created many of these ideas in partnership with their employees via collaboration sessions, partner surveys, open forums, and a partner hub. Actions that will be taken include:

  • Launching a new app to create one digital community for all 240,000 US partners that will ease access to communication, information, and resources
  • Additional and more effective training
  • Increases in pay and a program to continue to recognize tenured partners
  • Launching a modernized recognition program and expanding a portfolio of upskilling and career mobility programs
  • Investigating digital platforms so all partners can provide direct, real-time input and feedback.

Said Schulz, “…the investments will enable us to handle the increased demand – and deliver increased profitability – while also delivering an elevated experience to our customers and reducing strain on our partners. And we will reintroduce joy and connection back into the partner experience.”

PwC M+ People Experience

Also announced in early May, was PwC’s massive $2.4 billion investment in people experience. Over the next three years, the professional services film will be implementing M+ people experience. According to US Chair and Senior Partner Tim Ryan, “To surface what matters most to our people, we embarked upon a listening journey over the course of the last year. In many of our sessions, we heard loud and clear that our people’s needs mirror what organizations are hearing across the world: people want more flexibility and choice when it comes to where, when, and how they work, as well as enhanced benefits and development opportunities. With that in mind, I knew we needed to have the courage to fundamentally rethink our value proposition for our people experience at the firm and not just nibble around the edges.”  The M+ program will be focusing on:

  • Employee wellbeing (expanding flexibility options and having two weeklong, firm-wide shutdowns)
  • Total rewards (expanding parental leave and increasing mental health support)
  • Development (focusing on leadership and coaching skills)
  • Always a PwCer (helping colleagues pursue their professional paths – even it is not at PwC)

During discussions Dash Research has been having with technology vendors in the EX space, some barriers to a successful EX technology rollout have been highlighted, including lack of C-level support, lack of cross functional feedback, and lack of action. While in very different industry segments, Starbucks and PwC have taken a similar approach to the program launch, having ticked all the boxes of commitment, feedback, and action in combination with clear communication.  

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