Starbucks CEO On ‘His Knees’ To Get Employees Back In Office

As a clear sign of the times and the change in the equation between employers and employees, Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks is ready to bend backwards.

Starbucks logo

Starbucks’ old-school CEO’s remark is a sign of the shift from the old employer-employee relationship.

There is a clear clash of ideas with generational differences showing up between the new millennial workforce and the largely older traditional leadership.

A recent report in Business Insider Africa, foregrounds that clash of expectations from two diverse generations and two different world views. According to the report the Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in a recent NYT event said that he would get on his knees…do whatever they want – in an effort to bring employees back to the old way of working from office.

He, however, claims that despite being a very collaborative, creative group, the employees do not seem to be changing track.

In a remarkable comment he confessed, “I realise I am an old-school person, and this is a different generation.”

Although he has made his peace with hybrid working, he seems to still walk the old way, coming and leaving on a 7am-7pm routine.

Once again, these are stories that are warning signals for leadership that is underprepared for change or for any significant upgrade of policies and systems. Perhaps, it is time to move in the direction the millennials are moving because as Schultz says, it is ‘the way it is’.

The clash of generations that one sees playing out here is not something one sees at this scale; in the past, these changes have been gradual. Having said that – the question of ‘remote working’/ ‘hybrid working’ vs ‘work from home’ is one that still remains to be worked out by businesses. We believe that jobs and job functions where physical presence is mandatory – like that of paramedics or housekeeping, are ones where the debate is meaningless. The debate becomes crucial only where physical presence is not mandatory. In such a case if a brand or business still insists on work-from-office, it can only be for legacy reasons (that’s how we’ve done it always), process reasons (how do we ensure worker is present or working or putting in 9 hours) or for team-engagement and brand-connect. The middle path often is the best way – and the hybrid model will take care of both sides of the argument – if the HR and businesses have the foresight to deploy technology (HR-tech, virtual collaborative platforms) to support it.

Read the full story: Starbucks CEO pleading with workers to return to the office


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Senior Industry & Consulting Leader, Rajesh Padmanabhan Appointed As Chairman, HONO

Senior Industry & Consulting Leader, Rajesh Padmanabhan Appointed As Chairman, HONO

Senior Industry & Consulting Leader, Rajesh Padmanabhan Appointed As Chairman, HONO