Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer of specialty coffee in the world, employing over 200,000 people in 44 countries. According to Howard Schultz, the company's founder and CEO, Starbucks achieved its success by putting people first and, more importantly, by putting the health and wellness of their employees and customers at the forefront of the company's mission. Howard talks with Dr. Oz about how Starbucks's commitment to health and wellness has helped the company thrive.
Howard says Starbucks was the first company in America to provide comprehensive healthcare to all of its employees, including part-timers. "I think what that did early on was really say to our people that we were going to build a company that achieved a fragile balance between not only being profitable but demonstrating a social conscience," he says. Providing healthcare, he says, has helped attract and keep employees who then create a more positive work environment and deliver better service.
While Howard says Starbucks is committed to continuing its healthcare benefits, the company spends more on healthcare costs than they do on raw coffee, and the costs continue to climb. To try to minimize those costs, he says Starbucks has teamed up with an outside consulting company to implement a free, optional health, wellness and exercise program for all employees. In just over a year, Howard says the lifestyle program is already having a dramatic impact. "We're actually reducing healthcare costs because of them being on the system," he says.
Dr. Oz says coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet. Howard says this may be so, but his company is committed to providing more than just coffee to its customers. In the summer of 2008, he says that Starbucks will be launching a new line of health and wellness beverages and foods to better serve its customers. "The need and the interest from the general public is so great," he says.
Published on January 01, 2008