Starbucks has long been known forits progressive benefits for eligible employees: health care, even for part-time workers; equity in the form of restricted stock; flexible work hours; and, of course,there’s the coffee.
Bu tin the past year, Starbucks added another perk for its more than 100,000 employees — known internally as “partners” — who work in the United States. Starbucks teamed up with Strayer University to provide employees with the opportunity to further their educational goals both within the company and more broadly.
The goal, saysCindyDemeules, vice president of learning and development for Starbucks,is to help employees grow personally and professionally. “Our partners create the magic—that experience between themselves and the customer and the brand, and that’s invaluable to us,”Demeules says.“We wantto help our partners become their personal best.And when you put that aspiration out
there, you have to deliver.”
To follow through on that promise, Starbucks surveyed employees to determine which benefits they most valued, inquiring about everything from childcare subsidies to aid for transportation. The survey found that 71% of partners
preferred educational benefits to other options. With a very diverse workforce, that number was significant, says Demeules, who also leads the company’s education program, StarbucksU. More than half of Starbucks employees are currently enrolled in an educational program, she says, which makes educational benefits a huge focus for them. Starbucks was selective about determining which higher education institutions
to team up with. Strayer University was chosen for its rigorous academics, variety of program offerings and flexibility for working adults.
The University provides credits for select courses that employees take through Starbucks’ in-house educational program, and offers many places for students to learn at 96 Strayer University campuses across the country and online. Employees can also take Strayer University courses, such as introductory business and English for professional communication, exclusively with other Starbucks employees.