Starbucks China Announces New Partner Benefits

Starbucks Partners in China celebrate new benefits

Today, Starbucks partners (employees) in China received a heartwarming surprise as the company unveiled an exciting partner investment program known as Flex Star Benefits.

Beginning January 1st, partners who have been part of the Starbucks China Family for more than two years will each be given credits they can use to select from a wide array of benefits. Each benefit has been thoughtfully designed to meet the needs and aspirations of different partners in the increasingly diverse Starbucks China Family.

“Starbucks success in China is down to the passion and dedication our partners bring to work every day – in every cup of coffee they brew, and every customer connection they make,” said Belinda Wong, chairman and chief executive officer, Starbucks China. “Since entering China 20 years ago, Starbucks has always strived to be a different kind of company. We want to share our success with all partners, in a timely and thoughtful manner that recognizes their individual needs – because each of our 55,000 partners is special.”  

Belinda Wong speaks to partners in China

With an estimated 18,500 partners eligible for the scheme, and newly eligible partners to be enrolled every 6 months thereafter, Flex Star Benefits constitutes a significant investment for Starbucks China. Starbucks pioneering partner investments are already renowned in China’s retail industry, with the company recently named among China Best Employers for the fifth time by international human resources consultancy Aon Hewitt.

Over the years, Starbucks has listened to partners and introduced innovative benefits such as comprehensive insurance for the spouses and children of all partners, and critical illness insurance for parents, which has benefitted 18,500 full-time partners. Housing subsidies are provided to 26,000 partners who work away from their hometowns, while partners may also apply to return to work in newly-opened Starbucks stores in their hometowns under the Coming Home program. In addition, Starbucks China also offers partners opportunities to expand their horizons though a talent exchange program, which has helped over 100 partners complete short-term work experience programs in other cities across China and overseas. Finally, Starbucks is renowned for its global Bean Stock initiative, which granted US$21 million worth of Starbucks shares to partners across China last year.

Flex Star Benefits are yet another breakthrough in Starbucks ongoing endeavor to build a culture of family that takes care of its partners and their loved ones. More than just providing greater benefits, it also offers unprecedented flexibility. Partners are empowered to make individual choices based on what they need, from a variety of options designed to help partners enrich themselves, take better care of their loved ones, and make a positive difference to their communities.

Enriching Oneself

“I believe mind and body go together. No matter how busy I am, I always find time to dance and practice yoga. Physical activities help me clear my mind and find my inner peace.”

Starbucks Partners in China celebrate new benefits

To support partners’ physical and mental well-being, Starbucks encourages them to pursue their passions. Partners may use their credits to learn a new skill, or take up a hobby that relaxes the mind and body amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From cooking or painting classes, to hip hop dance lessons or even extreme sports, there is no limit to what the credits be used for. Partners may also simply apply for a 5- or 10-day mini ‘coffee break’ to recharge their batteries.

Protecting partners’ health is another area the new program covers. Partners may use credits for HPV vaccinations that protect against life-threatening diseases like cervical cancer. The benefit can be extended to partners’ family members and even friends, a first for Starbucks. In addition, the credits can be used to upgrade partners’ current benefits such as annual health checkups.

Caring for Loved Ones

 “I am a ‘pet daddy’ to three stray dogs I adopted. They have brought so much joy to my life, and when they fall sick, their pleading eyes simply break my heart. I want to give them the best healthcare possible.”

Partners in China celebrate new Flexible Benefits

Flex Star Benefits also supports partners in taking care of those who matter most to them. For partners working away from their hometowns, the program allows up to three additional days of paid leave so that they can spend more time with their families on their home visits. They also have the option to use their credits for discounted travel tickets, to allay any financial concerns should they need to return home in the event of a family emergency.

In addition, Flex Star Benefits expand Starbucks existing schemes to cover ‘life partners’ beyond the immediate family – regardless of status or gender. Also unprecedented is the inclusion of ‘pawternal care’ benefits for pets – loyal companions who are treated as family members and mean the world to many pet owners. Under the new program, pet owning partners may enroll their pets into a pet insurance scheme or claim reimbursement for their pets’ medical expenses. Partners who adopt pets will be granted an additional day of leave.

Doing Good for Others

 “I spend time every month watching movies with the blind, describing to them what they could not see. It has made me see the world in a different way. Helping others has in turn helped me become a better me.”

In addition to caring for oneself and loved ones, Starbucks also encourages partners to contribute to local communities. Partners can earn additional credits by participating in social impact activities. They can also do good by donating their credits to the Starbucks China Cup Fund, to help fellow partners in urgent need of financial assistance. Partners can access Flex Star Benefits through the Starbucks China Green Apron partner mobile app, which provides a platform for Starbucks to continuously evolve and improve the program. New benefits will be explored based on partner feedback, while the company will continue to make timely investments to give back to its partners, as it strives to create the best possible workplace and deliver the best partner experience.

thumbnail for Starbucks Korea teams up with NCT to bring the summer fizz

Starbucks Korea teams up with NCT to bring the summer fizz