Shanghai, CHINA – Starbucks has been awarded “Aon Best Employers – China 2018” for the fourth consecutive year. The award recognizes the company’s investments in building a warm and welcoming family culture, with deep respect for China’s unique culture.
The Aon Best Employers Award is a prestigious award that recognizes “employers of choice” that have strong employee engagement, effective leadership and a high-performance culture. This year, Aon surveyed a total of 460,000 employees from 110 local and international companies across 14 industries Starbucks has been honored by Aon since it began the survey in 2013.
“I am thrilled and proud Starbucks has been recognized again as one of the best employers in China. Our 50,000 Chinese partners (employees) work tirelessly to bring love, passion and dedication to create individual moments of connection with our customers. This honor belongs to our partners and I want to thank each one of them for all that they do every day,” said Belinda Wong, chief executive officer, Starbucks China. “Starbucks is in China, for China. As our Starbucks family grows in strength, we remain steadfast in our commitment to invest and innovate in the ways we create opportunities and take care of our partners and their families.”
Building an Innovative yet Locally-relevant “Culture of Family”
Since entering China 20 years ago, Starbucks has become synonymous with innovative partner investments and benefits. Beginning in 2012, Starbucks China Partner-Family Forums have become extraordinary annual events that honor the special role family plays in the lives of Starbucks partners, while providing an engaging platform for partners and their loved ones to share their hopes and dreams. Over the years, Starbucks has listened and then addressed the aspirations and needs of its partners, through pioneering investments including: comprehensive insurance for partners, their spouses and children; Bean Stock for all partners; the “Coming Home” program that brings partners closer to their hometowns; housing allowance subsidies for baristas and shift supervisors; and the Starbucks Talent Exchange Program.
To set partners up to become the finest future retail leaders for China, Starbucks China University, a cross-functional mobile learning platform, has been specially designed to allow its partners to personalize their individual training plans. In 2017, Starbucks introduced a first-of-its-kind “Starbucks China Parent Care Program,” which, to date, provides critical illness insurance for 16,000 parents of eligible partners.
The culture has built a sense of partner pride, enthusiasm and commitment that has fueled the China market’s growth. China is now Starbucks’ fastest-growing and most strategic international market. Starbucks plans to open 600 new stores annually, entering another 100 Chinese cities in the next five years. This means the company promotes a new store manager every 15 hours, a new district manager every week and an area director every quarter. The growth will also create 10,000 new jobs per year, providing China’s young generation with even more professional career opportunities.
“This recognition by Aon is not only a firm testament of our partner-focused investments, but also a reminder of the increasing responsibilities we have toward our partners,” Wong said. “Our partners are our most valuable assets and we must always do what is right for them, because success is best when shared – and is best achieved together.”