Starbucks calls their employees “partners,” and that says a lot about Starbucks. They advocate a communal (diversity and inclusion) responsibility (civic and environmental) that connects business to people and the world. Their website boasts a philosophy that “values individuals and their contributions.” They want to improve the world, they claim.

starbucks-log/starbucks' wellness program re-imagined

Does Starbucks really want to partner?

Well, there’s website copy, and there’s action. Do they really share their success with their people? Their benefits would suggest so.

Starbucks insures everyone–part-time or full. Comprehensive health coverage (including dental, vision, and alternative medical treatment like acupuncture and homeopathic care), life insurance, disability insurance, adoption assistance, commuter benefits, Health and Dependent care reimbursement accounts, employee assistance programs, financial assistance programs, and a 401(k) matching program comprise only some of the mix-and-match, customizable “Your Special Blend” perks.

And to prove they’re serious about their partnership, everyone gets company stocks (SIP discount stock purchase and Bean Stock “equity reward program”), even part-timers, the workforce that constitutes the majority of Starbucks employees. Even more, tuition reimbursement and education benefits, paid vacation, career sabbaticals, and–free coffee!

Is it a healthy partnership?

Thrive Wellness, Starbucks’ wellness program, goes by the tagline, “Make wellness your own.” The company provides tools, information, and culture to reinforce health and wellness. Wellness, Starbucks claims, is larger than benefits. It’s life. For instance, Partner Connection Program links people together by common interests and activities, for not only social bonding but costs sharing. Partner Discounts offers its more than 238,000 U.S. employees discounts to local businesses selling everything from clothing to pet insurance. Supporting the community and their partners works hand in hand.

Health Hero – Starbucks Wellness Dashboard Prototype

Starbucks Studio - Starbucks' Wellness Program Re-imagined
Activity tracker directly from your connected device
Color cues into user level and progress bar with point values
Visual representation of the latest achievements and earnings
Keep track of upcoming activities that can earn you points
Social Feed shows health activities from multiple social networks

Starbucks knows who works for the company. Their partners consists of primarily young, college age, part-timers. So, Thrive Wellness targets these tech savvy types with online resources and apps that help this population quit smoking, prevent problem pregnancies with appropriate prenatal care, lose weight, avoid long-term repetitive movement injuries, and tone up. Their aim is to build awareness and healthy habits.

To that end, they give partners 24-7 access to Starbucks’ everything wellness site (by WebMD) titled LifeAt, online HRA’s, and branded fitness gear, like gym bags and heart-rate monitors. Starbucks promotes the health message by disseminating education through mailers, Thrive broadcasts, including one by chairman Howard Schultz, quarterly calendars featuring a health topic a month, and quarterly publications (MyBrew) sharing partner stories.

Starbucks Wellbeing - Starbucks' Wellness Program Re-imagined

Connect, click, share, and change the world.

These partners inhabit the world of the future. They’re motivated to make the world a better place. Empower them with the confidence that their ideas count. Incentivize surveys that motivate their creativity and the company’s profits, by creating wellness initiatives. It’s about bettering the world. They just need to know that it starts with making themselves better–healthier. And Starbucks needs to keep reminding them.