Starbucks’ Performance Management Tools

Starbucks’ Performance Management Tools

A Critique of Performance Management Tools

As a current or future human resources (HR) professional, you should be able to review an organization’s culture and determine what type of performance management instruments, tools, and methods will best fit the needs of the company. These tools are sometimes application based, practical, pragmatic, and at times, they are paper- or human resource information systems (HRIS)-based. Furthermore, when management asks for assistance with determining the best instruments, tools and methods for their organization, HR managers should respond with up-to-date knowledge on current trends and current industry best practices.

To begin this Assignment, select an organization of your choice that meets one of the following requirements:
An organization you have worked for and are familiar with its performance management system (PMS)
An organization about which enough literature has been published to describe the current state of its PMS
To complete this Assignment, use the Walden Library and other HR related sites to conduct research on current performance management instruments and methods. Then, prepare a report for the HR Director of your selected organization that recommends implementing a new HR instrument or method to improve the current performance management system. Be sure your recommendation responds to the following bullets with in a 2- to 3-page paper.

Evaluate how well the performance management system works with its current instruments and methods (i.e., is it aligned with the type of workers, hierarchy, structure, goals, missions, values, and vision?).
Assess the positives and negatives of the current system.
Compare 3 different instruments or methods you found during your research and highlight the unique contribution of each.
Finalize your recommendation to the HR Director and justify why your selected instrument or method would improve the current performance management system.

A Critique of Starbucks’ Performance Management Tools

Starbucks’ performance management system is aimed at achieving quality services that are offered to customers by the employees (Rivero, 2015). To attain this goal, the company’s management has developed a customer comment card. The card comprises of the survey questions that are answered by the customers about the services delivered by the employees (Devina, 2013). This presents the most objective way of measuring employee performance since the customers do know workers personally. Managers and retails employees measure their workmates through observation. The company also provides feedback using a 360-degree approach. This means that managers at different levels, for example, lower and mid-levels, offer feedback to each other. The most performing employees are offered bonuses. For example, an employee of the month is awarded. These criteria for measuring the performance is usually based on the sales target. Every month the management sets targets, and employees who meet the target are rewarded with bonuses, and those who failed to meet the targets are undertaken through training.

The primary goal of Starbuck performance management is to deliver quality services. As such, it can be argued that Starbucks’ performance management is aligned to its values and goals of delivering not only quality coffee but also quality services.  Offering quality coffee without quality services would not help Starbuck to meet its total quality management system goals as studied by Yu & Fang (2009) on the elements of Total Quality Management (TQM). It can be asserted that Starbucks has effective performance measurement methods. Employees’ performance is measured objectively through customer comment cards. Also, a good relationship among the employees ensures the evaluation feedback is shared to increase the company’s overall performance. The current company’s works relations and feedback sharing conform to Jones, Woods, & Guillaume’s (2016) research that excellent performance management relationships improve workplace coaching and training of employees.

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Starbucks’ performance management system presents some positives elements, and mainly through its objective approach of letting customers rate the performance of employees. However, relying on only customers to determine the performance of employees might not lead to accurate results. Neely, Gregory, & Platts (1995) judged that the performance management system should be based on several dimensions. The three 360 degrees feedback approach is also not appropriate since not all peoples can accept feedback, mainly when it is coming from the lower-level employees (Kanaslan & Iyem, 2016). Also, the working relationship can affect the effectiveness of the feedback approach, especially when employees provide positive feedback to workers with whom they enjoy good relationships.

According to the research, Starbucks’ performance appraisal methods are customer comment card, 360-degree feedback, and observation. All three tools have been beneficial in improving the company’s performance. Customer comment card is effective in delivering performance measurement objective results. The 360-degree feedback promotes friendly working relationships among the company employees. Excellent working alliance improves training and coaching as voted by (Haan, Grant, Burger, & Eriksson, 2016). The observation is usually used by the managers the evaluate the performance of employees such as cashiers and retail staff, who do not have direct or limited interaction with the customers. Although their contribution, these performance management tools present some weaknesses that the company HR Director needs to address. For example, customers are the leading evaluators of the employees’ performance. This happens without the involvement of supervisors. Both supervisors and customers should evaluate employees in addition to a 360-degree feedback approach. Managers measuring employees through observation could be biased. This can be avoided by increasing the sources of evaluation information to increase the aspect of objectivity.

The current Starbucks performance management has some loopholes that might lead to biased performance evaluation. The company’s HR Director can overcome this employing management by objectives (MBO) tool. This tool involves setting objectives and then deciding on how individual objectives will be achieved (Singh, Darwish, & Potocnik, 2016). For example, while setting a monthly sales target, the management should not only participate in setting the targets, but it should also provide ways to individuals employees on how these monthly goals will be achieved. This will create a culture of working towards meeting the set objectives. The main theme here will be when the objectives are achieved, employees will get to know their achievements, and this will enhance their motivation and morale. Unlike the current performance measurement tools, MBO will be more effective because, in addition to measuring individual performance, it will compare it with set standards.


Devina, I. (2013, September ). Everything you need to know about Starbucks Coffee Company HRM. Retrieved from Makegoodcoffee: https://makegoodcoffee.wordpress.com/starbucks-performance-appraisal/

Haan, E. d., Grant, A. M., Burger, Y., & Eriksson, P.-O. (2016). A Large-Scale Study Of Executive And Workplace Coaching: The Relative Contributions Of Relationship, Personality Match, And Self-Efficacy. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 68(3), 189-207.

Jones, R. J., Woods, S. A., & Guillaume, Y. R. (2016). The effectiveness of workplace coaching: A meta-analysis of learning and performance outcomes from coaching. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 89, 249–277. doi:10.1111/joop.12119

Kanaslan, E. K., & Iyem, C. (2016). Is 360 Degree Feedback Appraisal an Effective Way of Performance Evaluation? International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 6(5), 172-182. doi:10.6007/IJARBSS/v6-i5/2124

Neely, A., Gregory, M., & Platts, K. (1995). Performance measurement system design: A literature review and research agenda. IJOPM, 15(4), 80-116. Retrieved from https://www.leanway.com.br/wp-content/uploads/Neely.pdf

Rivero, O. (2015). Starbucks Corporation: Leading Innovation in the 21st Century. journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 7(1), 23-38. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=2638468

Singh, S., Darwish, T. K., & Potocnik, K. (2016). Measuring Organizational Performance: A Case for Subjective Measures. British Journal of Management, 27, 214–224. doi:10.1111/1467-8551.12126

Yu, H., & Fang, W. (2009). Relative impacts from product quality, service quality, and experience quality on customer perceived value and intention to shop for the coffee shop market. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 20(11), 1273-1285. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/14783360802351587

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