Posted: August 13th, 2013





Human Resources Systems – Starbucks


Addition of information technology within human resource department has changed how work is done in the workplace. Information technology has made it possible for human resource professionals to increase their capacity in various ways that include serving the clients, storage and retrieval of information as well as easy and effective management of the human resource in both large and small companies (Kavanagh, Thite and Johnson 13). Information technology has borne the Human Resource Information Systems, HRIS, which have become a crucial tool for the success of many organizations. HRIS refers to software that is specifically designed for human resource needs regarding planning, information access and employer human resource management. HRIS allows companies to reduce costs associated with manual management of human resources, increases the speed of delivery as well as faster access to information for informed decision-making in an efficient way than ever before (Kavanagh, Thite and Johnson 16). It comes in handy for streamlining HR administration function (Heathfield 2012). It is therefore essential for all companies to adopt HRIS in order to meet their HR goals considering the changing environment that requires faster delivery of services to serve a wider clientele with efficiency.

Overview of Starbucks

Starbucks is a coffee roasting company that has many coffee shops around the world. The company purchases whole bean coffee that is roasted with highest standards and then sold through the coffee shop outlets around the world. The company was established in 1971 in Seattle. It has become one of the fastest growing companies in the world. Its growth was slow in the initial stages but speeded up in the 1980s and 90s (Noe et al 4). It has continued with its expansion globally. In the early 21st century, the company had nearly 9000 outlets worldwide, with its aim being to open up 30,000 outlets. In the recent past, the company opened around four stores and employed 200 employees almost on a daily basis (Noe et al 4). Human resource has been the greatest contributor to this growth as well as the working culture. The company has always treated its workers with integrity and offered them a good working environment. However, the recent past faced with a global recession saw the company record lower revenues since many people preferred to save than spend. By this time, the company had opened up many outlets, which were becoming harder to manage in the wake of the recession.

The new CEO who entered the company during the recession time realized the need to halt any expansions as well as refocus the company to coffee largely as opposed to the many servings offered in their menu (Noe et al 4). This was in an effort to maintain the reputation of the company as well as remain true to its mission statement that is based on six principles. One of its principles is “to provide a great working environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.” Others include embracing of diversity, using highest standards, developing satisfied customers, contributing positively within the community and recognizing profitability as an essential part of business (Noe et al 4).

Need Assessment for Improvements Required

In order to manage the vast workforce, as well as the numerous outlets while still maintaining these principles, the company has to change its human resource strategies. With the manual or traditional human resource strategies, it would be too hard to manage such a massive human resource. Additionally, it has to be considered that the workforce is quite diverse and requires streamlined HR management in order to achieve efficiency. Moreover, costs of administrating HR should be considered due to the current economic crisis. Above all, efficiency in delivery across the whole organization has to be considered. Therefore, the company needs to adopt new HRIS in order to have efficient faster and less costly HR functions (Heathfield 2012).

In order to implement the new HRIS, the company needs to conduct a needs assessment one some of the areas that need improvement. Some of these areas requiring improvement include skill, development of the employees and hardware as well as software responsible for upgrading the HRIS. HRIS involves software and reliable hardware in order to operate. Therefore, changing these requires improvement on the employee skills. New skills of operating the software will be required in order to operate the new HRIS considering it come with new features every time. For instance, the new software will contain employee information that covers issues such as their leaves, age, performance, payroll, and benefit amongst others. Therefore, it can be used for statistical analysis on the performance and employee attendance. This requires the HR personnel to be conversant with the software and the way information is organized in order to conduct such analysis. Therefore, implementation of the new HRIS will require the organization to conduct an assessment on the current skills of employee in order to find out areas of skill improvement needed to handle the new systems (Heathfield 2012).

The management needs to encourage the employees in order to acquire new knowledge at all levels in order to understand the operations of the new HRIS. The HRIS will be dealing with employees’ information as well as aiding in simple strategic planning (, 2010). Therefore, there is a need to continue developing the employees by creating an avenue for acquiring new knowledge where they can understand the system well since paperwork will be minimized. Without knowledge of the new system, some employees could feel shortchanged when most of the paperwork, as well as manual function of HR are reduced. Additionally, development allows employees to embrace change easily. This will allow easy and effective implementation of the new HRIS.

In order to implement new HRIS, it is necessary to change the current software. The hardware could be changed or just upgraded in order to fit with the new HRIS if the current one does not. Therefore, there is a need of assessing the current software and hardware, as well. The compatibility of the new software and the hardware has to be assessed. Before purchasing the new software, there is a need for an assessment of the requirements of the organization. Some of the features in the software might not be required by the organization, therefore, the organization needs to be aware of the features it needs in the system ( 2010).

This is about the information that the organization needs to store in the systems. The organization needs to define the information that is considered confidential and none-confidential. Additionally, there is a need to assess who will require what information, as well as what information will be required for decision-making and some of the information that are not accessible to every person. These have to be conducted to avoid overflow of information in areas or departments where they are not required. Therefore, an assessment of the current information needs is necessary in order to define the information as aforementioned (, 2010). Some of the software aspects at Starbucks that require improvement include some select statement or language such as Updating, Inserting Into as well as Delete, which can be used to perform some tasks on the information about employee. For instance, the manager does not need to create new information about an employee. Rather, he can update on the Updating menu. This will allow information about all outlets to be managed easily.


For Starbucks to implement the new HRIS there is a need to conduct an assessment on the information it requires, the skills of the employees that require to be improved, as well as developed in order to make the implementation successful. With new software or technology, its adoption will be dependent on the skills of the workers. Therefore, training as well as maintaining continuous employee development ensures that change can be embraced without resistance while every person understands the nature of change and its impact to the organization. Additionally, when it comes to the software to be implemented there is a need to assess the whole organization in order to find what information will be needed or fed in the system. Some issues could be such as whether the current information can be transferred electronically or it will have to be manual. For Starbucks, this is going to be electronic, which makes it easy. Therefore, Starbucks needs to assess the employee skills and information required by the organization that will be used in the new HRIS.



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