Starbucks' "Your Special Blend" Benefits Package Is Perfect for Hourly Workers – Here's Why

September 17, 2018
From the very beginning, Starbucks has been way ahead of the curve when it comes to almost everything that it does. Apart from roasting high-quality whole bean coffees that have a heavenly taste, the global coffeehouse chain celebrates community and human connection. It strives "to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time," as is stated in the company's mission.

This doesn't refer only to its customers, but also to all of its employees, which Starbucks refers to as "partners". Regardless of whether they are part-time or full-time employees, all of them can become eligible for the company's benefits package called "Your Special Blend".

This special blend is customized to match every employee's needs and includes a wide range of awesome perks that benefits-eligible Starbucks' partners (employees working 20 or more hours a week) can enjoy. Keep reading to explore everything that comes with "Your Special Blend" benefits package to see why it is absolutely perfect for hourly workers.
All Starbucks' employees eligible for benefits get automatic life insurance coverage.
Healthcare Coverage

If benefits-eligible Starbucks workers ever need dental services (preventive, basic and major ones) or vision services, including getting contacts, lenses, and frames, the benefits package has them covered, as it provides them with healthcare coverage. This coverage also includes various medical expenses, including hospitalization, emergency care, prescription drugs, and many other treatments.

Employees can also enjoy the perks of reimbursement accounts, namely Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA) and Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA), which can help them cover their dependent care and healthcare expenses.

Life Insurance

All Starbucks' employees eligible for benefits get automatic life insurance coverage, that is, automatic basic coverage. Retail employees get $5,000 coverage, while non-retail and salaried ones get coverage that equals the amount of base pay they receive annually.

Supplemental coverage is available as well but, naturally, it costs more. Non-retail and salaried employees, who can get the coverage of up to four times their base pay, can get it through automatic payroll deductions. Retail employees can get $10,000, $25,000 and $45,000 by purchasing the chosen coverage in flat dollar.
Starbucks invests in its employees and wants to help them get a college education, completely unrelated to a career at the coffee company.
Disability Plan Coverage

In case an illness or injury prevents an employee from working, their disability plan coverage can provide them with partial income. There are Short-Term and Long-Term Disability coverage plans, the latter being provided automatically only to non-retail and salaried employees and the company paying the full premium, while retail employees can choose to purchase the coverage.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

If any employee working in the U.S. is dealing with stress, emotional issues, personal problems or any workplace incident, they can get short-term counseling to help them out. As important as healthcare and similar coverage plans are, so is this program, because it helps Starbucks' partners feel better and improve their mental health, ultimately improving their overall quality of life.

CUP (Caring Unites Partners) Fund

The CUP Fund is yet another incredible benefits program that all Starbucks employees can apply for. It provides financial assistance to any worker who needs it after a natural disaster, illness, family death or any other extreme case.

Commuter Benefit Program

Employees who need to commute to work can also save money on their commuting expenses, as Starbucks will enable pre-tax payroll deductions.

Adoption Assistance

If any Starbucks' employee decides to adopt a child, the company will provide them with $10,000 for the necessary adoption expenses. The coffee company will also give them up to 6 weeks off, so that they can spend time with the child in its new home, and they will receive their full pay for the time off.

Starbucks College Achievement Plan

While all the other "Your Special Blend" benefits are definitely astonishing, the College Achievement Plan may just be the best one. Starbucks invests in its employees and wants to help them get a college education, completely unrelated to a career at the coffee company.

Starbucks wants to help its partners get a bachelor's degree by providing them with full-tuition coverage for all four years at Arizona State University. The tuition at ASU is about $15,000 a year, but everyone that enrolls in the program automatically receives a scholarship of 42% of the full tuition. Starbucks covers the remaining 58% of the full tuition, which means that the students in the program will receive full-tuition coverage.

According to a Starbucks' press release, 1800 employees signed up during the first month of the College Achievement Plan (which was back in 2014), and the numbers keep surging to this day.

The plan includes over 70 undergraduate degree programs that are delivered online. What's more, Starbucks provides them with a dedicated enrollment coach, academic advisor, and financial aid counselor, so that they can have the best possible support they need to earn their degrees and improve their lives.

The employees who receive the tuition reimbursement don't have to keep working for the company after they graduate. They just need to work there during their studies.

Tying employees to the company that way is certainly beneficial to both parties, which is precisely why Starbucks started the plan. It helps the company significantly decrease its turnover rate and save a lot of money in the long run, which it would otherwise spend on recruiting and training every new employee.

Apart from all these benefits, "Your Special Blend" benefits package also includes perks regarding vacation, holidays and sick pay, as well as coverage plans for employees' partners, spouses, and children, which add a cherry on top of this incredible package that you cannot find anywhere else.

"Your Special Blend" truly is perfect for hourly workers, especially since every employee can tailor it to their individual needs.

Every company should definitely take a page from Starbucks' book and work towards providing their employees with the much-needed benefits that can improve their lives. They should follow in the coffee giant's footsteps and create a culture where every employee is equally valued, respected and seen as a partner, and where people can really grow and work in an inspiring community.
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