In a recent episode of the PBS series, Endeavor, the new CEO of a department store in Oxford, England, suggests that a longtime manager call to check on a clerk who failed to report to work. But it has always been the responsibility of the employee to contact the store, the manager protests, not the other way around.
Undaunted, the new CEO (the founder’s son) explains that he may be new but the one thing he knows is that “Burridge’s is its staff,” and he intends to look out for their welfare. He sends the manager to make the call. A bit patrician perhaps (the series is set in the 1950s, after all), but it’s a reminder that there can be a human connection between employer and employee.
It is in this light that I began to consider the recent announcement that Starbucks had forged an alliance with Arizona State University to make 40 online degree programs affordable for its employees.