Work is continuing to change

Work is continuing to change
Chicago, USA - September 12, 2011: Traveler passing through Chicago O'Hare International Airport terminal orders fast food from McDonalds.

McDonald’s is proud to employ more than 115,000 hard-working people in the UK today. Our people come from a range of backgrounds, from all ages and life stages, from school leavers to mature workers. They are at the heart of creating our restaurant experience and are the reason why more than 3 million customers visit us every day.

So listening to them, and investing in them to cater for their needs is fundamental to keeping them happy and motivated and fundamental to our business success. It also gives us some good insights into what people want from work today and in the future.

First, high on the list for what our employees want from work is a job that fits around their busy lives. Jobs that can accommodate the demands of study, school runs, family or other caring commitments that are now part and parcel of daily life.

No-one should be in any doubt that flexibility is going to become increasingly important to the modern workforce. But giving people the choice of what works for them is key. We’ve also heard from some of our people that they want minimum guaranteed hours. That’s why we have decided to offer fixed hours contracts to those who want them. We were particularly pleased to see Matthew’s Review acknowledge our leading role in this area.

Second, the opportunity to gain new skills is also important to our people. Everyone who joins us grows in confidence and develops valuable skills like teamwork and decision making in a fast-paced environment.

We also offer opportunities to gain formal qualifications, from maths and English to foundation degrees that might have previously felt out of reach. These qualifications make a difference to people’s lives – whether they stay with us or leave to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

How far they go is up to them. Nine out of 10 of our restaurant managers started as hourly paid crew members. It’s not uncommon for us to have restaurant managers in their early 20s running a restaurant and a 70 strong team. More than one in five of our franchisees also started as crew. In fact, a third of my executive team started in restaurants.

In an uncertain world, where skills needs are changing, I believe it will be more incumbent on businesses to power personal progression for the individuals they employ and, in doing so, enhance their organisations’ performance.

Third, workforces will become more multigenerational, meaning better outcomes for customers. At McDonald’s, our workforce now spans an incredible 75 years – we run shifts that include five generations of employees. A multigenerational workforce is a great thing for businesses, employees and customers alike. According to a recent survey of McDonald’s customers, 84% said that they like to see a range of ages in the restaurant team, and 60% expect better service as a result. Where restaurants have a diverse age range of people working a shift together, employees are also up to 10% happier.

In places like the UK where there are very high levels of employment, it makes good business sense to offer an inclusive environment where you can be yourself. That way you can hire talent of all different ages. We don’t put barriers in people’s way. There is no insistence on qualifications at McDonald’s, what matters is the qualities you bring. Put simply, we hire for attitude.

What people want from work is continuing to change, and we will continue to listen and to respond.

To find out more about how organisations can try to anticipate the future of work and drive successful employee engagement, download our online booklet here.

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