To operate a successful, sustainable business you need committed, engaged and well trained employees. Great people are integral to the success of the McDonald’s brand and they are essential in my restaurant on a day to day basis.
As a result we make our people our priority and continually work to provide an employment experience our employees will value.
McDonald’s is in fact one of Australia’s largest employers and trainers. We employ more than 85,000 people in Australia, across our 800-plus restaurants.
This means we have an enormous responsibility to train our people well – not only for the benefit of our company and our customers, but in terms of the wider economy and community as well. Could you imagine the impact on Australian business in a single day if 85,000 Australians didn’t do their job well?
Our responsibility is increased further because we provide many Australians with their first job, many of whom are young people working part-time in our restaurants.
We are in fact the largest employer of young people in Australia today. Each McDonald’s restaurant employs around 80 to 120 crew and managers with the majority of crew aged between 14 and 18 years old.
This means that tens of thousands of young Australians are currently gaining their first experience of working life at McDonald’s.
While there are certainly tremendous opportunities to forge a career within the McDonald’s system, we understand that many of these young people ultimately have career goals which lie beyond the Golden Arches.
McDonald’s therefore accepts the added responsibility of equipping these people with the right tools in order to succeed in life, whichever career path they choose. We aim to develop within these people skills such as self-discipline, time management, teamwork, customer service and communication – skills that will serve them well wherever their career choices take them.
We take great pride in offering our employees the opportunity to develop life-long and transferable skills which will help them grow their career within, or outside, McDonald’s.
So what do we do at McDonald’s in order to meet our people mission?
There’s an old saying at McDonald’s: “People are our most important ingredient”.
I couldn’t agree more with that statement. It is our people who have held the key to McDonald’s performance and success in Australia since we opened our first restaurant here in 1971.
One of the main reasons why McDonald’s has been successful in Australia is that McDonald’s involves its people in the development of the organisation and is committed to attracting and retaining the highest calibre employees.
And we do this through maintaining a long-term commitment to training and excellent people practices.
When it comes to training, we invest more than $40 million each year in training crew, managers and head office staff at all levels of the organisation.
Perhaps one of the strongest strings to our training bow is our listing as a Registered Training Organisation. We have been a Registered Training Organisation for more than 10 years and as such we are able to recognise talent and potential by offering nationally accredited traineeships and qualifications. Our crew and management training is nationally accredited all the way through to the Advanced Diploma of Business Management.
The traineeships offered at McDonald’s are structured, self-paced programs that lead to further nationally recognised qualifications. They provide strong foundations for a management career at McDonald’s, or any role within the food, retail and hospitality industries.
The first level, Certificate II in Retail, is offered to crew members who show potential in their work performance. McDonald’s ‘crew’ are, in general, young people who are balancing study with part-time work. We see being offered a traineeship as a reward to a crew person for a job well done. There is no cost to crew to complete a traineeship at McDonald’s – in fact, crew are paid for their training time.
The Certificate II in Retail is designed to develop and improve skills in the operations of a business, and is available as a ‘school based’ part-time program. Traineeships can also be completed separate to studies.
Either way, the traineeships are a great way to add a valuable nationally recognised qualification to the resume of our staff – especially for young people who are gaining their first taste of working life.
The second level, Certificate III in Retail, is offered to select senior crew and crew trainers. It is designed to develop more advanced skills in the operations of the business and is the next step towards a management career.
Should they then choose to progress into management, employees can apply themselves to the management development pathway, which leads to further qualifications and the potential to move on up through the ranks.
We certainly do encourage our people to stay with us and embark on the path to management.
Although we acknowledge that many of our crew will move onto different career paths, no business really wants to be training people just to see them walk across the street to work somewhere else!
McDonald’s is no different.
But to have people choose to stay, you need to give them reasons to stay.
As I mentioned a little while ago, there are certainly tremendous opportunities to forge a career within the McDonald’s system.
Testament to the effectiveness of our training is the fact that many of the senior executives currently working in head office began their careers as crew. And some 80 per cent of our restaurant managers started as crew.
There are also remarkable success stories to be told about people who are currently at the top of the McDonald’s world who started out as crew.
You may have heard of our former Managing Director and CEO of McDonald’s Australia, Guy Russo.
Guy started as a 15-year-old crew person in a McDonald’s restaurant in Sydney.
Taking advantage of the formal McDonald’s training programs on offer, he rose to the top of the company in Australia and went on to hold senior positions within the company internationally.
You may also know of the late Charlie Bell. As was the case with Guy Russo, Charlie started as a crew person in a Sydney restaurant and eventually became Managing Director of McDonald’s Australia. Charlie went on to hold the highest position in the McDonald’s world: CEO of McDonald’s Corporation.
More recently, Catriona Noble has forged a successful career within the McDonald’s system – in fact it’s the only company she has worked for. Commencing at McDonald’s as crew in 1984 at the age of 15, Catriona has risen through the ranks to become the current Managing Director and CEO of McDonald’s Australia. Incidentally, she is also the first female to hold this position in McDonald’s Australia or in any of the major McDonald’s markets around the world.
Guy, Charlie and Catriona are just three examples of the countless McDonald’s people who have worked their way up the McDonald’s ladder, through McDonald’s training and development programs.
For our people who do decide to map out a career in management within the McDonald’s system, the company supports their endeavours every step of the way through a number of training initiatives.
We rely on our managers to exceed our customers’ expectations, maintain our high standards of quality, service and cleanliness, ensure the welfare of our crew, effectively train and develop a team and, of course, balance all of this with the profitability of the restaurant.
Individuals displaying the necessary potential to rise to this challenge can apply for, or may be offered, a management position. If successful, they will progress through our internal Management Development Program, or ‘MDP’. This combines theory based learning with practical experience in the restaurant, as well as attending courses at head office to consolidate their learnings.
At various stages of their careers, successful completion of the MDP coupled with the required amount of experience in the restaurant automatically qualifies our managers for externally accredited qualifications. For example, completion of MDP folder 2, successfully passing the related courses, and completion of the relevant restaurant experience qualifies a manager for the Certificate IV in Retail Management.
These qualifications are recognised by other employers in all industries and are of significant value to our employees. Managers who have successfully completed McDonald’s Management Development Program are given advanced standing – or credit transfer – towards undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications at a number of universities across Australia.
I suppose a fair question at this point would be ‘how successful are these training programs at McDonald’s?’
I’d like to think that McDonald’s has built up a strong track record when it comes to the quality of its training initiatives.
We have had the great honour of being recognised by various government bodies and respected institutions during our time in Australia.
In 2008, we were again recognised by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, as being an employer of choice for women. Nearly 50 per cent of our executive management positions are held by women.
We have also been listed in the Top 20 “Best Employers to Work for in Australia and New Zealand” by Hewitt Associates.
For all McDonald’s people, ratings such as this – and the host of employment awards we have received from various esteemed bodies over many years – is a great source of pride. It’s rewarding to be recognised for doing well.
But for me, employment at McDonald’s goes far beyond awards and accolades.
Training at McDonald’s is really about giving people, at every level, the freedom to be their most effective, and the responsibility that goes with that challenge. By rising to that challenge, people become the best they can be.
People being the best they can be. That’s ultimately what McDonald’s wants from its employees – and the reason we go to such effort to provide training programs that deliver this.
Before I go, however, I would like to quickly share with you another aspect of our training which has become more prevalent today than ever before: ‘e-training’.
With the launch of an internet site called ‘Metime’ in March 2006, McDonald’s Australia became the first McDonald’s market in the world to offer a fully integrated online recruitment, induction and training system for our 800-plus restaurants throughout the country.
Metime provides a total end-to-end online recruitment solution allowing candidates to apply, be assessed, be invited for interview and receive an online new employee orientation program before commencing their first shift.
The system was developed as part of McDonald’s Australia’s continuing mission to be relevant in the increasingly technology-led marketplace.
It goes without saying that people today have very busy lives. The Internet continues to grow as a popular and convenient means of receiving information quickly and efficiently.
In terms of continuing our tradition of offering excellence in training, harnessing the power of the Internet is indeed a vital step for McDonald’s.
In a fast-paced world, Metime gives potential candidates a convenient means of finding out what McDonald’s has to offer from an employment perspective. They can find out if the restaurant of their choice is currently hiring, for example. It even allows them to apply for a position at a number of restaurants in one hit, thereby saving time.
In line with our commitment to move with the times and lead our employees into the future, McDonald’s Australia has also launched an all encompassing intranet website, enabling all employees to have access to training and communication tools online including the internal crew newsletter – WRAPT.
I hope that I’ve been able to give you an insight into how important training is at McDonald’s, and, equally, just how important McDonald’s training is in the wider scheme of things in Australia.
Our role as the trainer of one of the largest single workforces in Australia is one that we take very seriously.
It is with great pride that I can stand here and say that McDonald’s Australia is doing all it can to live up to its billing as one of Australia’s best employers.
We are steadfast in our commitment to empowering our 85,000 plus people to be all they can be.
And we have a commitment to doing the same for the countless thousands who will start work with McDonald’s in the future.