How the ‘McJob’ became the newest way to get schooled

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Two years ago, McDonald’s began its fight back against the dictionary definition of the so-called ‘McJob’, launching an aggressive campaign to redefine preconceptions about working life at the burger-flipping conglomerate. At the time, a McJob was defined as an “unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects”, but head honchos at the firm argued that this was not only insulting, but grossly out of date.

“Our research shows how 87 percent of people who work for McDonald’s get their first choice university place, which is way above that of the national average,” claims David Fairhurst, senior-vice-president and chief people officer at McDonald’s, when talking to executive business channel MeetTheBoss.tv about McDonald’s recent accreditation as a governing body.

In fact, some two years since the McJob assault, Fairhurst is keen to explain how change has impacted the business, highlighting just why the fast food chain is concentrating on developing its employees and giving them the best possible opportunities.

“What HR should be talking about is, ‘How do you truly understand what it is that your business needs? What’s the engine around people that drives your business performance? How can you get more sales and profitability you’re your people?’” he explained.

“Then secondly HR needs to be thinking about, ‘What is it that your people truly value about working for you organization? What is it that differentiates you as an employer?’ And then you need to bring those two things together to create that energy that can be released around people in an organization.”

So just what are McDonald’s doing? Well, in a move largely spearheaded by Fairhurst himself, the fast food giant has become an accredited educational body in UK, having last year provided Apprenticeships for up to 6000 of its 72,000 UK workforce.

“Our research shows how 87 percent of people who work for McDonald’s get their first choice university place, which is way above that of the national average.

“We’re clearly making a significant contribution towards people’s future and it’s also paying off in terms of how they perceive the company and in terms of how their peers perceive working for an organization like McDonald’s.

“And the reality is the more you give people transferrable skills, the less likely they are to transfer. The intrinsic value lies for me in understanding that what you should be focusing on is engagement, not turnover.”

Surely a lesson in engagement worth learning? To find out more about the way McDonald’s teaches it staff to grow at www.meettheboss.tv



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