McDonald’s HR director reveals award-winning HR formula

The head of HR for one of the world’s largest employing companies talks to HRD about what the Singapore outfit is doing to tackle employee retention.

McDonald’s HR director reveals award-winning HR formula
The weapons used by the HRD at the helm of Singapore’s “Best of the Best” employer to tackle the age-old challenge of acquiring and retaining good staff all start with the letter F.

Future, Flexibility, Family and Friends: These are the titles of the employer marketing messages utilised by McDonald’s Singapore in a bid to improve employee retention.

The company has just won “Best of the Best” employer accolade in the Aon Hewitt Best Employers Singapore 2015 programme – a comprehensive nine month-long study encompassing the wider Asia Pacific.

But finding and keeping good staff still remains one of the main challenges for the company, HRD Audrey Chin said.
Speaking to HRD Singapore, Chin explained the meaning behind each of the Fs.

The Future aspect of branding includes raising employees’ and potential employees’ awareness of lifelong learning opportunities for staff within the company, she said.

“As a “University of Life”, McDonald’s invests heavily in continuous training and development and provides career growth opportunities to more than 8,000 employees in Singapore.”

All employees undergo structured and continuous training and development at different stages of the year, she said. Fifty percent of McDonald’s restaurant general managers in Singapore began their career restaurant crew members.

Chin pointed out that in 2004, McDonalds Singapore were one of the first industry players to offer continuous learning programmes aligned with the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) framework. More than 180 McDonald’s employees have graduated from the programme with either diplomas or certificates, she said.

Also, in 2013, McDonald’s signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ITE College West. Under the MOU, the region’s first McDonald’s Training Café was opened in 2014.

The Flexibility aspect of the branding approach invovled ensuring staff were aware of their ability to work flexible hours.
“Flexibility in the workplace establishes McDonald’s success in creating a diverse and inclusive work environment and harnesses the strengths of all employees, including mature workers as well as women who are looking return to the workforce or are entering the workforce for the first time,” Chin said.

“Family-friendly policies like flexible hours help women working in the restaurants to juggle family and work conveniently.”

The Family/Friends aspect of branding is about McDonald’s “inclusive and engaging culture”, which Chin said has helped drive employee retention and has instilled a sense of pride and belonging.

“Every employee is part of the McFamily and plays a crucial role in the organisation. McDonald’s holds a range of activities to encourage bonding and for employees’ families to learn more about their career and development opportunities at McDonald’s.”

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