McDonald’s HRD: take action on ‘soft skills’ now

by 05 Feb 2015
All too often, ‘soft skills’ – like communication, teamwork and time management – are unintentionally demoted and given a second-rate status. McDonald’s chief people officer says that needs to change.

“We need to do more to recognise the importance of so-called soft skills,” asserts Jez Langhorn. “Soft skills are crucial to both individual and business success and will become ever more important in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

Almost any workplace relies on some form of soft-skill, whether that’s communication, collaboration or customer interaction – everyone from the CEO to the student in a summer job will have to utilise their soft skills at some point.

“You need these skills to work to your full potential and help make the business productive and high-performing,” says Langhorn.

“Soft skills can really impact a customer’s experience with us,” says Langhorn. “We serve three million people every day and we want to make sure each of them enjoys great service. That’s why we recruit on qualities, not just qualifications, and give people the opportunity to gain and improve their soft skills while they’re working for us.”

So why aren’t they valued? 

“We’ve spent time talking about soft skills with employees, employers and a wide range of other organisations,” revealed Langhorn. “What we’ve heard loud and clear is that employers struggle to find tangible ways to promote soft skills, and many employees lack confidence in articulating and selling these skills.”

Now, Langhorn has launched a soft-skills campaign and is calling for a re-evaluation of the value of soft skills. “Working together, we can take action to recognise, promote and improve soft skills,” he argues.


  • by Richard Wentworth Ping 6/02/2015 7:24:32 AM

    Completely agree with the need to focus on soft skills and Maccas have a great reputation at building this. Their "University" to train people especially managers and supervisors has kick started the careers of many people who were not able to get a full education.
    I doubt many people would argue with this and the hard case for soft skills learning is a well trodden path. Every big business(in every sector) invests in this. Probably its the SME sector that under invests, usually because they are too busy, or its seen as too expensive. neither has to be the case and approaches like leader led learning can enable any size business, with almost zero budget, to develop soft skills in staff.

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