McDonald's Offers Olympic-Sized Recognition for its Employees
05/23/2012 – Back in the 1980’s (yes, recruitment advertising existed before the internet), I represented a national quick service restaurant (QSR) chain as a recruitment advertising account executive. Since they are still in business I will withhold their brand, but at the time, their biggest challenge was competing against McDonald’s for top management talent. Their sense of inferiority was so constant that one Halloween, as a goof, I sent them ad copy that read “You think Halloween is scary, try managing one of our restaurants.” The ad copy paraphrased what I had been hearing from their human resources department for months. To my horror, they loved the concept and ran the campaign in many markets across the country.
Surprisingly, the ads drove a record number of applicants, with candidates saying that if they were not getting top salary and benefits, they’d prefer management that did not try to imply their compensation package was competitive. The responding candidates stated that they would prefer to work for a company that could poke fun at their own shortcomings over a company that employed canned advertising copy to mask reality.
I tell this story to underscore that McDonald’s has been a worldwide leader in valuing employees for decades. In addition to what I know from their ongoing hiring and retention programs, their creative and thorough approach to positioning the company’s people-centric values in national broadcast campaigns has continued to impress me.
But this morning, I reviewed a press release that took McDonald’s to a whole new level in my eyes. In this morning’s press release, McDonald’s – the official restaurant of the 2012 London Olympic Games, announced their 2012 McDonald’s Olympic Champion Crew to the public.
The McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew program began at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In a nod to cultural differences, McDonald’s allows each participating country to determine criteria for selection. London’s crew will be made up of 2,000 best-of-the-best managers and crew from 42 countries who will serve the world's best athletes, as well as coaches, officials, media and spectators at McDonald's four new Olympic venue restaurants in London.
During their stay in London, the McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew will have an opportunity to meet athletes, attend Olympic competitions, participate in sports activities in a London Park, visit cultural sites, and interact with their peers from across the globe.
What a tremendous program which is clearly an enormous operational undertaking. But since McDonald’s has already committed to taking a slice of dining dollars from Olympic event attendees, why not ensure success and employee loyalty by tagging your top workers and getting them to the market that will become the center of the world for a few weeks.
Within the press release, Richard Floersch, McDonald's Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer reflected on the company’s attitude saying, "People are the heart and soul of our company, from the managers and crew behind the counter, to the people who train them. We share the Olympic ideals of teamwork, excellence and being your best and celebrate these across our more than 33,000 restaurants around the world. The McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew program is just one example of the unique opportunities we offer employees."
The London 2012 Games will represent the largest ever McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew since the program began at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Each participating country determines criteria for selection, such as excellence in teamwork, outstanding leadership and delivering the highest level of service to customers.
In addition to touting their own brand, McDonald’s provided the names of the members within the champion crew who will be charged with ensuring the 470 concurrent staff members operating their four Olympic venues, are well managed.
In addition to running the restaurants, McDonald’s went “all-in” for London, signing up to help with the 70,000 Games Makers volunteers that have been chosen to support the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). These volunteers will be at each venue to deliver a first-class customer service experience for the athletes, coaches, fans and media attending the Games.
For the first time ever, McDonald's is the presenting partner of the London 2012 Games Makers program. McDonald's commitment to people and proven track-record in employee development and training was a key factor in partnering on the program to help attract, select and train the volunteers. McDonald's used its 1,200 restaurants in communities across the U.K. to raise awareness about the program and attract volunteers from around the country, resulting in more than 240,000 total applications for the Games Makers volunteer program.
Utilizing the company's long-standing history of best-in-class training curriculum from Hamburger University -- with seven locations across the globe, including the U.K. Training Centre -- McDonald's dedicated two of its U.K. educators, Lorraine Thom and Ben George, to work with LOCOG to help create the training modules for the Games Makers program. Since 2010, Thom and George have been serving as Instructional Designers and helping to define and coordinate the more than 700 different volunteer roles required to ensure the London Games run smoothly.
In an effort to further equip people with skills and confidence to help them achieve their potential in the workplace after the Games, McDonald's is offering participants who are either unemployed or took part in the U.K. Government's Personal Best Program the ability to earn a professional qualification that may be used as a unit toward an apprenticeship in the hospitality industry throughout the U.K.
In case you are wondering, we carry McDonald's current job postings as a service to our audience but McDonald’s is not currently a client of FoodAndBeveragePeople.com. I just believe they deserve recognition for their constant attention to human resources and putting "meat" behind their message.
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