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William Ting, McDonald's Singapore training manager

How the McFamily keeps its members engaged

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Injecting fun into the everyday work environment is the thought behind the engagement and motivation philosophy at McDonald’s Singapore, writes training manager William Ting.

McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc once said: “None of us is as good as all of us.” This is a key belief which the brand has been built upon and continues to hold true today.

We serve more than six million people in Singapore every month and this would not be possible without our 9,000 employees that form our “McFamily”.

Our people are our greatest asset and having an engaged and motivated workforce is critical in delivering exceptional service for our customers. Fostering this engagement requires time and effort and, of course, we like to inject some fun along the way. So how do we do it?

Continuous training and learning

Every employee who walks through our doors can be a future leader. This is why we invest in structured and continuous training and development for all 9,000 employees. The training at different stages of their career enables our employees to reach their fullest potential to take on desired job roles and opportunities.

For example, our continuous lifelong learning programme offers our employees the opportunity to undergo an intensive training programme designed to match their job functions and achieve nationally recognised diplomas and degrees. In 2014, a record-breaking 208 employees graduated from the programme.

On a higher level, we have the year of the consultant and the year of the manager training programmes. These programmes target business consultants and managers at the restaurant level and are customised to suit the needs of their career level.

For example, the year of the consultant training programme offers training targeted at providing leadership skills for our business consultants. On the other hand, our year of the manager programme includes restaurant-specific training that focuses on quality, service and cleanliness.

Building our McFamily

Labour scarcity is one of the biggest challenges that we, together with the rest of the industry, face. Hence, we understand the importance of retaining our employees by building an inclusive and engaging culture that instils a sense of pride and belonging.

One of the ways we engage and excite employees is to bring some fun into our office. For example, in conjunction with the recent launch of the Happy Meal Minion Collectibles in restaurants, we also brought “minion mania” to the office, transporting our employees into the world of minions. From the glass doors to the walls and even at the reception area, the McDonald’s office was decorated with all-things minions.
We also invited our employees to dress in the minion colours of yellow and blue and got them to recite a minion password to enter the office. Our employees were also surprised when minions, Kevin, Bob and Stuart, invaded the office. Many of them were excited to see the minions and immediately whipped their phones out to take photos with them.

Another way that we keep our employees engaged is through a biannual family night where we invite both crew and their families for a party that helps our employees’ families understand the working environment at McDonald’s. The restaurant’s general manager convention, assistants and floor manager events and crew outings are also organised regularly to encourage team bonding and engagement.

Employee recognition

Our employees do great work every day and we know they deserve recognition for it. They are rewarded for daily achievements through a restaurant cash incentive programme. We also have other crew incentive programmes created by our restaurant management teams.

There are also prestigious company awards such as the Ray Kroc award and Presidents’ Award. Named after the McDonald’s founder, the Ray Kroc award is given to the top one per cent of McDonald’s restaurant managers from Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

The Presidents’ Award is an individual award that recognises the outstanding achievements of the top one per cent of global staff employees. Both awards recognise the dedication and support of our employees and serve as reminders that exceptional service will always be recognised.

In 2014, McDonald’s Singapore saw two outstanding restaurant managers receive the Ray Kroc award, both of whom have served the company for more than 15 years.

Having been with McDonald’s for 21 years, I am happy and proud to share that I received the Presidents’ Award in 2014. This award has spurred me on to do even greater work for our people.

Engaged employees build strong brands and we know that without them, we would not be where we are today.

Continuous training and learning, along with building our McFamily and employee recognition programmes, have allowed us to keep our employees engaged and motivated.

It is a continuous journey for us and we are always looking for new ways to keep our employees happy. Together with them, we strive to continue enhancing our brand to become even stronger than it is today.



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