Case Studies

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McDonald’s Restaurants Pte Ltd

McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Singapore in 1979. Today, around 7,000 employees in over 110 McDonald’s restaurants across the island keep the McDonald’s machine running ship-shape. Together, the enterprise serves over 50 million customers every year. McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, once said, “Whatever we are doing today, we can do better tomorrow”. This is the spirit of McDonald’s. The company is constantly evolving and determined to do more to meet the customers’ needs. McDonald’s business is about making the customer happy, and staying relevant to its customers’ lifestyles. McDonald’s long-standing philosophy is that the company can grow only if it enables its employees to grow, contribute and feel pride in their work. The adoption of this philosophy garnered the company the Hewitt Best Employer in Singapore Award for the second consecutive year and the Hewitt Best Employer in Asia award in 2009. The Hewitt Best Employer Award is based on a study conducted by global human resources services firm Hewitt Associates in partnership with The Business Times and The Straits Times Recruit which assessed more than 750 participating companies. The award in 2007 marked the first time that a company in the Quick Service Restaurant sector was singled out as one of Singapore’s Top Best Employers.

McDonald’s employs a total of 7,000 employees, of which around 50% are above 40 years old. McDonald’s offers full and part-time employment opportunities and adopts fair-employment practices. Their employees are from different age group and races. In addition, they also employ persons with disabilities.

Re-employment Criteria
McDonald’s offers re-employment to people from all walks of life, so long as the applicant is certified to be medically fit. McDonald’s has an appraisal system to assess the performance of its staff. In addition, they also perform career counseling for their pre-retiring staff.

Age-friendly Practices

Flexi-hours/ Part time
McDonald’s introduction of flexi-hours and part time job arrangement has benefited many of its employees especially for the older employees who find it easier to cope with lesser hours of work and those who have other family commitments.

Enhancing the Workplace through Technology
McDonald’s installed a pictorial Point of Sales (POS) system that is very user-friendly, especially for the mature workers taking orders from customers. The system connects the cashier to the kitchen, informing the staff working in the kitchen of the customers’ orders in the quickest possible time. The system reduces the fatigue of the mature workers having to deliver the message of the order to the staff in the kitchen.

Re-employment Challenges
Mature workers are often affectionately addressed as “uncle” or “aunty” by the younger crew. They are also a reservoir of knowledge and experience that they readily share with their younger colleagues. The re-employment challenge that McDonald’s faces is to continue finding innovative ways to better engage and motivate its mature employees.

Benefits of retention and re-employment of older employees
McDonald’s retention and re-employment of older employees gives a family-style of working environment. As the company’s workforce comprises a vast range of different age group, this allows the older employees to share with the younger ones their life experience or skills for instance, learn to be more patient with customers.