Lifelong learning? The hamburger chain McDonald's knew what the term meant before it gained popularity. “Training is rooted in our corporate culture," said Sabine Gekiere, HR manager at McDonald's in Belgium. "It's part of our DNA." It is now possible to enhance the internal training system by employing a shorter process to help the employees reach the position of operational manager.
Profile of Sabine Gekiere:
Sabine Gekiere studied Germanic Philology at the KU Leuven and human resources management at EHSAL. From 1987 to 1990, she was an administrative assistant to the personnel department of the European Commission. She then worked as a recruiter at Cap Gemini and as a headhunter in Amrop International before joining McDonald's Belgium in 1993 as a 'personal recruiter'. A year later, she was appointed HR consultant and has served as the HR Director since 2001.
In response to some innovative training decrees, (mentioned later in this issue), the training center, ‘Ode aan de Mens,' better known as the NPI Cocom, launched the project Atilla (which is an acronym for “alliantie voor talentontwikkeling via individuele leerladders" which is Dutch for ‘Alliance to develop talent through individual learning scales"). “A diploma for the recognition of experience and learning in the workplace" is the subtitle that fits perfectly with this initiative. Thanks to Atilla, employees of participating companies can, by combining experience and study, get an official degree of 'operational manager in a commercial distribution'. ASBL Cocom, VDAB and Katho West Flanders High School play an essential role in this unusual partnership. Like the Post Office and Carrefour, the fast food chain of McDonald's is one of the spearheads of enthusiastic businesses. We interviewed Sabine Gekiere, HR-manager, to understand the reasons that this commitment was made.
Tags: Training in McDonalds, Mcdonalds training Case Study, Learning and Development in McDonalds.
[...] “Training is rooted in our corporate culture," said Sabine Gekiere, HR manager at McDonald's in Belgium. "It's part of our DNA." It is now possible to enhance the internal training system by employing a shorter process to help the employees reach the position of operational manager. In response to some innovative training decrees, (mentioned later in this issue), the training center, ‘Ode aan de Mens,' better known as the NPI Cocom, launched the project Atilla (which is an acronym for “alliantie voor talentontwikkeling via individuele leerladders" which is Dutch for ‘Alliance to develop talent through individual learning scales"). [...]
[...] Is the training of McDonald's a sort of social mission? Sabine Gekiere: Yes, sort of. This is our idea of sustainable employment. Help the staff to develop and flourish, even if they leave for other horizons. Let me tell you something. At a meeting, I was recently told by a HR manager from another company that made me very happy. He said "If I read, on the résumé of a candidate that he worked at McDonald's, I hire him immediately." We owe it to our training policy. [...]
[...] Training is inherent in our organization. All those who are new have a training plan and the crisis has not changed anything. Your company is very diverse. Is this a deliberate choice or a necessity? Are there cases where Belgians refuse to work these jobs? Sabine Gekiere: The facts are there, our staff includes 55% women and 30% of immigrants. These are not extraordinary numbers here, I think. It is not matter of necessity. One could say that this is a deliberate choice given the fact that McDonald's employees are all equal. [...]
[...] Our training program is at two levels: that of the workers (the crew) and the managers. Everyone starts in the crew because it is necessary to learn the basic skills. You do not enter here directly as a manager in control, each staff member starts with the cooking. Even me, I worked for three months in a restaurant to see how burgers and fries are cooked, how customers should be served, etc. McDonald's meals are prepared in the same way everywhere, exactly like the organization that is identical in all our restaurants. [...]
[...] There is even a 45 year old woman. All this is related to the fact that they have participated in many equivalent training sessions and they have amassed a large amount of 'credits' that allow them to take part in a shortened course of study. Although it is not a requirement, most have high school diplomas and some have started higher education but have not completed them as yet. Does this initiative fit into your recruitment policy? Is it your policy to recruit untrained workers and then provide the training yourself to get them to the desired level? [...]
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