Over the weekend as I was taking a break from watching Netflix and flipping through live channels, I came across a commercial for McDonald’s. The usual commercial for this fast food titan is almost always focused on selling their product, and, why shouldn’t it? That’s their business. They want you to buy their golden crispy fries, delicious, and price convenient McChicken and other goodies. But this commercial was a very different experience in being advertised to by McDonald’s.
It focuses not on their product, but the business itself and the benefits to their employees. To me this is unique, especially for a fast food chain. McDonald’s is no stranger to partnering with foundations and charity work and proudly displays their donation capabilities. But, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this, in terms of working with the company, McDonald’s is viewed as a “starting job.” Does anyone really want to flip burgers day in and day out (no offense meant to those who do) for their entire career in the workforce?
Here’s the thing that blew me away with the referenced commercial. Not only is McDonald’s aware of this mentality and idea, they EMBRACE it and run with it. If you haven’t watched the video yet, (come on, I put the link right there for you), the tagline at the end of the commercial is “Committed to being America’s best first job.” They KNOW people view them as a stepping stone, a way to make money and start work when you’re young. But rather than being bitter about this or just letting a revolving door of new hires continually move through their doors, they have decided to strengthen their talent pipeline by giving their hires the tools for success, even if they move on from the restaurant business!
College tuition assistance, free English language classes, free high school completion courses. These are just a few things McDonald’s offers to its employees. This showcases a huge investment in their team rarely seen by other companies in the customer service industry. They want their employees to have the education and opportunity to be more. And it’s why they continue to thrive scattered all over the globe. It’s very rare to see a town without the golden arches.
McDonald’s has already shown how adaptable and receptive to change they are by introducing healthier options to their menu and creating different menu selections from area to area. In Wisconsin, they offer Bratwurst and cheese curds, Canada has Waffle Cut Fries on the menu. They added salads, fruits and carrot sticks to comply with growing health concerns. And in addition to adapting their menu, they adapted the way people look at fast-food jobs by providing beneficial resources to their team members.
It would be fantastic to see more customer service organizations and business across all industries investing so heavily in their talent as McDonald’s has. If a “first job” can be this beneficial, what should the second or third job look like? I’m not saying you need to pay for your new interns’ college education, but if you want to build bench strength and see true employee alignment, it starts with the people. Invest in your people, and your people invest back in you.
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