Bedrijfsresultaat vs Medewerkerstevredenheid

Company result vs employee satisfaction

David Fairhurst, former Global Chief People Officer at McDonald’s, discusses how the HR function can help balance business results with employee satisfaction.

Bedrijfsresultaat vs medewerkerstevredenheid - Hays.nlRead time: 2 minutes | Published in Hays Journal 12

1. Don’t forget your roots

The two biggest influences that drove David Fairhurst, former Global Chief People Officer of McDonald’s, into the world of HR were an early exposure to retail and a close connection with the church.

“My grandfather, Thomas Ogden, was a born entrepreneur who, when he left the Army, invested his savings in a grocery business called Ogden’s Empire Stores. He taught me early on the value of hard work and the customer obsession that’s essential to run a successful retail business.  Most importantly, he taught me that creating a positive customer experience starts with people.”

The church, on the other hand, gave him the opportunity as a teenager to support people in the community who had found themselves in difficult circumstances. “That taught me about the danger of labels – disabled, unemployed, migrant – and how, if we look past those, there’s an individual who often simply wants the chance to prove themselves,” Fairhurst adds.

2. Bring resourcing and learning together

Fairhurst believes that by joining certain functions at a global level, they can influence the business more effectively throughout the organisation.


“Until recently at McDonald’s, HR and Learning & Development at a global level were separate functions reporting into two different members of the senior leadership team.” Today, they are unified along with other people and community-focused functions. They are partnering closely with teams and functions that they had little or no involvement with as recently as three years ago, such as Investor Relations and the Sustainability team. “This is helping cement the People function right at the heart of organisational strategy,” he adds.

3. Place equal importance on business success and employee satisfaction

Keep staff happy, motivated and engaged and the business results will follow, Fairhurst says. “It’s that balance of being able to drive business performance through our People practices, at the same time as we’re enabling our people to achieve their potential, with results that affect individuals, families and communities. McDonald’s cares about its people. We believe that, if we can create an employment experience our people value, they, in turn, will create an outstanding customer experience.”

4. Strike a balance between local and global solutions

What works in one country is not guaranteed to work elsewhere. That’s why McDonald’s takes a fluid approach when introducing new strategies.

“The key is to avoid trying to impose global solutions on the business from the centre,” Fairhurst explains. “We focus instead on the creation of an ongoing dialogue with the People teams in our markets, and directly with employees, franchisees and customers.”

McDonald’s achieves this communication by using social media and an employee portal called ourlounge. It collects and analyses labour market and employee data, using this information in annual planning. These plans are then driven at market level by People teams, ensuring quick implementation.

This article was published in Hays Journal 12

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