By A.K. CHUA
‘Take care of our people, and the business will take care of itself.’ – This is the motto that drives McDonald’s in developing the career of its employees.
While many of us have walked to the Golden Arches (some of us for several decades now!) and come to expect the welcoming smiles of the McDonald’s crew, I wonder how many of us really know what it means to be part of the team at McDonald’s. I caught a glimpse of this at the recent Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers Malaysia 2015 awards where I shared a table with the managing director Stephen Chew and human resources director Hezzi Hamid.
When the Best Employer special recognition for diversity and inclusion award recipient was called, the McDonald’s team leapt up in unison – cheering uproariously. Their delight was infectious and it clearly reflected their pride in the brand and their camaraderie as a team.
Best employer for women in 2015
The Aon Hewitt Best Employers Malaysia 2015 study offers a professional, data-driven approach to recognising the best employers through the use of three data sources and an external judging panel.
This year, the Aon Hewitt Best Employers Malaysia 2015 Special Recognition for Diversity & Inclusion (Women) was awarded to McDonald’s Malaysia for their best practices in attracting, engaging and retaining women in the workforce.
“This prestigious award is a testament to our concerted efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion in our organisation, especially in terms of offering career progression, development opportunities and flexible arrangements to help the women in our workforce realise their full potential,” said Stephen Chew.
Also at our table, I met Nur Qaisara Aisyah Mohd Omar, a bright-eyed young woman whom I soon found out was a bit of a rising star, and who probably deserved her own award for going from new hire to restaurant manager in less than four years. She looked completely poised – but confessed she was a little nervous before going on stage to address the entire conference.
Hailing from Sabah, Qaisara holds a degree in Counseling and Psychology from Universiti Malaya. Upon graduating in 2009, she answered an ad and joined McDonald’s soon after. Today, Qaisara is the restaurant manager of McDonald’s Puchong Permai.
“I really enjoy working with our youngsters as it makes me feel young as well!” she enthused. “My team members are from different backgrounds and age groups, and I get to apply my knowledge of counseling and psychology to keep the team engaged.”
When asked about her own early experience at McDonald’s, Qaisara shared, “I was inspired by my superiors who developed me and helped to unleash my true potential.” It is no wonder then that restaurant manager Qaisara also strives to inspire her own team.
A great working environment
We asked Qaisara about her job and what motivates her to do better every day. Her answer was as short as it was significant.
“My company makes me feel valued,” said Qaisara.
Here is a woman who clearly feels empowered and trusted to do the right thing – who, when provided the necessary systems and resources to do her job, is also equipped with the know-how and zeal to maximise her potential and that of her team.
“When I’m given added responsibilities, I see that as a sign of trust. And I keep challenging myself to do even better,” Qaisara said with conviction.
Come and learn
In answer to Qaisara’s aspirations to grow and become an effective leader, McDonald’s has provided her with extensive training and development courses ranging from coaching and people management; to balancing quality, service, cleanliness and value; to advanced leadership and operational skills.
Building on her natural abilities and leadership potential, Qaisara was groomed to take on more responsibilities each year; and the more she was entrusted with, the more committed Qaisara was to meet and overcome her new challenges.
She went from strength to strength and within four years of joining the company, Qaisara became a McDonald’s restaurant manager.
“It’s great that McDonald’s encourages lifelong learning – every day, we learn something new”, Qaisara said enthusiastically.
“We respect each other – our colleagues are also like family and friends,” beams Qaisara. “It’s important to have a good attitude. And there must be teamwork. Our founder, Ray Kroc, said, ‘None of us is as good as all of us.’”
So Qaisara, why would you encourage your own family and friends to join McDonald’s?
“We give opportunities to everyone to succeed. Whether you’re young or old, educated or not, male or female, you can succeed as long as you perform well at your job. McDonald’s provides the environment – you just have to learn and deliver!”
Indeed, Qaisara is an excellent example of someone who has worked hard and succeeded at McDonald’s. There’s no stopping her now – after all, three out of nine McDonald’s global CEOs started as crew!
It’s a (Mc)Wrap!
With over 260 McDonald’s restaurants in Malaysia and counting, the prospects of starting a career with the world’s leading food service retailer is available to everyone.
For more company profiles from Aon Hewitt Best Employers Malaysia 2015, click here. To have your advertorials appear on our website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
First appeared on Leaderonomics.com. Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 6 June 2015