McDonald’s “Motivation at Work” 1
McDonald "Motivation at Work"
The McDonald’s Corporation is a chain of fast food restaurants operating in over a
hundred countries and serving millions of people every day. Although it is the biggest
corporation of its kind in the world, it has some of the best managed and highly motivated teams
of employees in the world. In this paper, we shall look at how this company works towards
motivating its employees and how this affects their services to their customers.
McDonald’s motivates its employees through what can be considered as social drivers,
namely: recognition, opportunities for advancement, and the fostering of the feeling of belonging
to a family. According to Burkinshaw (2010), the company puts a lot of emphasis on awards and
celebrations and if one were to walk into any McDonald’s restaurant in the world, one would be
able to see a line of “employee of the month” pictures. Furthermore, there is a vigorous awards
system for such things as putting customers first, years of service, or jobs done particularly well.
These awards may include money, trips, plaques, and certificates and they are celebrated with
much festivity and jubilation.
The managers at McDonald’s always seem to be very relaxed and are most of the time
indistinguishable from the other employees because they do not simply give orders to those
under them, but they also accept feedback from them and are ready to get alternatives to their
decisions. This, according to Kincheloe (2002), just helps to show that although they have
managers, the employee teams at McDonald’s are obviously in their later stages of development
and are very comfortable outside their predefined roles, displaying high levels of motivation. The
managers do not attempt to put any verbal barriers between themselves and their employees and
they instead show genuine concern in the emotional and physical well being of their employees,
something that is very rare in this type of environment.
McDonald’s “Motivation at Work” 2
The McDonald’s restaurants have a culture that is generally inviting to new employees
and these are further motivated to work in these restaurants because of the laid back environment
found within them and the fact that the jobs themselves are not very stressful to the employees.
Another reason why employees are motivated to continue working at McDonald’s are the
different shift schedules which are formulated by the management so that they can accommodate
every employee. Since most of the jobs found in these restaurants are low skilled, any other
employee can take over the other’s shift if they are not able to make it to work due to the need to
attend to other more pressing obligations. The numerous growth opportunities available at
McDonald’s, because of the training given to the employees at various levels is an additional
motivator. The longer one works for McDonald’s, the more the likelihood that he or she will
ascend the ranks to the level of assistant manager or manager in just a few years.
In conclusion, it can be said that people not only go to McDonald’s for the great food that
it has to offer but also for the great service. The employees of this company, due to the high
levels of motivation that they have as a result of its policies towards them, give the best kind of
service to its customers and this encourages these customers to keep coming. This is one of the
reasons why the profit margins of this company have kept on increasing over the years and it
serves to show just how very important it is to keep the employees motivated in their work
because they will give their best as a result.
McDonald’s “Motivation at Work” 3
Burkinshaw, J. (2010). Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Work Done.
Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.
Kincheloe, J.L. (2002). The Sign of the Burger: McDonald’s and the Culture of Power.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press.