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The challenges faced by Human Resources

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 2879 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The human resource is the science of creating an efficient workforce which is well motivated , respects diversity , and develops skill through its entire population .HR is one of the most important resources for an organization’s success including everything to achieve in corporate goals and objectives. Therefore HRM (human resource management) is a vital element of the strategic decision making.  HRM contains a range of issues such as recruitment and retention, employee development, reward schemes and promoting good relations. The first process is recruitment, to employ appropriate qualified employees to help to bring about to the achievement of the corporate goals, in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

In my assessment I have selected McDonald’s’ as my organization. McDonald’s is one of the most successful restaurant in corporate business all over the world. 500,000 employees serving millions of the people around the clock more then 100 countries.

This research aims to examine and evaluate McDonalds’ employee retention and recruitment policies, grievance, disciplinary and dismissal process .The principal outcomes of this research will be an assessment of the effectiveness of McDonald’s HR policies.

Human Resource Strategy leads a very important role in current and future to an organization’s overall strategic objectives and visibly identify that the human resources function fully comprises and supports the direction in which way the organization is moving. A comprehensive HR Strategy will also support other specific strategic objectives undertaken by the marketing, financial, operational and technology departments.

In essence, an HR strategy to an organization is thinking to achieve in the medium to long term which ensuring that:-

They have the right people in organization

right mix of skills into the organization

employees show the right attitudes and behaviors’, and

Employees are developed their skills in the right way.

As a resource of the wealth of knowledge contained within an organization, it must be realized that it is in human resource management that the most significant advances will be made. As a result, the human resource department must be made a central figure in an organization’s strategy to establish a knowledge basis for its operations (Mullins, L. 2005).


HR theory, will justify why there has been an increase in this management practice. According to Walton (1985) HR as “mutual goals, mutual influence, mutual respect, mutual rewards, and mutual responsibility” Walton further added that the ‘psychological contract’ under this unitary, high commitment model is one of mutuality, but it is a mutuality strictly bounded by the need to operate within an essentially unitary framework (Walton cited in Beard well, l. et al 2004)

If organization strategies and plans have been developed without the element of any human resource, the justification for the HR strategy might be teasing for indirect people factors which are inherent in the plans, rather than simply summarizing their explicit “people” content.

An HR strategy will adopt to the organization if it:

articulates more clearly some of the common themes which lie behind the achievement of other plans and strategies, which have not been fully identified before; and

Identifies fundamental underlying issues which must be addressed by any organization or business if its people are to be motivated, committed and operate effectively.

The first of these areas will involve a careful consideration of existing or developing plans and strategies to identify and draw attention to common themes and implications, which have not been made explicit previously.

The second area should be identifying as a fundamental that there must be clear plans to address them before the organization can achieve on any of its goals. These are :

workforce planning issues

succession planning

workforce skills plans

employment equity plans

a grading and remuneration system which is seen as fair and giving proper reward for contributions made

Wider employment issues which impact on staff recruitment, retention, motivation etc.

a consistent performance management framework which is designed to meet the needs of all sectors of the organization including its people

career development frameworks which look at development within the organization at equipping employees with “employability” so that they can cope with increasingly frequent changes in employer and employment patterns

Policies and frameworks to ensure that people development issues are addressed systematically: competence frameworks, self-managed learning etc.

By following these strategy may help gain acceptance for the idea, such as focusing on good management practice. It is also important to build “early or quick wins” into any new strategy.


The legal issues which influence HR plan in McDonald’s are:

Unfair discrimination:

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975, The Race Relations Act 1976, The Disability Discrimination Act 1995; The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, and The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003.

Many of these Acts have been amended since their introduction and make it unlawful to discriminate against a person, either directly or indirectly in employment on the grounds of color, race, gender, marital status, creed, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origins, or disability.

Direct discrimination occurs when an a person is treated less favorably or a reason unconnected with their ability to perform either the job they are doing or the job they are being considered for. As for example: making decision about where some one should be offered or not to offered, a job because of their ethnic background.

Indirect discrimination occurs where an unjustifiable requirement or condition is applied which, although in theory apply to everyone, in practice is more difficult for one particular group to meet or fulfill. As for example: setting standards which some employees are less likely to be able to achieve because of their gender, race, disability etc.


Harassment is a form of discrimination and is behavior which the recipient finds unacceptable and unwelcome based on their gender , age , marital status , sexual orientation , disability , race , color , nationality , ethnic origin , religions or belief.ect.


Data protection act 1999:

Accordance to the Data Protection Act, update records, personal details and references should be kept into the organization. McDonald’s does comply this act.

Asylum and immigration act 1996

Under this act organization must have to careful that no one is working illegally. McDonald’s follow this procedure.

Criminal conviction:

Before recruiting any one, McDonald’s confirms that employee does not involve any criminal activity or ensure that he or she is not convicted any criminal conviction.


Under McDonald’s recruitment policy, each individual restaurant is responsible for recruiting hourly-paid positions. For recruiting hourly-paid employees McDonald’s use several activities. Positions are generally advertised in the restaurant website (www.mcdonalds.co.uk.). Wherever possible, McDonald’s directs applicants towards applying on line at (www.mcdonalds.co.uk.) People who cannot access the web can call the Recruitment Hotline, or pick up a pre-paid Business Reply Card from a McDonald’s restaurant.

McDonald’s uses local job centers, career fairs and other local facilities. It is vital to use effective hiring material with a clear message targeted at the appropriate candidate.

The manager will select the applicants to be interviewed and will conduct the interviews. The process includes an initial online psychometric test. This test produces an initial score. The applicant then attends a first stage interview and is offered “On Job Experience” (OJE). This is a 2-day assessment in a restaurant. Successful completion at OJE will lead to a final interview, after which the manager decides whether or not to hire the applicant

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McDonald’s also offers a career opportunity. A well-run interview will identify an applicant’s potential to be a successful McDonald’s employee. To find people who will be committed to excel in delivering outstanding service, McDonald’s scripts an interview guide that helps the company predict how an applicant’s past behavior is likely to influence future performance. It uses a fact-based decision-making process.

McDonald’s future managers come from two main sources. More than half of all salaried management positions are taken up by hourly-paid employees who earn promotion. The remainders are predominately graduates.


Culture Change Model

The culture of an organization mainly held beliefs and practices of its people. Culture also means the backgrounds of employees, work expectations, way of communication, hierarchy, leadership style etc, positive attitudes toward power, workplace design, and other factors in the organization. Organizational culture supports goal and mission achievement depending on evolve. Culture is most powerful to achieve the goals and objectives with in the organization. An organization’s culture greatly influences recruitment and retention practices.

For example, McDonald’s mission statement of HR department is “To be a catalyst in creating a high performance culture” .It simply means that if McDonald’s follows this policy they can attract the best people into their organization and achieve their goals. Normally High performers will leave the organization if they feel the culture does not support the mission, as it will be difficult for them to be successful without the support of the people and processes around them. The exodus fuels more turnovers as the employees who are left behind become overextended. Once this happens, the organization may get a poor reputation in the community. It might be viewed as a place where employees are asked to take on more than their fair share of work, which creates recruitment problems.

This means the organization is forced to turn to lesser quality candidates. This snowball effect creates a vicious cycle where poor culture pushes out talented employees and brings in substandard employees to fill those positions. To break the cycle, positive culture change is needed. The authors’ experience shows that, five key components in most successful organizational changes:

Agree: Establish the mission, method, goals, team and motivation of the change initiative.

Survey: Develop a clear starting point as a baseline for measuring progress.

Plan: Develop architecture of key elements for achieving goals.

Implement: Develop the solution and manage the transition on a detailed level with full communication.

Review: Regularly monitor the solution to ensure that business value is achieved.

Evolve: Use the new capabilities to respond more rapidly to continuously changing requirements.

But in McDonald’s there are high levels of training tending to have lower rates of staff turnover and lower turnover costs. The McDonald’s that reach the above average in the training department were inclined to have lower employee turnover. For example, research among leisure retailers found an average staff turnover rate of 188 per cent, while the better performing McDonald’s restaurants averaged 64 per cent (Anonymous 2002).


A higher retention level should lead to a consistent crew should, which in turn should deliver higher levels of service to the customer. McDonald’s mystery shops its branches on a monthly basis, to measure the quality, service and cleanliness of restaurants. The results from these visits indicate that restaurants in the above average training category have higher scores across the board, especially in the most problematic category, “service” (Anonymous 2002). Over 60% of their current managers started their careers as crew in the restaurants (www.mcdonalds.co.uk).

After three years service employees are offered private medical care. They are committed to recognizing achievement, an example of the employee of the year award, is a week holiday in the sun. They also recognize long service, with rewards given after 3, 5,10,15,20 and 25 years (www.mcdonalds.co.uk).

3. 2

McDonald’s respects the flexibility and sensitivity to local culture and this is demonstrated in its human resource management. The human resource department has a list of questions on employment practice which must be answered before McDonald’s enters a country, these are on issues such as employment laws, part-time and flexible work schedules, and specified numbers of hours which employees would be allowed to work (Solomon, C 1997).

New local human resource and restaurant managers will train in an established McDonald’s restaurant. The company is strongly committed to staffing locally and promoting from within. This helps to attract people because they know they can move up if they work hard. It also means that McDonald’s has managers who understand both the corporate and local cultures (Solomon, C 1997).

The Company is an equal opportunity employer, in 1992 they set up an Equal Opportunities Group to foster a diverse workplace and highlight equal opportunities, as a part of the Company’s ethos. McDonald’s commitment to equal opportunity extends beyond race, gender, ethnic origin, marital status, color, nationality or disability, to encompass people with very different backgrounds and experience (www.mcdonalds.co.uk)


In McDonald’s if the employee who feel that he or she is the subject to harassment , victimization, discrimination or bulling will be asked to

Ask the person to stop

Ask for help

Speak to an appropriate manager.

Report to the HR department.

If the employee fail to do that then he or she will be advised to raise a grievance in writing under Company’s Grievance procedure .Company will treat this very seriously and confidence while an investigation is conduced into an employee’s grievance .HR department will regularly monitor and review the policy and will take such correct action as may be necessary to ensure it is be complied with.


All employees are managed by global HR policies, with the only exceptions is where local employment legislation differs from that of the organization. Therefore all employees receive the same benefits, training and control, leading to standardization of employment.  To the customer this standardization is of both product and service.

McDonalds successfully attracts potential employees, this is essentially through word of mouth. The majority of candidates have either relatives or friends employed at MacDonald’s. This not only reduces advertising costs, prospective employees already know about the role. This will reduce the number of candidates that leave soon after appointment. They know about the role before they apply.

The majority of managers are promoted within, this demonstrates a good career path, and retains skilled employees. The promotion ladder is well documented; therefore all employees can plan their career routes within the organization. The success of retaining employees for the management training scheme warrants a full study of its own.

Where McDonald’s managers pay more that the industry averages this will not only attract new employees, it will motivate the crew members. The pay is used to sets target for training, employees know the more training they receive, the higher the wage they get. This is another facet to the training retention tool, recognizing and rewarding employees that have completed their training.

The service award scheme is standard practice in most organizations. This would be of more benefit to the managers, who are likely to have longer service with the organization Crew members we made up mostly of students, who had no career plans with the organization. Therefore they would leave before the qualifying period. Therefore this scheme had no real affect on retention.

This paper concludes that McDonald’s retention strategies are successful in some of their branches; they have higher levels than other players in the industry. These restaurants have followed the companies’ guidelines in recording and monitoring the training they provide to their employees. 


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