Human Resource Management Issues in Company MacDonalds

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  • Company short history- beginning and latter challenges
  • Importance of Human Resource management- takes care of the qualitative aspects which may lead to failing of a company
  • Need to have the employees commit to meeting similar organizational goals
  • Impact of the growing anti-American sentiments on MacDonald
  • Domains of the HRM
  • The roles of the Human Resource Management
  • Staff at MacDonald and strategy of Human resource management-taking advantage of the marginalized labor market for the young individuals and people who have no job options
  • Composition of the working staff
  • Policy of the Human Resource may be used to ensure that the employees become loyal
  • Ratio of men and women management


The first restaurant belonging to McDonald was opened in America in 1937 by MacDonald’s brother Richard and Maurice. Pock burgers, fries, drinks and beef were the most sold items in that times in what was an open business. Unlike many restaurants of the time, MacDonald had open kitchens where customers could see through, and cash registers operated at many counters. MacDonald has become a leader in the fast food industry. In 2002, the company realized a 15% drop in its stocks and became the third biggest loser in the Dow Jones Industry average as a result of negative media coverage and law suits. However, the company has improved under strategic management by the leadership.

Human resource management is of importance and companies which understand the importance of human capital consider it as an important asset. While successful management is driven by quantitative elements, the cognitive aspects (qualitative elements) are what could break an organization and therefore it is necessary to take precaution. Because individual employees may be conceived as having individualized mental maps and perception, the goal of the human resource management to let them commit to achieving common organization goals may be necessary. Strategic integration of the organization’s workforce with the management’s vision touches HRM, and the latter must work to integrate its issues into the strategic plan (Guest (1987)). Human Resource management employs group and individual psychology to achieve the objective through the strategic management of the employees. Human resource management can be perceived as a link between the organization and the employees and seeks to recruit, retain and develop employees. In addition, the understanding of the importance of good manners in the establishment of the company’s moral grounds may assist the company to become socially responsible and to act ethically (Dwivedi, 1998). The human resource management can harness from the employees by learning their needs so as to be able to meet them that they may see the jobs as part of their personal life and not routine obligation. MacDonald Company has been faced with the managerial need to make people feel as employees of a growing company and not a looser, especially owing to the changing culture in the U.S. and the UK and the growing anti American sentiments around the world. The basic things such as the mission of a company, when emphasized, can help the company by providing the employees with a clear direction to meet requirements and become loyal to the company. The HRM of a company needs to come up with HRM policies that will ensure that the company employment domain is well administered, and personnel administration performs a basis to the establishment of these policies. Models of HRM for the added value of HRM distinguish four key roles of the professionals working in the Human Resource management. One of the domains is the strategic roles of HRM, and another is the outsourcing of administration. In the HRM domain, personnel administration is vital. The HRM has to be tied to the organizational goals (Millmore, Lewis, Saunders, Thornhill & Morrow; in Carthy, n.d.). A company’s HR professional needs to be either strategic or operational, and have a short or long term focus. Human Resource management involves not only the management of people, but also the processes (the HR tools and systems). Four HR roles have emanated in focus of the two aforementioned HR duties. The se are the following:

  • Management of the administration of the organization: In this respect, it is the duty of the Human Resource management professional to ensure that the administrative issues and processes relating to or concerning hiring, rewarding, promoting, evaluation.and training are dealt with correctly and efficiently. This clearly outlines the importance of the HR management to work hand in hand with the other top or down level management to develop not only policies relating to employment, training, promotion and evaluation, but also strategies how to deliver them well. The HR management must provide the necessary information relating to the needs of the employees they are dealing with, while developing strategies in the aforementioned respects.
  • Management of the employees: management of the employees outlines the role of the Human Resource management to identify, analyze and cater for the needs of the employees of the company. In this respect, the HRM must see the employee as important to the contribution of the success of the company and not just meeting their needs for the sake of it. The company must learn to utilize the opportunity to learn and meet the needs of the employee by gaining from him or her in terms of him or her being loyal to the company, having high morale to perform his or her job, and all these and others must be geared towards meeting specific organizational goals. MacDonald has ensured control within the organization through recruitment of employees. This is because the workforce is an important concern in ensuring control, which in turn is very important for organizations where cost is the most important base for competitive advantage. In addition, control has also been achieved at MacDonald through direct supervision and the use of machines. It is the role of the Human Resource management to ensure that the employees at MacDonald are able to acquire the internal drives to be cheerful, courteous to customers, cheerful and smiling as they interact with customers in service. While rules and regulations may require that the employees submit to the working schedules and to the employers’ directions, there is more than this to be done at MacDonald as the employees require to personally exercising internal control over how best they can deliver service to the customer in the fast food industry. Communication amongst the workforce of MacDonald is of necessity in ensuring that the employees establish healthy relationships with one another and with their employer and customers. Of interest may be the way MacDonald the company communicates to the various workforce around the world, how they offer feedback and how the company responds to utilize this information for its benefit.
  • Management of transformation and change: One of the important components of change within the organization is the influencing of the company employees towards changing culture and other things as required. Organizational change can only happen if the employees accept these changes. In fact, change within an organization is hard, and the employees can resist it. It is therefore the role of the Human Resource management to assist the administration in making sure that the right change processes are used to result to the desired organization changes. The Human Resource management needs to identify these processes.
  • Management of human resources (strategic): The business strategy need be translated into a concrete HR practices.

Recruitment is very essential in a corporation because it provides the latter with an opportunity to source ample and reliable staff (Imbun, 2009; Imbun, n.d.). The Human Resource management at McDonald holds a crucial role of not only recruiting staff who are able to work competently to meet company objectives across the world, but also to create a good working environment. As a company with a global outlook and operating under different conditions ranging from societal, governmental to cultural ones, the Human Resource management have a task to learn the various needs of the different staff, look at the existing working environment in the different countries, and then come up with local strategies as well as global ones that will encourage the staff not only to be loyal but also to competitively assist the company to meet its goals. In addition, it is taxed with the responsibility to look out for appropriate and qualified staff that will not only carry out their duties, but also become assets to the business through their contributions. With about 3000 employees working as restaurant’s management, 25,000 working as franchisee’s staff, about 500 office staff and 44,000 as restaurant staff, human resources management is of importance to McDonald organization. Factors that determine the success of human resource in dealing with matters pertaining staff include the component of staff for example young people versus old people, men versus women. Other factors include the competence of the human resource management in dealing with the issues that arise, the company resources and competence in recruiting and treating the employees well. various kind of staff arise because The working staff comprised about 57% of males and the rest female, about two thirds of those workers paid hourly were aged between 16-20 years. In addition, those who worked for 35 hours per week or less formed 90% of the staff. MacDonald has been able to harness the power of the employees who are young, and who can not possibly resist, challenge or oppose managerial authority, but concerned with keeping their jobs. These lack the previous experience, confidence and maturity to pose challenge, resistance and opposition. An examination of the company’s Germany and UK operations and evidence from other European countries, reveals that the company’s organization and hierarchy is the same for each country, although differences existed in the number of workers employed, and the labor turnover. MacDonald, through an employment strategy, has been able to harness from the weak and marginalized sectors of the labor market, indicating an understanding of the importance of the workforce in meeting their goals. The company has been able to avoid trouble of the workforce contesting management prerogative because the employees have no long term interest in the company. The company has not only harnessed on the marginalized workforce of the young people lacking maturity, confidence and previous experience, but have also been able to harness on the foreigner workers. An example is the foreign workers in Germany and Austria who although have a lot of experience and good qualification from their country of origin, they lack the chances to obtain job from other areas because of their limitation of language, recognition of their qualifications, the extremely competitive nature of the alternative labor markets, and because of the increasing number of foreigners and high unemployment.

In order to ensure that a certain trend is followed as concerns human resource management, a company may chose to establish a policy that aims at empowering the human resource to perform better in their jobs. Within the policy may be stipulated guidelines that will make sure that the company concentrates on the various attributes that overlap with performance of job, either with an aim of making sure that the company wins the employee loyalty or that the morale of the individual remains high. MacDonald’s policy outlines high standards of recruiting employees and the staff would be sourced from the local areas where possible. Local staff would be at a better place to serve customers because they share and understand the social, cultural and traditions of the area and hence can understand the customer fro that area better. Therefore the company can reduce expenses on training if it can cut on training the staff on local matters for those staff that would not be conversant with the local environment. In the MacDonald’s policy is also is the interest in the people attributes such as nationality, color, race, talents and skills. This would help the company to concentrate on those skills which are necessary in helping them meet their objectives. The policy also speaks about having a safe and secure working environment, training and career opportunities for staff, pay for staff performance, provision of education of staff matters and good communication to the staff. The working environment deals with those aspects that help the members of the working staff relate and work together well.

The company management must be fair so that everyone will aspire to gain the morale through promotion to this level. For example at MacDonald, women restaurant managers comprise of 37% of this category and women take 24% of the company’s middle level to senior management position. The company has been able to tap on employees who are also flexible, want lesser working hours and/or are having other commitments. These are some of the categories that have found little embrace or are marginalized in the labor force. Although the short-term strategy focus on the workforce as having no long-term interests at MacDonald may result to difficulties in management manipulation, for example those employees who feel not liking the management manipulation leave the company.


Human Resource management deals with the organization of the labor force as well as the processes. It aims at achieving the business strategy through the synchronization of the HR strategies and practices to the business strategy.

A challenge exist at MacDonald to let employees deliver the organizational goals through their contribution because as a fast food operator, there is need to make sure that the employees are given what is important to have internal control to serve customers well. This internal control cannot be managed by the company’s management but that the company will have to provide the necessary processes, tools and the environment to let the employees have an internal drive that will enable them to have internal control that is beneficial to the meeting of MacDonald’s goals. The human resource at McDonald is taxed with a responsibility of organizing the workforce. The company has gained advantage of the marginalized workforce which either has no previous experience, not as mature or qualified to oppose or challenge the management, as well as those with fewer or no employment options in the labor market. In addition, the company has a HR policy that concerns with employee qualities and characters and needs.


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