NONE OF US IS AS GOOD AS ALL OF US How McDonald's Prospers by Embracing Inclusion and Diversity
|Oak Brook, IL., Oct. 14 / -- DiversityBusiness.com/- McDonalds(NYSE:MCD)
With its iconic Golden Arches, unforgettable jingles, and famous french fries, McDonald’s is one of the most recognizable brand names in the world. It is also one of the world’s largest employers: more than 1.6 million employees in 118 countries. An important part of the company’s success is its internal philosophy of inclusion, diversity, team unity and a family-oriented culture. McDonald’s employees – and its thousands of franchisees and suppliers – are a microcosm of the customers they serve globally, with racially, culturally, and religiously diverse backgrounds.
In a new book, NONE OF US IS AS GOOD AS ALL OF US: How McDonald’s Prospers by Embracing Inclusion and Diversity (ISBN: 9780470499320; Wiley; September 2009; $24.95; Hardcover) Patricia Sowell Harris, McDonald’s Global Chief Diversity Officer, offers the first inside look at how this major corporation manages to translate its commitment to diversity into long term business success. Through extensive interviews with company leaders, employees past and present, franchisees and suppliers, Harris reveals how McDonald’s embraces all races, creeds and cultures to create unity and business achievement. Harris’ own humble story is merely one of the dramatic tales that have evolved within the company’s history.
A farmer’s daughter from South Carolina and one of eleven siblings, Patricia Sowell Harris began working as a secretary at McDonald’s global office near Chicago, while juggling college courses and parenting. Now, over thirty years later, she has risen to become a key leader within McDonald’s. As Global Chief Diversity Officer, Harris has been instrumental in building and developing the company’s culture of diversity.
According to Harris, “the first key lesson addressed [in the book] is the misperception that diversity is a goal that stands apart from a company’s profitability. In fact, both concepts go hand in hand.” Some examples described in the book include:
- The African American Experience – “Training and Education”
- Incorporating African Americans in the early years taught McDonald’s that training and education would provide the foundation for diversity within the workforce.
- Lesson - if training and development is not incorporated into the business model – an open door policy will not exist and, in turn, hurt opportunity for growth.
The Women’s Experience – “Networking”
- Creating networks such as the “Women’s Leadership Network” gives female employees an opportunity to learn from colleagues and draw on the support of their peers. Incorporating networks has given fellow colleagues more opportunity to face challenges, receive support and brainstorm solutions to problems within the workplace.
- Lesson - Over time, McDonald’s has noticed the benefit of this two-way line of communication between senior management and individuals within diversity groups. It’s a win-win situation that helps everyone to succeed within the company.
Hispanic Americans and More – “Communication”
- Not all groups are the same…cultural differences do exist. Therefore, communication can be affected if being sensitive to issues, attitudes, and behaviors is not understood and managed accordingly at all levels.
- Lesson – By applying a cookie-cutter approach to all groups of people, there is the danger of tuning individuals out and not acknowledging their unique needs. McDonald’s makes a point to tailor techniques to the individuals they are working with.
Each chapter dives into a McDonald’s diversity story, and concludes by focusing on key lessons that serve as business guidelines. McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, continuously restated to his employees, “None of Us Is As Good As All of Us” as a way to instill that diversity is not something you do, but it is who you are. For business owners and managers, this is a perfect template for encouraging diversity within an organization and creating a long-term competitive advantage.
Since its founding in 1955, McDonald’s has made a point to evolve its business model to always incorporate employees of various ages, races, religions and backgrounds. None of Us Is as Good as All of Us offers inspiration and guidance as an example for small and large businesses to help begin their journey to embrace diversity, create unity and fulfill business achievement.
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