"You must dare to dream — only then can you achieve," says Ms April Lee, 26, the youngest Restaurant General Manager at McDonald's Singapore.
PHOTO: Chong Jun Liang
ADMIT it: that steaming Sausage McMuffin in your hand would not taste as good, had its service not been accompanied by a winning smile.
McDonald’s knows this better than most restaurant chains, having operated restaurants in Singapore for almost 40 years now. As the biggest F&B retailer in Singapore, they currently have a 10,000-strong workforce across more than 130 restaurants islandwide.
As they commit to growing their brand and strengthening their workforce, they are just as devoted to delivering the highest possible service standards in their eateries.
How, then, does the company ensure that its staff are dedicated to its customers? By first being committed to its staff.
“We are proud to be listed as one of the Aon Best Employers,” says Mr Kenneth Chan, managing director of Hanbaobao, licensee of McDonald’s in Singapore. “But we are infinitely prouder yet of our people who wear their pride on their sleeves every day.”
McDonald’s believes in making leaders out of everyone who joins the company, by encouraging and enabling them to reach their fullest potential in whatever they do — regardless of whether they are a crew member or a restaurant manager.
For instance, whether it’s getting a shy crew member to become more comfortable with customer interaction, or having another become the designated egg expert in his outlet, McDonald’s actively helps its employees discover their leadership abilities in their own ways.
This is best summed up by their Employee Value Proposition philosophy, which is defined by the three Fs: Flexibility, Family and Future.
What this means is that employees are allowed the freedom to choose the working hours that best fit their lifestyle, be they homemakers, students, or active agers. The company is also dedicated to providing a supportive and nurturing family environment where staff can enjoy working and growing together.
But most importantly, employees are constantly given opportunities for advancement through the Archways to Opportunity, the company’s educational pathway.
The Archways provide restaurant business and leadership programmes for managers offering Workforce Skills Qualification certificates and diplomas in Food and Beverage (F&B) Operations, as well as a Diploma in Business Practice with Republic Polytechnic.
This means that through structured training and continuous education, every crew member has the opportunity to become a manager one day.
Sound too good to be true?
On the contrary. Today, there are over 50 per cent of Restaurant General Managers who started out as crew members.
Perhaps no employee better represents this group than Miss April Lee, who first started working part-time at McDonald’s at the age of 14.
Twelve years on, she is now the youngest Restaurant General Manager (RGM) in McDonald’s Singapore, and currently enrolled in the company-sponsored diploma programme at Republic Polytechnic, straddling both work and her continuing education.
A graduate of the Institute of Technical Education, Ms Lee never thought she would become an RGM, least of all, at just 25 years of age.
Her dedication to continuous improvement, willingness to go the extra mile and propensity to rise to the occasion made her the obvious choice for a managerial position, regardless of her youth.
“You must dare to dream,” Miss Lee says with a confident smile. “Only then can you achieve.”
The Aon Best Employers programme is a flagship programme by Aon designed to understand what differentiates best-in-class organisations from others, specifically in terms of their ability to drive high employee engagement, leadership effectiveness, high performance culture and a compelling employer brand.
Research by the Aon Best Employers survey shows that Best Employers in Asia Pacific achieve 24 per cent higher engagement, 17 per cent lower turnover, and 25 per cent stronger growth in sales than the average.
Established in 2000, the Aon Best Employers programme now spans 10 different markets in the region, including Australia, China, India, the Middle East, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Find out more at apac.aonhewitt.com/home.