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Next Practices at McDonald's and Sears

How does McDonald's enhance its employee value proposition? What is Sears' new approach to performance management?

Last week, we highlighted next practices from LinkedIn, Amtrak and Flex, and now two more have been published to provide insight into these questions. While the full case studies are exclusive to i4cp member companies, summaries of each are available below.

McDonald's and Sears are among the semi-finalists for i4cp's Next Practice Award. The winner will be announced at the i4cp 2016 Conference: Next Practices Now, March 29 – April 1, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

How McDonald's is Improving Its Employee Value Proposition

McDonaldsMcDonald’s, like many businesses, is challenged by recruitment, retention, and employee capability concerns. At the same time, the organization is focused on improving its employee value proposition and positively impacting consumer sentiment about the McDonald’s brand. The organization wants to drive the conversation about McDonald’s from being just an employer to a first time employer that provides job skills and education opportunities to enhance employees' contributions to both the workplace and society. Additionally, providing educational opportunities is a key driver to increasing manager and crew retention, engagement, and capability.

Investing in workforce education is the shared value proposition that advances the competitiveness of McDonald’s and simultaneously advances the economic and social condition of the communities in which they do business. Because of McDonalds' size and scale, the company believes it can be part of the solution to the challenge presented by the education gap in the U.S.

In March of 2015, Archways to Opportunity was announced to the McDonald’s U.S. system. Archways to Opportunity is an overarching education strategy that helps people at their point of need—whether it's learning English-language skills, getting a high school diploma, or completing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. It also includes resources and support, such as tuition assistance and advising services, to help remove the many barriers to pursuing educational goals.

Read more about McDonald's Archways to Opportunity program (i4cp members only)

Sears' New Approach to Performance Management

Sears HoldingsThere is a rapidly growing sentiment among HR practitioners that traditional approaches to performance management often fail to deliver the desired result of continuously improving performance. Starting in the fall of 2013, a team at Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC), a leading integrated retailer focused on seamlessly connecting the digital and physical shopping experiences to serve its members, set out to learn from what other leading-edge companies have done to transform performance management. They also considered the latest research in neuroscience and psychology in order to help overhaul the traditional performance processes for the salaried associate population of approximately 20,000 associates.

The result was a completely new approach to performance built around quarterly goal setting leveraging Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), continuous crowdsourced feedback, and quarterly check-in conversations.

SHC's senior leadership team aligned on the objectives of what a newly redesigned approach to performance should provide:

  • A simple and intuitive solution that engages talent.
  • A more consistent point of view on performance across the company through actionable feedback from multiple sources.
  • Drive regular two-way conversations between managers and associates for performance and development.
  • Balance the focus on what associates deliver with how it is accomplished.

Early results indicate a strong relationship between use of the new approach and performance tools and improvements in broader performance trends for these associates.

Read more about SHC's new approach to performance management(i4cp members only)

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Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.