A game-changing, first-time leaders programme for McDonalds

The challenge

McDonald’s ‘Experience of the Future’ programme is the largest transformation the company has embarked on in 40 years and includes providing fresh food made to order and self-service kiosks. McDonald’s needed an inspiring training programme to develop the leadership skills of 12,000 new Shift Managers which are critical to the success of the initiative.

Past e-learning had been poorly received, so McDonald’s needed a bold new approach to win the hearts and minds of these tech-savvy first-time managers, predominantly aged 18-23 years. Kallidus was tasked with creating three highly immersive, multi-media rich e-learning modules to drive improvements in customer service and employee retention across 1,280 UK restaurants.

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GAME-BASED MODULES
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MANAGER CONFIDENCE INCREASE
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CUSTOMER SATISFICATION INCREASE
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LEADER KNOWLEDGE INCREASE

Creating a real-world learning environment

We developed a course which simulates ‘a day in the life of Suhail’, a new shift manager at McDonald’s. A highly authentic restaurant setting immerses new shift managers in their own world. Video, audio and photography all taken at McDonald’s restaurants combined with animated 3D characters, developed using Adobe Fuse, help build an emotional connection with the learner.

Through the eyes of Suhail learners have to solve many of the challenges they’ll face in a typical day as a Shift Manager. The consequences of their decisions are played out using imaginative scripting and branching scenarios. Learners practice new skills and receive constructive feedback to help them understand how to run a more productive and efficient restaurant.

Making learning fun

We used gameful design techniques and inspiring narrative to boost engagement. The use of gamification design elements, such as a mini ‘rock, paper, scissors’ game at the beginning of a module, draw learners in from the start, and make the learning interactive and fun. Game-style screens provide an isometric ‘sims’ style view of the whole restaurant.

Knowledge is tested in a fun way. For example, learners are presented with daily situations such as a growing queue of people requiring another till to be opened, and have to decide whether the scenario is a ‘danger zone’ that requires managerial action.

Exceeding expectations

Our innovative e-learning design has exceeded everybody’s expectations. The first tranche of new Shift Managers completing the course resulted in a number of significant benefits:

  • Customer satisfaction and the quality of food/drink increased by 3%
  • Speed of service increased by 4%
  • Crew turnover and shift manager turnover decreased by 4% and 1% respectively
  • Knowledge of shift leadership increased from 42% to 85%
  • 88% of new shift managers feel more confident in their role having completed the course
  • 87% of learners expect to apply over 75% of the programme to their job

“The innovative e-learning design has exceeded both learner and key stakeholder expectations on every level. I’m delighted that we have the best levels of engagement we have seen in e-learning and tangible improvements to customer service, food quality, speed of service, cleanliness and staff retention thanks to the quality of the course and the role it plays in driving lasting behavioural change and transforming the customer experience.”

Tony Manwani, McDonald’s L&D Consultant for the programme

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