Multi-generational workforce can boost happiness, says McDonald’s

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Multi-generational workforce can boost happiness, says McDonald’s

Related tags: Employment

Businesses with employees of different ages can boost employee happiness and productivity, and increase customer satisfaction, according to research from fast food giant McDonald’s.

In a survey of over 32,000 UK McDonald’s employees, employee happiness was found to be 10 per cent higher among those who worked in a team with a mix of ages, compared to those who worked only with people of their own age or peer group.

Similarly, in a poll of 1,000 customers, 84 per cent said they would like to see a mix of ages in a restaurant team, 60 per cent said they expected better service as a result, and 44 per cent said it would create a good atmosphere in the restaurant itself.

Another survey of 5,000 potential employees – across five working generations, from age 16 to those in their 80s ‒ found that adults of all ages would see a multi-age workforce as a priority (58 per cent).

McDonald’s itself employs over 110,000 people in the UK, from 16 year-olds born in the year 2000 – who are now able to take up part-time roles ‒ to its oldest UK employee, 91-year-old Bill Dudley.

The research comes as the group is halfway through a refurbishment programme, which will see touch-screen kiosks installed in all restaurants, and the creation of 5,000 new jobs by the end of 2017.

Claire Hall, chief people officer, McDonald’s UK, said: “This summer marks an important milestone in the workplace as people born in the year 2000 take up part-time roles. Yet…the value of a multigenerational workforce to business is little understood. 

“People join McDonald’s for different reasons but what they want from their jobs is the same: a flexible, fun working environment and to meet and learn from others. The skills we look for such as teamwork, time management and good communication aren’t the prerequisite of any particular age group.”

Employee Katie Turney, aged 20, said: “I work part time at McDonald’s during my holidays around studying Veterinary Medicine. I love working with different generations; I’ve learnt so much from some older colleagues about more practical things like personal finance.”

Ken Stones, a grandfather aged 74 and part-time McDonald’s employee, said: “I really enjoy working at McDonald’s and have done for the eight years I have been there. [All the young people] keep me young and give me a good laugh.”

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