Q & A with Michael, our Area Supervisor
What are three reasons you enjoy working at McDonald's® ?
First, I would have to say the people I work with.
Working with the Henry Organization, I found friendships that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to make. Working with them is like working with family. We all form a team, and it’s that environment that really produces a drive and desire to not only come to work every day, but to make each day matter.
Second, I love the opportunities that are available to everyone. This company - and the Henry’s in particular - always has the big picture in mind and promotes an atmosphere in which people can succeed. I started with them as a crewmember back when I was seventeen years old. Many people told me that this was only a temporary job and that there was no future. Well, McDonald’s, the Henry Organization and I all felt differently, and my record shows it. I was promoted at the age of eighteen to Swing Manager and never stopped working to achieve more. I knew that hard work, determination, and motivation would help me succeed. Seeing others succeed around me made me push myself harder.
Third, I love that our organization takes such an active roll in our communities. This helps establish strong ties to the people and customers we serve outside of the normal everyday business. Participating in various events throughout the year, such as running a booth at the MN teachers conference, cooking at the Ronald McDonald House® and being part of the Cinco de Mayo festivities, shows that we genuinely care about the people in our communities and strive to make a positive impact in their lives.
Why did you choose to make McDonald's your career?
I began working for McDonald’s when I was seventeen years old. I started as crew working evenings after school. Many people said that this was not a place where I could support a family. They said this was a dead end job with no chance for any sort of career. I had a hard time making them understand that this was not the case. There were opportunities there, but like anything, they required time and dedication. I made it a point to take every class and learn every new skill that I could to prove the naysayers wrong. I knew that there were doors that would open for me if only I could find the address and knock.
Looking back, these same people also told me that getting married to my high school sweetheart right out of high school wasn’t the best move- that it would end badly. We’ve just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. Clearly they just didn’t see things as well as I did. I just passed my 15th year with McDonald’s. Both relationships – professional and personal - only get better with age.
What makes your career at McDonald's rewarding?
I love that everyday is something different. I get the opportunity to work day in and day out with coworkers that are more like friends. We share the same goals. Not everyone can say that.
What are the best parts of your job?
One of the highlights is attending the huge national conferences. Not only do we get the chance to travel (usually to a warmer climate than Minnesota), but also we get to meet some great people and learn new skills at the same time. Brainstorming on a huge scale can bring about the best ideas and really proves that this is a company that aims for teamwork among its employees.
What skills and values have you learned during your career at McDonald's?
Teamwork would be number one. This is an organization that personifies teamwork. No one person can do it all. We have to constantly rely on others to keep things running smoothly.
With teamwork comes respect. When dealing with so many different people, cultures, beliefs and attitudes. Respecting everyone is critical in keeping people motivated and reducing turn over.
Third would be problem solving. You can’t work with an average of 50 -60 people per store without knowing how to positively work through issues that arise.
What would you tell people who are considering a career at McDonald's?
Educate yourself to know what opportunities are out there. Having a goal and a path in mind can make all the difference. Once you know what you want- work for it. Nothing in life comes without time and dedication. You need to stay motivated, and always push yourself towards the goal in mind. If you do that, you will succeed.
How has your restaurant's owner/operator played a role in your success?
The Henry Organization showed me from very early on that if I put in the time and energy to work towards a goal they would support me. Once that goal or promotion was obtained, it wasn’t the end. They made it a priority to reward hard work and, that, in turn, made me want to work harder.
What values have you learned from your restaurant's owner/operator?
Consistency. The Henry’s have shown through example time and time again that if I put in the hard work, it will pay off. Leading by example is the best way to really show that you believe in something or someone.
Integrity. The Henry’s have always stood by their word regardless of the matter. This promotes trust with everyone that works for them.
Enjoy it. Although it’s not a value so to speak, they make a point to really enjoy the time that they dedicate to the organization. They are the perfect example that you can have fun and success at the same time.
Karen King, President of McDonald's USA's East Division received the Women's Foodservice Forum Leadership Award April 2011.