HRM 532 Assignment 1: Bank of America or McDonalds Case Study

Assignment 1: McDonald’s Case Study 

HRM 532

Talent management program that led to the success of the company:

The talent management program was created out of the need for a more dependable and disciplined approach. A pressing need for change was made a matter of urgency at the organization when it started experiencing financial losses. The first indication that there was a problem with talent management was the fact that McDonald’s managers were outstanding in their work, and as such, the origin of the financial failure could not be attributed to inadequate managerial performance. This led to a multidisciplinary approach regarding talent management where the people, product, place, price, and promotion components were emphasized upon. For the people element to be considered a success, they had to be fast and friendly, delighting, and well trained to be able to meet customer needs. The metric used for assessing the products was the great taste, many varieties, and high quality depicted by hot and fresh foods. The place component would be measured against tidy, relevant, and appealing stores. With regards to the price component, the company’s products had to be affordable, while giving the greatest value to most of its customers. Finally, the success of the promotion component would be judged against consistency with the brand and relevance to customers. The five components were expected to lead to the attainment of global effectiveness in talent management (Goldsmith & Carter, 2009).

For McDonald’s to succeed in its talent management program, it needed to have a balance between local and global approaches to managing the workforce. It was pertinent to the organization to develop a connection with the local communities through bringing on people who understood the needs and preferences of the local people. As such, a “plan to win” strategy was introduced as a tactic that would give direction to the talent management program. The strategy was founded upon four pillars consisting of satisfying customer needs, supporting the global campaign, ensuring the development of key competencies, and having an aligned strategy. The staff at the organization was expected to employ the company’s global culture and values in their undertaking (Goldsmith & Carter, 2009).

All the initiatives at McDonald’s are aligned with customer satisfaction. The experience of employees, as well as efficient customer service, is expected to be employed throughout the whole organization so as to result in enhanced customer satisfaction. Managers provide a conducive work environment that inspires employees to exhibit satisfactory performance, which enables the company to realize its goals and objectives. Employee feedback is also regarded as being vital to the performance of the organization, and McDonald’s has put in place a system that evaluates employee satisfaction with regards to factors such as support, appreciation, availability of resources, skill utilization, and remuneration (Goldsmith & Carter, 2009).

One of the initiatives of the program was a performance development system design that sought to emphasize upon differentiation in performance, openness to change, and accountability for results. This was developed out of the realization that current review of performance was based on past successful results and that there were no major differences in performance between the managers. The changes included the addition of performance measurements regarding how tasks were executed by managers, through the addition of metrics that measured behavior. Secondly, the 5-point rating scale was eliminated to pave the way for a 4-point rating scale that would solve the issue of inflated ratings. Thirdly, a compensation plan that ensured better compensation for top achievers was rolled out. Finally, the competencies for establishing potential were revised to include guidelines that were more specific regarding the timeline for promotions (Goldsmith & Carter, 2009).

The second initiative introduced at McDonald’s concerns global succession planning and development, and it entailed input from the managers heading various regions. They assessed talent requirement over three subsequent years, development of the existing talent pool, and the identification of diversity gaps. Based on the answers provided, gaps in talent management were identified, which led to the formulation of strategies that would solve the weaknesses identified in the talent review process. The third initiative is known as the Leadership at the McDonald’s Program, and it was established so as to aid in the development of high-potential talent through strengthening their capabilities. The program utilized to group and individual coaching to achieve its objective. In particular, the high-performers were given training on how to improve business results, identify opportunities for growth and development, gain insight into their capabilities, and build peer networks with internal and external peers (Goldsmith & Carter, 2009).

The fourth initiative regards the McDonald’s Leadership Development Institute that was designed to cater for leaders above the director level. It provides a culture of learning by encouraging networking with global leaders, providing tools for needs assessment, planning of development and transitions, provision of information regarding the organization and its industry, practices, leadership, and availing development experiences to smoothen career transitions. The fifth initiative is the Global Leadership Development Program, which targets the managing directors and other high potential officers. The program is aimed at enhancing the leadership skills of the participants and building peer networks for the participants. It is undertaken every two years and comprises of individuals from different countries (Goldsmith & Carter, 2009).

Strengths of the program:

The performance development system was effective in that it allowed for more realistic recognition of potential. This way, managers would be promoted based on their merit, as it is easy to identify managers who deserve promotions. The current measures are contrary to the measures that were put in place before, as most of the managers were seen as having potential, which presented the organization with challenges in succession. The current program is also effective in addressing global talent needs, as openings for managing director roles will constitute a global search for the best employee for that a position rather than only restricting the organization to local employees. This ensures that McDonald’s gets to have the best employees, as a global talent pool is more superior to a local talent pool.

The initiative that led to the McDonald’s Leadership Development Institute can be regarded as a success as it allows workers to mingle with global leaders. They are also enabled to form networks with their peers, which is beneficial to them as they get to share their ideas and experiences, which helps them to mitigate challenges that they might encounter in the process of fulfilling their duties at McDonald’s. It also gives them insight into what their profession entails and they can come up with genuine ideas that lead to the growth and development of the organization. The Global Leadership Development Program exposes high performing managers to global management skills. This is important as multinational companies achieve more efficiency when they can adapt to the changing needs of global customers (Stahl et al, 2012). Having a global approach ensures that the company remains relevant as it can streamline operations and enhance effectiveness and generate customer satisfaction.

Opportunities for improvement:

The talent management program allows for comparisons between employee performances. Categorizing workers in groups based on their performance may demotivate workers who showcase lower scores. As stated by Hancock, Allen and Pierce (2013), low motivation in workers may lead to high rates of turnover due to employee dissatisfaction. The LAMP program only empowers high-achievers, who make up a small percentage of the entire workforce. The rest of the workers are left without a program that builds upon their competencies and abilities. It would be better if a program were designated to the four categories of achievers, where they would be empowered according to their competencies. However, the programs for the rest of the workers need not be as complex and entailing as the LAMP program, but it should address their performance issues nonetheless. This would tackle talent management challenges in the whole organization rather than focusing on a few individuals.

Effective approaches to meet future talent management challenges:

The current strategies employed at McDonald’s are only aimed at empowering employees to enhance their capabilities. Only the high-performing employees are rewarded, overlooking other average performers who also contribute towards the realization of the organization’s goals and objectives. This may lead to low employee satisfaction, which may inhibit employee loyalty and result in high turnover rates. To mitigate this challenge, employee satisfaction should be enhanced through the creation of strategies that retain talent. Attracting talent may be easy, but retaining the best talent requires a proactive approach (Hancock, Allen & Pierce, 2013). For instance, McDonald’s should introduce a program that recognizes the successful achievement of short-term goals. This would guarantee that employees feel appreciated, a factor that enhances their employee satisfaction.

McDonald’s can consider introducing talent mapping. Garavan, Carbery, and Rock (2012) define talent mapping as the process that matches the talent at hand to the talent that will be needed in future to sustain business activities. Currently, McDonald’s only considers the current needs of the organization when developing employee talent. The business world is constantly changing, and today’s business needs may be irrelevant with the passage of time. As such, the company needs to forecast its future business requirements so that it can empower its employees to tackle future challenges when the time arises. By doing so, the organization will always be a step ahead of its competitors, a factor that will translate to enhanced competitive advantage and increased financial returns.


Garavan, T. N., Carbery, R., & Rock, A. (2012). Mapping talent development: definition, scope,

and architecture. European Journal of Training and Development, 36(1), 5-24.

Goldsmith, M., & Carter, L. (2009). Best practices in talent management: how the world’s

leading corporations manage, develop, and retain top talent. John Wiley & Sons.

Hancock, J. I., Allen, D. G., & Pierce, C. A. (2013). A meta-analytic review of employee

turnover as a predictor of firm performance. Journal of Management, 39(3), 573-603.

Stahl, G., Björkman, I., Farndale, E., Morris, S. S., Paauwe, J., Stiles, P., & Wright, P. (2012).

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