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Training 1.5 million employees – a logistical challenge

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With over 28,000 outlets across 120 countries, and a product and service standardisation across all of those outlets, McDonald’s burger chain has a big task in maintaining training consistency through the organisation.

The organisation cannot afford to stand still in its training activities, and keeping some 1.5 million employees upto date in training could be a sizeable logistical challenge. It’s a challenge which has led the organisation to look at the possibilities offered by e-learning, and using e-learning solutions provider DigitalThink (based in the United States) they are now trialing an e-learning programme across five countries.

Pat Crull, Vice President of Worldwide Training, Learning and Development at McDonald’s said, “We view our e-learning strategy as critical to our restaurants around the world. McDonald’s will pilot its e-learning initiative, designed for restaurant employees in several countries, delivered initially in five languages. Instructional content will include an orientation to McDonald’s and its standards of quality, service, cleanliness, hospitality, restaurant operations and food safety. The design of this Web-based curriculum is modelled after the “just-in-time” principles for learning. This type of training enables restaurant employees to learn on-demand, thereby enhancing the learning experience. McDonald’s plans to add new areas of instruction to the e-learning curriculum each year as the program unfolds and expects to significantly increase efficiency and effectiveness of learning.”

Pete Goettner, Chairman and CEO of DigitalThink, said, “DigitalThink has the instructional, creative and technological capabilities to reach hundreds of thousands of individuals simultaneously through e-learning, all while tracking each interaction and enabling key stakeholders in a company to measure the ROI of the effort,”

Paul Pastrone, the managing director of DigitalThink in the UK, said, “McDonald’s has the largest training operations in the world and their training programmes cover every aspect of the business. McDonald’s is using our solution because the company gets consistency in the way the training is delivered, without the spin of individual trainers.”

A US study by the Corporate University Exchange estimates that by 2003, 40% of corporate learning will take place over the Internet.

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