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Diversity in business. Does it pay off?

Diversity in business.  Does it pay off?

Topics related to individual areas of ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance, i.e. related to the natural environment, society and corporate governance) were among the main topics discussed by the speakers and participants during the 31st Economic Forum in Karpacz. Business, government, and NGO representatives discussed ESG.

One of the discussions about business diversity took place in the McDonald’s region, where the company presented the 2021 ESG Report. McDonald’s Polska Experts – Renata Breeze, Director of People Division, and Barbara Gruenwald, a network franchisor, spoke with Marcin Petrikowski, President of Atende SA

See also: Renata Breeze, Director of Personnel Department, McDonald’s Polska during the Karpacz Economic Forum

What kind of customer, like this team

Let’s start the discussion about diversity in business with a simple but very important question: What gives companies the support for diversity within the organization, and at different levels of management? We look for the answer at McDonald’s, because here diversity is not a slogan, but a fact.

People of 26 nationalities work in more than 500 Polish restaurants of the brand, including. Ukraine, India, Belarus, Nigeria and Nepal. The youngest is 18 years old (during the summer vacation, the company also employs 16-year-olds for so-called light work), and the oldest is 73. Furthermore, persons with disabilities account for more than 7 percent. (The team of one of the restaurants consists largely of deaf), and foreigners – 12 percent. Generally. Employees also have different social roles, have different gender identity, different sexual orientation and different religion.

Teams like this are also more creative. People from different cultures think differently. I am convinced that working in such a diverse group, each employee will quickly discover the development opportunities available to him – Marcin Petrykowski, President of Atende SA . confirmed

A diverse team is also a tangible value to the company, part of which is financial profit. Because in a team like a mirror, the client can see himself. A client can be said a lot, but it is not homogeneous.

So the variety is a response to the needs of the client. The consumer is the decision maker who chooses the service provider. Moreover, he expects business to be homogeneous with him. Just as our team is different, they can respond to a client’s needs in a different way. Customer is the greatest value here – There is no doubt about Marcin Petrikovsky.

As a result of the refugee influx from Ukraine, approximately 42 million people are currently living in Poland. – So when I run a company, I have to hire Ukrainians, because on the other side I have 3 million Ukrainian consumers. If I don’t include them in the team, I will lose my impact on the environment – Atende chief argued.

After February 24, McDonald’s has already employed more than 4.2 thousand people. Ukrainians. – We were ready for that. For years, we have implemented appropriate procedures and documentation in three languages. We help with recruitment and finding an apartment. It’s normal for us – Renata Breeze confirmed.

McDonald’s, as a well-known and stable workplace – we have been on the Polish market for 30 years and work only under an employment contract – attracts employees from different countries and environments. For many, this is the first option. It is interesting that when the war began in Ukraine, girls from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus worked one shift in the restaurant. But what happens in major politics did not affect their relationship and the atmosphere of the team – says Barbara Grunwald, McDonald’s Polska franchisee.

In conflict situations, and such situations must necessarily occur, the responsibility for effectively resolving them lies with the leaders. They are the ones who should show employees the value of the different teams to each other and to the company.

It’s important not to sweep difficult subjects under the rug. It employs nearly 31 thousand. People, more than half of whom are women (about 63%, data from the company’s 2021 ESG report – editorial note), say “no” to any form of discrimination against our employees, including by restaurant guests. Comments about skin color or origin are not allowed at McDonald’s. We constantly teach leaders how to respond in such situations – confirms Renata Breeze and adds: – Everyone can feel safe with us, no matter who they are.

How can the company support its leaders in managing a diverse team? First of all, by implementing the approved strategies and then implementing them consistently.

The issue of access to jobs and equal pay in the same position for women and men remains a major challenge in the issue of diversity.

In the IT industry, because that’s where I work, there are very few women in the market, especially among engineers. The education system should be more open to women, and it should start with them, which it is not Marcin Petrikovsky.

Women make up 45 percent of McDonald’s board of directors, and 35 percent of franchisees. Moreover, it reaches 78 percent. Female restaurant managers at McDonald’s.

A woman who returns after maternity leave has flexible working hours and automatically receives a pay raise she missed while she was away. A woman who is going on maternity leave should know that she has nowhere to return and that a clear path to growth awaits her in that place. Nearly 95 percent of our restaurant managers have been promoted from lower positions – Renata Breeze reveals.

It is worth following these practices

Returning to the thesis made at the beginning that diversity at McDonald’s is not just an empty slogan, let’s finally mention some good practices that can also be successfully implemented in other organizations.

McDonald’s is a signatory to the Diversity Pact (an initiative supported by European CommissionWhich includes companies that oppose discrimination in the workplace and take action to promote diversity). Furthermore, the company has a diversity management strategy and, in collaboration with the Diversity Hub Foundation, has created an educational program aimed at reducing discriminatory attitudes and activities.

Article created in collaboration with McDonald’s

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