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2 min read

How McDonald’s® Uses Sincere & Specific Recognition to Reinforce its Values

This is a transcript of a live Leadership Conversation between Jostle CEO Brad Palmer and Len Jillard, Chief People Officer for McDonald’s Canada. This is part 3 of a 9 part series.

Brad: [In part 2 of this interview we talked about the importance of values and how leaders reflect them.] I want to jump back to recognition. How do you do that in a way that’s specific and believable rather than just rah rah?

Len: You’ve got to be sincere in terms of what you say. I think that’s a really good question. I think it ties back into that believability of family/friends. That when we’re doing recognition at any level, we tie it back to specific accomplishments and the underlying story. It might be the restaurant manager celebrating a record lunch hour service with his staff. There will be a bit of rah rah there, but it’s tied to a specific team accomplishment, recognizing what was accomplished as a team. It’s a celebration of that achievement and what the team did that was special today, what they accomplished together.

You tie it back into that employee value proposition. That’s why they came to work for you. It’s because there’s a piece of them that says I like to feel part of something special and you’re helping me feel something special through family/friends, and through the rewards and recognition. But at the same time, and I think this is where you’re headed, you do have to spend the time to make sure -- particularly when it’s a major award -- that the person really deserves it and reflected our values while achieving it.

We go through a process for some of our major awards where the region will submit their nominations, and that will flow through their department officer, and so on. Then it gets to our executive team, where the five of us sit down and we review it. We know who the people are and we look at the nomination and we have a pretty robust discussion around it. We take it very seriously in terms of who gets the awards.

Leadership Conversations publishes each Monday and Wednesday in the Jostle Blog. Subscribe to make sure you do not miss the next episode.

About Len Jillard

Len began his career with the company in 1972 in London, Ontario as a crew person. He has worked in a number of mid and senior management positions throughout the Canadian operation. Len also spent three years, from 1995 to 1997, with McDonald’s Mexico as the Senior Director of Operations.

In January 2002, Len became Vice President of the Western Canada Region, overseeing all aspects of the Western Canadian operation. In 2005, Len was named to his current role as Senior Vice President, People Resources and Chief People Officer, in which he is responsible for carrying out the McDonald’s People Promise to value each and every employee across the country.

Len has always made it a priority to dedicate his time and expertise to McDonald’s charitable efforts, serving on the board of Ronald McDonald House in London, Ontario for more than seven years and as a member of the Society for Ronald McDonald House Vancouver.

About Leadership Conversations

At Jostle we recognize the importance of people-focused leadership. In fact, we are so passionate about how leaders engage employees, drive culture and catalyze collaboration that we seek out top people-oriented leaders to explore these topics with us through our Leadership Conversations series in the Jostle Blog. If you know a people oriented leader you feel should be included in this series, please contact us at leaders@jostle.me. There is no requirement that they are using the Jostle People Engagement® platform.


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