- McDonald's launched a mobile app that will allow employees to "maximize education benefits and take the next step in their professional journey," the company announced Jan. 22.
- The app, created in partnership with both the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and Inside Track, comes as a career advising tool for restaurant workers. It connects users to InsideTrack advisors who will "support, coach and help them chart a path" to their career goals, which may further their tenure at McDonald's or take them elsewhere, the company noted.
- App users can access an interest assessment and career exploration experience, aimed to identify potential careers paths. They can also explore career opportunities at McDonald's restaurants and its corporate headquarters that align with their interests and skills.
As the company pointed out in its announcement, this initiative builds on several other programs McDonald's has launched in the learning space. Its Archways to Opportunity program enables employees to work on their English language skills, earn a high school diploma and access tuition assistance, among other things.
It's important to note, as McDonald's does in fine print on its website, that "most McDonald's restaurants are operated by independent franchisees who are independent employers, and set their own employment policies and practices, including pay and benefits." Still, the restaurant claims to have awarded $63 million in high school and college tuition assistance.
The app McDonald's has launched encapsulates a few trends. Many employers are looking to enhance their internal talent infrastructure in hopes more talent rises through the ranks, reducing the need to hire externally. In fact, Jason Tyszko, vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, named this phenomenon an upcoming trend for employers in 2020.
The app's ability to connect workers with learning benefits not only points to employers' struggle to get workers to use their benefits, but also may highlight McDonald's effort to rebrand itself. The restaurant has been plagued by bad headlines including allegations of workplace violence, sexual harassment and discrimination. Its initiative to help workers advance in their careers — even if that growth takes them elsewhere — may help the restaurant redefine its image as an employer.