Unit 6 Managing a Successful Business Project Assignment Sample 1

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Introduction

This report is primarily aimed at discussing the prevalence and importance of talent management strategies at McDonalds Corporation. The kind of talent management strategy followed, the advantages and disadvantages offered by it and in respect of that, how a new talent management strategy can be made applicable shall be discussed here. A basic data collection mechanism through secondary and primary research shall be undertaken. Since the primary data collection in respect of the whole organization worldwide would be an inconvenient task and since the talent management strategies followed at each store of McDonalds are more or less uniform, the usual talent management practice of a store shall be taken into consideration in order draw a diverse understanding of the whole organization and draw down some recommendations. The Business Manager and the Assistant Manager of the Queensland based McDonalds stores in London shall be interviewed along with a questionnaire to be distributed among 30 employees of the organization. The collective data gathered from the employees and managers shall be analysed backed by articles and documents in order to find the faults in the prevalent talent management strategy and based on the shortcomings, a new strategy is suggested.

McDonalds was founded in 1940 as a restaurant owned and operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. The chain has around 38695 restaurants under its vicinity, and employs approximately 2,10,000 employees on a worldwide scale, and has earned a total revenue of $21.08 billion as of 2019 (Lock, 2020).

LO1: Establishing project aims, objectives, and timeframes based on the chosen theme

Aims and objectives of the Project

  • The main aim of the project is to study and analyse the already existing talent management strategies in a store of McDonalds.
  • To study the existing practices and find the shortages in them from the employees and the managers.
  • To review the present resources, environment, cost, risks associated with scope, and form a new talent management scheme for the company.
  • To make use of both primary research and secondary research for finding out the gap between the world class talent management strategies and the one which is followed by the company.
  • Preparation of a Gnat chart to give direction and a pictorial representation to the steps that have to be encountered.
  • To devise a monitoring scheme for the correct functioning of the new talent management scheme.
  • To reflect on the learning and the experiences through which the author went while doing the project.

Producing a project management plan

A work breakdown structure:

The whole Project management plan would involve:

  • Analysing problems and carrying out secondary research.
  • Preparing the questionnaire and the interview documents.
  • Interviewing the two managers and communicating with the 30 sample employees.
  • Analysing, comparing, and drawing down meaning from secondary and primary research.
  • Understanding the faults and devising a new talent management strategy.
  • Undertaking the change and monitoring it.

Aspects of cost, scope, time, quality, communication, risk, and resources:

  • Data Collection: The data collection shall be done based on primary as well as secondary research. The primary research shall be conducted on employees and the two managers. Secondary data shall be collected from company reports, articles and websites.
  • Time Estimates and time plan: the whole work would require around 10 months. The understanding of the problem related to talent management has to be primarily done which will be completed by the first month. This would be followed by preparing the necessary documents for data collection. Two months would be required for this. Then come to the physical interview sessions which would require another two months. The rest time shall be required to analyse the collected data and based upon the understanding, a suitable talent management strategy has to be framed. Last but not the least, the final two months would be one of the essential portions where the success factor of the new strategy shall be examined and closely monitored.
  • Resource plan: The Whole project would require around $1170. The resource shall be provided by the company out of the part of its profit. A legal document for the sanction of the necessary amount has to be forwarded and on the basis of that, the money shall be sanctioned by the higher authorities of the Company. It has to be kept in mind that almost all of the sores of McDonalds across the UK follow the same kind of talent management strategy. So, carrying out the research in a single store would help to understand the talent management strategies that are even followed up elsewhere. Therefore, the entire capital resource shall be sponsored by the company.
  • Cost Plan: The cost breakup can be provided as follows, (Preparing the interview question and printing the questionnaires=$50 + Transportation costs=$100 + Installing data processing software=$120 + Hiring experts to find faults and help to strengthen the new talent management plan=$600 + Hiring experts to closely monitor the whole process and application of the new talent management strategy=$300. Total cost=$1170).
  • Scope plan: The scope of the whole project can be said to be huge. Since it would help the company to completely revolutionize its talent management plans across the majority of its stores, the company shall be benefited by being able to retain talented staff, incurring lower costs on high labour turnover. It shall also be able to save up its training costs since hiring new staff would put a huge cost burden on the company.
  • Quality plan: The assessment of affairs of quality is an important aspect of the whole project. Regular review of the new talent management plan has to be ensured by making a weekly report about the labour turnover rate in order to ensure that a standard is being maintained throughout it functioning (Stevenson, 2018) The most appropriate talent management strategy has to be advised to McDonalds which would be apt as per its structure and way of operations.
  • Risk and communication plans: The foremost risk would be the correct collection of data. Employees and managers can give false information due to some negligence on their part or due to some unwanted pressure put on them by the higher authorities (Accenture, 2019). Further, due to a shortage in the communication mechanism, delay of allocation of the funds by the company, the timeline of the whole project may get delayed and this would incur a huge costs burden. So, communication has to be kept with the subjects of data collection as well as with the company through regular phone calls and emails.

Gantt chart:

Figure 1: Gantt Chart

Particulars

1st Month

2nd and 3rd Month

3rd to 5th Month

5th to 7th Month

7 to 8th Month

8th Month to 10th month and beyond

Analysing of problems and carrying out a

secondary research

           

Preparing the questionnaire and the interview documents

           

Interviewing the two managers and communicating with the 30 sample employees

           

Analysing, comparing and drawing down

meaning from the secondary and primary research

           

Understanding the faults and devising new talent management strategy

           

Undertaking the change and monitoring it.

           
             

(Source: Authors Creation)

Project management plan, milestone schedule and project schedule for monitoring and completing the aims and objectives

The milestones consist of each definite part related to designing the plan. The first milestone is conducting the primary survey on the managers and employees, the second milestone is related to comparing the primary and secondary data and reaching on a common ground and the last milestone is constantly monitoring the plan and mitigating any deviations. The monitoring process involves analysing the labour turnover rates as well as their individual productivity. A weekly report of the performance of each employee also needs to be updated by the managers. Employees should also have a dedicated complaint cell at the stores so that shortcomings of the talent management strategy can be known and monitored well (Westland, 2020).

LO2: Conducting small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project

The primary research that shall be a part of this project would consist of both quantitative and qualitative aspects. The primary material shall be predominantly derived from interviews of both managers and employees of the McDonalds branch as mentioned earlier. The interviews with managers shall be more qualitative in nature given the specialised nature of work that the managers are engaged in. It would be necessary to elicit their personal points of view regarding the identification and encouragement of talent with respect to their managerial roles within the organizational framework. Therefore, a standard questionnaire would quite predictably prove inadequate to determine the specific ways in which the managers might use their faculties to develop appropriate talent management strategies. The employees on the other hand shall be quantitatively evaluated with an online questionnaire which shall attempt at shedding light on their opinions and experiences regarding the organizations talent management policies.

First, in the interviews of the Business manager and the Assistant manager several questions were asked regarding their roles in the organisation with respect to talent management of employees. Since the interviews were qualitative there were significant differences in the responses of the managers even in the case of similar queries. On being asked how they identified potential talent in a specific employee, they posited views that were quite distinct from one another. The Business manager demonstrated a more bureaucratic attitude towards his interactions with employees. He relied less on personal interaction and observation within the workplace and more on objective indicators on performance. His perspective was distant and he seemed to have little awareness about his employees except for their performance levels and designated roles. His role is typical of what one understands as bureaucratic leadership and its effects on the talent management strategies of the organization shall be discussed in the following section.

The Assistant Managers approach towards his role in the organization was quite different from his immediate superior. He preferred accomplishing his role by observing and interacting with his employees from close quarters. On being asked how he determined whether a specific employee was talented in certain respects, he had no definite answer to offer. He rather mentioned the names of certain employees and tried to explain in what ways they might be more or less efficient when compared to other workers. He seemed to have a keen understanding of the individual specialities and skill-sets of his employees and considered objective markers of productivity to be poor indicators of the possibility of future growth. When asked why he pointed out that he keeps in mind various factors other than individual levels of productivity when evaluating an employees potential for growth. He added that in an organization which makes use of division of labour and teamwork an employees contribution is contingent upon the same of his/her team members. As can be understood from the interview, his approach integrates elements from varied kinds of leadership including democratic, transactional and transformational leadership and its implications on the organizations existing talent management policies shall be discussed in the following section.

Finally, the employees were presented with a questionnaire that included five questions regarding their training, roles and their experiences regarding the organizations talent management strategies. Since, the work involved in McDonalds is primarily of an unskilled and semi-skilled nature, talent in this respect has to be conceived of in a manner that is different from the same in a scenario that involves skilled or specialised work (Miltimore, 2019). This study therefore tries to develop certain standards of measuring talent in the specific organizational structure in order to determine where the existing strategies for the identification and management of talent are adequate to ensure success and competitiveness of the organisation.

LO3: Presenting the project and communicating appropriate recommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from the analysis

As can be inferred from the interviews of the managers there is a noticeable discord between the approaches of the Business manager and Assistant manager in their treatment of employees.

The Business manager, with his proclivity towards objectivity, seeks to measure talent in quantifiable terms. But as Lisbeth Claus (2020) demonstrates, conventional talent management practices seem to have little effect in addressing the needs of workers. Therefore, new kinds of talent management practitioners are trying to develop standards of measuring and identifying talent through a variety of integrative approaches that include design thinking, agile management and behavioural economics (Lefebvre and Kotler, 2011). Although such terms will be of little applicability within the limited scope of a single McDonalds store, the business managers inability to think off the beaten track presents a problem to the future of the organisation. Therefore, the business managers approach that relies only on individual productivity in objective terms can often prove detrimental to the broader interests of the organisation. His approach discounts some crucial indicators of talent in employees that might escape the quantifying mechanism. In the factory model of food production that McDonalds relies on, there are aspects in the daily work of an employee that might demand his/her deftness and presence of mind which cannot be calculated. For example, in matters relating to interaction with customers and in preparing certain kinds of consumables the Business manager shall be completely oblivious to the special abilities of the employees and shall therefore be unable to harness those skills in the future.

The Assistant manager on the other hand shows remarkable sensitivity towards the abilities of the employees. Not only is he mindful of the hidden potential of his workers he also seems to be acutely aware of their problems. In the interview he mentioned about his tendency to be amidst his employees while working so that he can closely observe their experiences in work. He seems to exert an immense positive influence over his workers and his approach towards leadership which contains democratic, transformational and transactional aspects would be able to address a number of practical exigencies that might arise in the workplace.

As Jim Fisher (2016) illustrates, an integrative model that borrows from various kinds of leadership practices is more well-equipped to handle and adapt to the different contingencies that form a part of any workplace. The Assistant managers method of identifying talent in his employees relies on more subjective parameters that include a consideration for both individual productivity and other factors like ability to communicate, quality of customer service and punctuality. Therefore, his specific leadership approach might ensure that the unrealized potential of the employees shall be able to develop within the workplace. He offers encouragement and symbolic incentives to the employees in order to enhance their productivity and is also astute enough to point out the areas in which they might need improvement. In this context, it can be recommended that the top managerial position should have more flexibility and nuance in addressing the requirements of the workplace. An integrative leadership approach, if applied in a holistic manner, can greatly improve the present talent management strategy of the workplace.

Table 1: Response Sheet of the questionnaire

 

Particulars

Responses

% of Responses

Q1.

Do you think the training procedure was relevant to your actual work?

   
 

Yes

5

16.66666667

 

No

20

66.66666667

 

Can't say

5

16.66666667

 

Total Respondents

30

100

       

Q2.

Do you think the management body is sensitive to your individual talent?

   
 

Yes

7

23.33333333

 

No

13

43.33333333

 

Can't say

10

33.33333333

 

Total Respondents

30

100

       

Q3.

Do you think managers are aware of your skills and issues in relation to your work?

   
 

Yes

5

16.66666667

 

No

20

66.66666667

 

Can't say

5

16.66666667

 

Total Respondents

30

100

       

Q4.

Do you think the talent management strategy needs to be improved?

   
 

Yes

20

66.66666667

 

No

10

33.33333333

 

Can't say

0

0

 

Total Respondents

30

100

       

Q5.

Are you sufficiently rewarded for the contributions towards the company?

   
 

Yes

10

33.33333333

 

No

18

60

 

Can't say

2

6.666666667

 

Total Respondents

30

100

       

Q6.

What kind of improvements in rewards do you want?

   
 

Increase in salaries and bonus

13

43.33333333

 

Providing necessary promotions

12

40

 

Can't Say

5

16.66666667

 

Total Respondents

30

100

       

(Source: Authors Creation)

In response to the questionnaire which was provided to 30 of the employees, different sets of answers could be gathered. In response to the question which was asked regarding the relevance of the training to their work, almost 67% have reported it to be dis-coordinated and irrelevant. When asked whether the management was sensitive and aware about their individual talent, 43% replied negatively while only 23% replied in an optimistic tone. Further almost 67% of the employees when asked about the awareness of the managers regarding their skills and issues said a No. Most of them (67%) suggested that the talent management strategy should be improved and when asked they were sufficiently rewarded or not, 60% replied non-affirmatively. When asked about what improvements they could suggest, 40% demanded promotions and 43.3% demanded increase in salaries and bonus.

It can be understood from research that the employees of the store find the rewarding system to be flawed and find the management to be insensitive. This fact can also be proven from the interviews of the two managers, the Business Manager having a bureaucratic attitude would keep a distance from the employee and was insensitive to their individual problems or capabilities. He would hardly recognise their efforts and merely credited them based on performance.

It can be recommended that the talent management strategy of the organization should be more individualistic, humanistic and should be based upon understanding employees from close quarters. As suggested by the employees, they find the management to be unaware of their problems and talents. They need to be paid higher salaries, working conditions need to be improved as well as promotions on an annual or biannual basis has to be ensured. On top of salaries and promotions, employees need to be offered free holiday trip packages and trip vouchers frequently (Monteiro, 2020). Discounts coupons for shopping during festivals as well as a standard transport allowance also needs to be provided. The skills have to be valued and on the basis of that training and guidance needs to be equally provided to all the employees. Better cooperation and coordination has to be provided to the employees and they need to be constantly motivated and guided. A better motivation, guidance and cooperation shall help them to perform better. They shall feel their work being valued and this would aid in keeping employee turnover rates low (Hussain et al., 2018). The lower labour turnover would reduce the cost for the stores to hire new employees and better retainment of talents would also help in better implementation of policies and procedures. Since they are already experienced with the working pattern of the stores, their proper retainment would be the most profitable.

LO4: Reflecting on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance

The present project offers some useful practical insights regarding the day to day functioning of an organisation. Although the way in which the organization operates leaves little room for innovation for the employees in their daily routine of work, on the managerial level there is in fact a huge scope to demonstrate individual creativity. The managerial position provides enough autonomy for an individual to observe and evaluate the merits of employees and thereby assign them appropriate roles depending upon their special abilities. Therefore, the role of the manager is crucial in determining high productivity levels of the employees. With respect to our present inquiry which concerns the talent management practices of the organization it can be observed that in the absence of an active and coordinated talent management strategy the organisational structure relies largely on the individual nature of leadership where the lack of skilled management can greatly disrupt the sustainable functioning of the organisation.

It is evident from the present research project that the only positive influence towards the inculcation of an efficient talent management strategy within the organisation lies in the mode of operation of the Assistant manager. His proximity to the employees has helped him develop specialised knowledge about the system of operation and the way he directs the employees ensures increased coordination and overall productivity. However, the Business manager, due to his imperviousness to the issues faced by the individual employees, stifles the overall efficiency of the organisation. Had it not been for him, the unorthodox approach of the Assistant manager would have been able to further increase productivity. In the absence of sufficient discretionary functions, the Assistant manager is unable to provide anything other than verbal encouragement or symbolic incentives to his employees.

The responses of the workers also point towards the existence of a system that is insensitive to their specific issues and needs. The presence of a bureaucratic leader within the topmost hierarchy of the organisation might be indicative of the prevalence of a mechanistic system of operation.

The study therefore helps in revealing that within a semi-skilled or unskilled work related workplace, the individual nature of leadership is the determining factor in ensuring an efficient talent management strategy of an organisation. In a hypothetical situation where the Assistant manager would have had more autonomy, it can be surmised that the organisation would have witnessed a higher level of productivity.

Conclusion

The report analyses the existing standard of talent management of the Queensland based McDonalds stores by incorporating both the perspectives of managers and employees. The results of the interviews and surveys point out how the prevalence of a bureaucratic leadership and mechanistic system of operation might stifle the potential of employees. In such a scenario, it becomes very difficult for the managerial body to evaluate the specific talents of individual workers and also address the particular issues that an employee might face in the workplace. The study therefore argues for increased autonomy in managerial positions and also the integration of various kinds of leadership practices in this context in order to develop a more efficient talent management strategy. 

Reference List

Accenture, 2019. The Risks Of Unbridled Data Collection | Accenture Insights. [online] WordPressBlog. Available at: <https://www.accenture.com/nl-en/blogs/insights/less-is-more-the-risks-of-unbridled-data-collection> [Accessed 30 November 2020].

Claus, L. (2019) HR DisruptionTime Already to Reinvent Talent Management, BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 22(3), pp. 207215.

Fisher, J., 2016. The Thoughtful Leader: A Model of Integrative Leadership. University of Toronto Press.

Hussain, J., Saeed, M.Z., Ibrahim, M. and Iqbal, M., 2018. Impact of Motivation on Employee Performance and Turnover in Pakistani Educational Institutes. Journal of Educational and Practice, 9(16), pp.87-95.

Lefebvre, R. and Kotler, P., 2011. Design Thinking, Demarketing and Behavioral Economics: Fostering Interdisciplinary Growth in Social Marketing. The SAGE Handbook of Social Marketing, pp.80-94.

Lock, S., 2020. Topic: Mcdonald's. [online] Statista. Available at: <https://www.statista.com/topics/1444/mcdonalds/> [Accessed 30 November 2020].

Miltimore, J., 2019. Why McdonaldS Gave Up The Minimum Wage Fight | Jon Miltimore. [online] Fee.org. Available at: <https://fee.org/articles/why-mcdonald-s-gave-up-the-minimum-wage-fight/> [Accessed 30 November 2020].

Monteiro, D., 2020. Top 29 Trends In Employee Rewards Programs | Xoxoday. [online] Blog.xoxoday.com. Available at: <https://blog.xoxoday.com/post/top-29-trends-in-employee-rewards-programs> [Accessed 30 November 2020].

Stevenson, M., 2018. Talent Management Is The Next Big Business Strategy. [online] HR Exchange Network. Available at: <https://www.hrexchangenetwork.com/hr-talent-management/news/talent-management-is-the-next-big-business-strategy> [Accessed 15 November 2020].

Westland, J., 2020. What Are Milestones In Project Management? - Projectmanager.Com. [online] ProjectManager.com. Available at: <https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/milestones-project-management> [Accessed 15 November 2020].

 

Bibliography

Crawford, R., 2015. Mcdonald's Restaurants Puts Motivation And Reward At Heart Of Business Strategy - Employee Benefits. [online] Employee Benefits. Available at: <https://employeebenefits.co.uk/issues/june-2015/mcdonalds-restaurants-puts-motivation-and-reward-at-heart-of-business-strategy/> [Accessed 30 November 2020].

Deters, J., 2017. Global leadership talent management: Successful selection of global leadership talents as an integrated process. Emerald Group Publishing.

Intagliata, J., Kulick, N. and Crosby, D., 2020. Enhancing The Talent Management System To Support McdonaldS CorporationS Global Growth. [online] Alexcelgroup.com. Available at: <https://alexcelgroup.com/articles/Final%202006%205%20initiatives%20version%20Jim%20Intagliata.pdf> [Accessed 30 November 2020].

Jooss, S., Burbach, R. and Rul, H., 2019. Examining talent pools as a core talent management practice in multinational corporations. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, pp.1-32.

Latukha, M., 2015. Talent management in Russian companies: domestic challenges and international experience. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(8), pp.1051-1075.

McDonald, R. and Gao, C., 2019. Pivoting isnt enough? Managing strategic reorientation in new ventures. Organization Science, 30(6), pp.1289-1318.

McDonalds, 2020. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. [online] Corporate.mcdonalds.com. Available at: <https://corporate.mcdonalds.com/corpmcd/our-purpose-and-impact/jobs-inclusion-and-empowerment/diversity-and-inclusion.html> [Accessed 30 November 2020].

Noe, R.A., Hollenbeck, J.R., Gerhart, B. and Wright, P.M., 2017. Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Swailes, S., 2016. The cultural evolution of talent management: a memetic analysis. Human Resource Development Review, 15(3), pp.340-358.

UniqueWritersBay, 2017. Mcdonald's Restaurants Talent Management Program | Unique Writers Bay Blog. [online] Uniquewritersbay.com. Available at: <https://uniquewritersbay.com/blog/mcdonalds-restaurants-talent-management-program/> [Accessed 30 November 2020].

Van Zyl, E.S., Mathafena, R.B. and Ras, J., 2017. The development of a talent management framework for the private sector. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 15(1), pp.1-19.

 

Appendix

Questionnaire

 

Particulars

Responses

% of Responses

Q1.

Do you think the training procedure was relevant to your actual work?

   
 

Yes

   
 

No

   
 

Can't say

   
 

Total Respondents

   
       

Q2.

Do you think the management body is sensitive to your individual talent?

   
 

Yes

   
 

No

   
 

Can't say

   
 

Total Respondents

   
       

Q3.

Do you think managers are aware of your skills and issues in relation to your work?

   
 

Yes

   
 

No

   
 

Can't say

   
 

Total Respondents

   
       

Q4.

Do you think the talent management strategy needs to be improved?

   
 

Yes

   
 

No

   
 

Can't say

   
 

Total Respondents

   
       

Q5.

Are you sufficiently rewarded for the contributions towards the company?

   
 

Yes

   
 

No

   
 

Can't say

   
 

Total Respondents

   
       

Q6.

What kind of improvements in rewards do you want?

   
 

Increase in salaries and bonus

   
 

Providing necessary promotions

   
 

Can't say

   
 

Total Respondents

   
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