An interview with Philipp Schulz, responsible head of the national training center of McDonald’s Germany Inc.
persolog: What training challenges are you currently facing at McDonald’s?
Philipp Schulz: We aim to prepare our employees in the restaurants and administration for constant day-to-day challenges. New products, new process methods and the variety of tasks in restaurants as well as in administration place demands on our employees. We support them in mastering these challenges.
persolog: What area receives special attention in training participants?
Philipp Schulz: In order to qualify and motivate participants to the best extent possible, our trainers have to act professionally in terms of teaching and methodology. To ensure that, we have implemented our own in-house trainers program in addition to induction programs for them. We call it “Training for Trainers”.
persolog: Can you describe this trainer qualification in detail?
Philipp Schulz: We have designed a two-stage program for our employees that hold training seminars. At the first level, in the basic seminar, we address topics such as presentation techniques, methods and didactics. We also have a well-known theater director who sensitizes participants to body language and expression. With this basic package, we have already well-equipped our trainers. After the participants have gathered experience, we offer advanced seminars that incorporate persolog’s learning and teaching styles, among other things.
persolog: How do you specifically put the Learning and Teaching Model to use?
Philipp Schulz: First, we repeat the content of our basic seminar. The good thing about that is that the Learning and Teaching Style Profiles build directly on this. Our approach is to gear our seminars to participants and to this end it’s good for trainers to recognize different learning styles and to adapt their own teaching styles to this phenomenon. A good trainer has got to be flexible and able to react to different needs. After the participants have worked through the profiles, we move to more intensive study of the advantages and disadvantages of the styles and consider what conclusions we can draw for the future from them and work on these using metaplan walls.
persolog: How did you become aware of our profiles in this connection?
Philipp Schulz: It is important for us that trainers not only reflect on training content from time to time but also on their own trainer behavior. So we were seeking an appropriate tool to enable them to do this. After we tested the tool, we were extremely pleased with its validity and how simple it was to understand its content at the same time. These features are reflected in participant feedback meanwhile too.
persolog: Just one last question – do you sell more burgers as a result of using the Learning and Teaching Style Profile and the Training for Trainers seminars you conduct?
Philipp Schulz: Now that is an interesting question! That would be an interesting research project, but getting truly valid and reliable data is impossible for me. I am going to have to leave that question scientifically unanswered. On the other hand, we do believe that based on our approach using the didactics of enablement, our trainers are qualified and motivated as well as they possibly can be and thus optimize our training seminars. I have to say one thing for sure. McDonald’s hires its own in-house trainers and they are highly qualified. This in combination with our well-trained and motivated participants certainly also has a positive impact on the complex procedures employed in our restaurant.
Anna Dieckhöfer, PR & Online-Marketing persolog GmbH conducted this interview.