The Two-Part Training Method That Made McDonald’s Successful

What if you could train your team members as efficiently as McDonald’s does theirs? In this article, learn about the two-part training method that every McDonald’s employee goes through. 


There’s one thing I noticed among many business owners that has become a problem:

They tend to forget that they, too, started at the bottom. That is, they forget that it took them years to be good at what they do. 

As a result, they try to skip the grueling method of walking new hires along their learning curves. 

They choose the candidate who’s got the most skills and experience, hoping they’d turn out to be instant experts at the job. And when their new hires end up needing training, they get frustrated. 

They start thinking…

“Why can’t they do this?” 

“Why can’t they get it?” 

“Why can’t they show some initiative?”

Well, that’s because those new hires are still trying to figure out how things work in the business. 

The reality is that new hires can’t just show initiative when they’re still learning the ropes. And that is exactly why it’s more important to hire people based on values and attitude than skills. 

You’re going to have to train everyone for skills, anyway. 

And for most businesses, that’s where most problems begin. 


When Training is Insufficient


What many business owners consider as ‘training’ is often insufficient in terms of helping new employees achieve the outcomes expected from them. 

See, some business owners simply demonstrate how something is done once. Then, they tell their new hires, “That’s how you do it,” and then run off to do their own thing. 

They leave an entire batch of new hires to figure stuff out on their own. All without stopping to check if everyone actually understood what they were supposed to do. 

This makes the learning curve extra challenging… leaving both the new hire and the business owner frustrated to no end. 

Now, if you want to learn what it actually takes to train and develop efficient new hires who could help your business scale… You’ve got to take several pages out of the McDonald’s training manual. 

Why McDonald’s?

Well, think about the fact that on average, a new McDonald’s branch opens every 15 hours. 

Can you imagine, then, just how much employee training they have to do to make this happen?

That’s what makes them one of the best when it comes to training. 

And recently, I spoke to former McDonald’s training manager, Marianne, who’s got loads to share about what makes the company’s training system world-class. 


The Two-Part McDonald’s Training System


Marianne says McDonald’s training system comes in two parts:

Part #1: One-to-one training

Notice how sometimes, the person taking your order in McDonald’s has a supervisor or a manager beside them? 

That’s a clear sign that you’re dealing with a trainee. Perhaps, they’re a fresh hire or it’s just their first time running the register. 

Either way, isn’t it great that they have someone walking them through their hands-on training? This reassures the new employee that they won’t be left to figure things out on their own if something doesn’t make sense… or even if they make a mistake. 

For Marianne, this is a much more powerful approach than the batch training that many businesses do. Because when you do one-to-one training and give someone your undivided attention, there’s a higher likelihood that they’d learn better. 

Additionally, people generally feel less self-conscious to ask you questions in a one-to-one setting. 

If they’re with other trainees, they might get insecure to ask and may thus get spiraled into silence. They might also think asking a question would be embarrassing, especially if they’re asking a basic or an obvious question. And yet, those are the exact questions that new employees need to ask for them to understand what they’re expected to do. 

Understandably, though, you won’t be able to spend all your time training your new team members. 

That’s why the second part of this training system is just as important as the first:


Part #2: Creating and distributing how-to videos that employees can hold on to


Don’t you just hate it when you just taught someone how to do something… and then they come up to you ten minutes later and say:

“Hey, how do you do this again?”

Well, it’s frustrating, for sure… but that’s just how people learn. 

Sometimes, seeing something done once isn’t enough. And in the interest of saving your time, or that of your supervisors or training managers, you should create how-to videos for every important thing that you do in business. 

This way, your team members – both the old and the new – have something to refer back to whenever they need a refresher on how to do something. 

So, shoot videos demonstrating how exactly you want certain things to be done in business. Walk your new hires through it once… and then leave them with the recordings so they can study it in their own time, and whenever they need to. 

Many businesses have training manuals and written documentation of how processes work. But how-to videos demonstrate how a task is done. And they are much more effective in teaching employees in the fastest way possible. 

So, you’ve got your one-to-one training right after someone’s onboarding. Then, you back that up with the video recordings they could use as a reference to remind themselves of how exactly to do the tasks. 

That’s the two-part training system you could use to drive more effectiveness and efficiency in your business. 


Give Your Team Members the Training They Need


The next time you get frustrated with the speed of a new hire when it comes to understanding their tasks, ask yourself:

Have I trained them enough?

If the answer is no, then you know you’ve got your work cut out for you. 

Schedule one-to-one training sessions with them. And then, back those up with refresher how-to videos to support them as they learn the ropes in your business. 

If you do this, you’d find soon enough that as your new hires gain more confidence in their jobs… they would likewise exhibit more initiative and more efficiency in their job. 

Now, if you’re sure you’ve trained your new employees well enough but they’re still not performing to the best of your ability… something else might be causing this problem. 


In this case, I invite you to book a call with me at Let’s assess the situation… and find a fix to your personnel issue.