Case study: Could 360 feedback help retail chains?

McDonald's golden arches are recognized around the world. However, the fast food giant is becoming famous for a less-than-flattering trait – bad employees. How can a company make the necessary changes to keep customers happy while not compromising its overall goals?

Last month, McDonald's held a webcast with company executives and franchise owners. The Wall Street Journal reviewed slides that had been used during the presentation. According to the news source, one slide explained that 1 in 5 customer complaints tie into friendliness issues with employees, and that it's worsening.

Steve Levigne, vice president of business research for McDonald's USA, said in another slide that "service is broken."

Overall, the webcast identified McDonald's locations having rude or unprofessional workers as the top customer complaint.

"The new leadership has decided to focus on customer satisfaction as a real driver for us to build the brand and build sales," one franchisee said during the webcast, adding that the company had been gaining market share for years. "So for us to maximize the potential that's out there, we've got to be the leader in guest satisfaction."

The fast food company wants to put a renewed emphasis on speedy, yet friendly customer service.

McDonald's already took some pages from the 360 degree feedback book. By asking customers what they liked and didn't like about employees' approaches, the restaurant chain was making a strong effort to take in suggestions and work toward implementing necessary changes.

The 360 feedback process gives companies of all sizes and across many industries an opportunity to assist team members in individual growth while still contributing to organizational success. This is all done while not forgetting about customers. Businesses that find themselves in a similar position as McDonald's can partner with CCi Surveys International to ensure that an employee behavior change can be made for the better.

Brenda MacLean