«Young people take on a lot of responsibility with us at a very early stage»
What trends do you see in how business management is evolving?
Two insights that are becoming more and more prevalent, much to my delight: 1. no success without people. 2. diverse teams make better decisions. Putting people at the center is one of McDonald’s core values. That is why I have been working for this brand with so much enthusiasm for 15 years.
Automation, digitalisation and the Workplace of the Future are shaping the way we work today. How do you counter these trends?
With openness and reflection, because we need the right balance between innovative spirit and sequencing. We need to take our teams along for the ride and show how processes can be simplified and repetitive tasks outsourced. I see potential in AI to effectively train our employees and develop our business.
How do you ensure that technology/digitalisation does not remain an expert topic but is anchored in the value creation of the company?
This is a challenge that we meet through targeted communication and training. It is essential to show the “why” and the added value of technology in everyday life; for our employees and our guests.
In the course of demographic development, more managers will soon retire than will succeed them. How do you deal with the impending staff shortage in your company?
The right mix of talent, ambition and ability is crucial. Young people take on a lot of responsibility at a very early stage, which is why this question does not arise for us. A few figures: 75% of our management are under 45 years old, as are 50% of our employees in the head office management.
What measures have you defined in the Executive Board or have been defined at a higher level in the Group to increase the proportion of women in management?
We are convinced that diverse teams are more successful. This basic attitude is deeply rooted. In addition, these three points are crucial: open communication, active mentoring and targeted recruitment. This is how we manage to have a diverse talent pool.
What should business, politics and society do to strengthen the compatibility of work and family life in Switzerland?
In three areas: 1. strengthen the role of fathers in the family. E.g. through extended paternity leave, as we have been offering since 2010. 2. give women with children equal career opportunities and never see pregnancy as an obstacle. 3. promote more and easier to finance childcare.
What messages do you have for your top talents regarding their career planning? How do you convey these messages in everyday life?
For me, all people have talent(s)! The beautiful task of leaders is to align the strengths and ambition of each individual with the structure and team developments. For the good of the big picture. This requires a lot of listening as well as transparent communication. And what is needed from the employees: the ambition to become a little better every day.
We see more and more often that CEOs also hold external supervisory board seats. How do you assess this?
At McDonald’s, the rule is: focus on your own system. However, a commitment to an NPO is encouraged. I am therefore pleased to be able to contribute to families with sick children on the Board of Trustees of the Ronald McDonald Children’s Foundation Switzerland.