This entry was shortlisted in the 2012 Peer Award “Technology for Performance” category

ref: 12-027

An Employee Site to Connect and Engage
how to utilise technology to engage your employees

McDonald’s have over 1,200 restaurants nationwide, employing 87,500 employees, and are one of the largest employers of young people in the UK. ‘’ was originally built to host online learning programmes, enabling our employees to study online for nationally recognised qualifications such as GCSE equivalent Math and English.
The site has evolved to become the primary way in which we communicate and engage with our workforce in terms of business messages, competitions and company news.
The mission for OL is to be.
“the place our people want to visit, to help with their jobs and connect with each other”.

•The site has had on average 1.1 million employee visits each month and has 150,000 active users (including Alumni users).
•In 2011, ‘’ had over 35 million page views and the site email helpline receives 100-250 emails and calls per day.
•In our annual employee opinion survey 84.6% of crew and 85.9% of Managers agree that ‘’ is interesting and informative. (+3.2% for Crew and + 4% for Managers on 2010).
•£3,200,000 saved in moving many courses online rather than classroom based training
•We have a dedicated section for the 2,350 employees going to work in the Olympic restaurants

Our employees help to create a large proportion of the content by submitting articles on everything from film reviews to updates on their restaurants.
‘’ has proven an essential tool in promoting key business messages, equipping employees with the knowledge to improve job performance, in a fun and informative way. For example, all of our national marketing campaigns are promoted on the site prior to going live in restaurants. There are forums and quizzes (sometimes rewarded by prizes) that focus on opportunities for business improvement and the monthly e-newsletter keep employees updated.[/one_half_last]

The benefits of using web communication allow us to constantly adapt the site and ensure that the navigation remains user friendly and intuitive. Six years of growth and expansion of content has meat that strict policing by the ourlounge team is required to ensure that the content is relevant, fresh and engaging.
When ourlounge was created in 2006, smartphones weren’t so widely used. There has been a 108% increase in the number of employees visiting the site via a smartphone showing that a mobile version of the site is now urgently needed.

Having introduced an award winning site dedicated to our employees that is not an ‘intranet’ and can be accessed away from the workplace 24/7, the UK are considered to be the market leaders. The site has served as a benchmark for our Global business; five countries in the Northern Division have now implemented their version. 2012 also sees Russia, Germany and Austria following our innovative example. The Global team is considering implementing ‘ourlounge’ worldwide for employee engagement and communication.
The ourlounge team also were Circle of Excellence Winner 2012, highly prestigious as only 12 teams globally are recognised every year.[/one_half_last]

The Speakers

Katie Reeve, Reputation Officer
My relationship with McDonald’s started in 2006 working as a Project Manager for a supplier, Barkers, who originally created the employee portal In 2009, I then moved over to work in the HR team at McDonald‘s, managing the ‘ourlounge’ site on a day to day basis ensuring that content is relevant and engaging for our 87,500 employees who log-in from home, work and on their mobile devices 24/7.

Andy Bates, Reputation & Resourcing Consultant
I started working at McDonalds like many other people, whilst studying at University. McDonald’s offered me the opportunity at graduation to become as assistant manager, which I was please to accept. Over the last seventeen years I have worked through the many positions within the company gaining experience and expertise at different levels and job roles. I have been an assistant manager at Liverpool Street (Busiest in UK) to being a Business Manager in locations from Lakeside to Whitechapel and Waterloo Station. I also have had a successful three years within the training department creating and executing training material across the UK. In my last role I was an Operations Consultant in charge of 450 people over 7 restaurants. This gave me a great learning experience.
My current role is split into two unique segments. The first is looking after UK recruitment for the restaurants, ensuring that the systems are active to allow for the successful recruitment of 37,500 people a year. Second part of my responsibilities is to manage the internal communications website ‘ourlounge’. This site has been running since 2007 and has 35,000 visitors a day.