McDonald's Flips Its Training Game: Podcast

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In this episode of InformationWeek's Expert Voice podcast, McDonald's Jack Sylvester and Inkling's Matt MacInnis talk about the new document infrastructure the fast food giant is using for its training and operations manuals -- and what that infrastructure means for onboarding more than 700,000 new employees a year.

When you have to onboard more than 700,000 people a year, training becomes a very, very big deal.

To illustrate: If each of those people is earning $10 an hour, and it takes 10 hours to train someone before he or she can be productive, then you're looking at $70 million a year in training costs. If you can shave even one hour off the average training time, then you're looking at some very real money represented in savings.

That very real money is part of the reason that McDonald's Corporation pays such close attention to the technology used to train new employees for the corporate office and in franchise stores. Jack Sylvester is in charge of that technology. Recently InformationWeek ran an article on the new training infrastructure McDonald's has put in place.

In that new infrastructure, McDonald's is using a platform from Inkling, a SaaS provider that wants companies to use documents, not files, as the atomic units of information. To explain what that means, and how McDonald's is using the platform, this episode of InformationWeek's Expert Voice brings you Jack Sylvester, along with Matt MacInnis, founder and CEO of Inkling, to talk about the new training infrastructure.

Training materials and operational manuals have moved from paper to mobile devices, and that has allowed training to move from backrooms to the kitchen and the front of the store. Trainees can now work shoulder to shoulder with their more experienced teammates. The result, according to Sylvester, is faster training, better results, and more involved, motivated team members.

How does your organization train new employees? Have you exchanged files for documents in your workflow? Let us know in the comments -- and remember, you can subscribe to InformationWeek's Expert Voice on iTunes or Google Play.

The theme for InformationWeek's Expert Voice is "Parasite" by Lamprey. Music for this episode provided by David Hyde. You can find more of his music at SoundCloud.

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