McDonalds Cross Cultural Skills



McDonalds is the leading global food service retailer with more than 34,000 local restaurants serving nearly 69 million people in 110 countries each day. Europe is the second largest area of the world where McDonalds operates and they have 7,200 restaurants across 39 different European countries. Neil Radcliffe, corporate HR for McDonalds Europe, asked VBL to provide a range of programmes to develop the cross cultural awareness and skills of his very diverse teams. In addition, these programmes needed to dovetail into the other personal development programmes that Neil was commissioning for the whole of Europe.


VBL provided two distinct programmes. The first was a tailor made programme that the McDonalds team could use to come together to develop their cross cultural skills, whilst, at the same time, developing the dynamics of their own team to enable them to become high performing.

The second option was a programme designed for individuals to attend, which again developed each of their personal cross cultural skills and also worked on their communication and self-leadership skills.

At its core, each programme had the Lewis Model of Culture along with a variety of other approaches, exercises, activities and self-assessment questionnaires. This helped the teams and individuals to raise their awareness and then take responsibility to make behavioural changes for a positive impact.


The teams who attended the programme each took away actions and new ways of working to help the dynamics of working in a multi-cultural team. Then each individual had clear action plans to utilise their new found knowledge to build new and more powerful relations with other McDonalds employees across Europe.

Everyone, who attended the programme had 12 months access to a comprehensive on-line tool providing in-depth cultural knowledge. This means they could use both their knowledge from the programme and the website for their future cultural learning as and when needed.