McDonald’s made great PR moves in March when it flipped the Golden Arches upside down to form a “w” in honor of International Women’s Day.
Now, McDonald’s announced that it is tripling its college tuition benefits for its employees through its Archways to Opportunity education program.
Before, crew members who were eligible for the program could receive $700 a year towards tuition, but after May 1st, employees will have access to $2,500 a year and managers are eligible for $3,000.
These funds are accessible to those employees who have worked at the fast food restaurant for at least 90 days (which is reduced from previous eligibility requirement of at nine months) and work weekly shift minimums of 15 hours.
McDonald’s president and CEO, Steve Easterbrook, released a statement about the tuition assistance increase on the McDonald’s newsroom site.
“Our commitment to education reinforces our ongoing support of the people who play a crucial role in our journey to build a better McDonald’s,” says Easterbrook. “By offering restaurant employees more opportunities to further their education and pursue their career aspirations, we are helping them find their full potential, whether that’s at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”
So, thinking about this from a PR standpoint, is this a good move on McDonald’s part?
It’s definitely a great way to gain employee loyalty. According to snacknation blog, providing tuition reimbursement is one of 16 perks that employees appreciate most.
This announcement also created a positive buzz around a fast food company that hasn’t had the best reputation ever since society starting putting health before hunger.
In my opinion, I think this is a good move for McDonald’s, considering all the good press it is earning.
However, is it original? Not quite.
McDonald’s and Starbucks both expanded their educational opportunities for employees around the same time (April 2015). However, Starbucks partnered with Arizona State University and provides their employees with free ASU online courses, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Regardless, I believe that big companies like McDonald’s and Starbucks that help provide higher education to those who may not have the opportunity, should be celebrated.