Research Proposal Sample Assignment

Title

The title of the research as proposed will be, "A Study on Perceived Reasons for High Employee Turnover in McDonald's".

Introduction

Any organization in this seamless world would love to have such employees, who are delighted with their jobs, love working with their colleagues, satisfied with their salary packages, enthusiastic to work efficiently for their supervisors and do not intent to leave the company. But, in the real scenario, employees do leave their organizations due to one of the reasons such as better pay packages, work climate, problems in relationships with their colleagues or managers, shifting of the job of spouse etc. (K.Narmadha, 2011). Heavy competition in the market has led to the rising attrition rate amongst the organizations these days. All the businesses concerning any industry are affected and challenged by this problem of high employee turnover or attrition. It has become a reason of high concern for all the businesses (Murugan & Murugan, 2011).

As per a recent study, many restaurants of McDonald's are suffering from high turnover rates which ultimately affects the company's productivity and profits of that respective restaurant in Australia. If the fast food brand wants to sustain its position of global leader in its relevant sector, then the issue of employee turnover needs to be addressed (Matthewson, 2017). Hence this paper will focus on studying the reasons for the high employee turnover ratio in the restaurants of McDonalds through a quantitative research methodology and help the management in developing future retention strategies.

Background

The company McDonald's has around 32,000 chains of restaurants in 116 nations and can be considered to be one of the largest family fast food companies in the world. It opened its first restaurant in Sydney town called Yagoona in 1971. Now, it has approximately 900 plus restaurants across Australia and almost 90,000 employees recruited in the chain and management centres. It has the vision of providing the best experience to the families to make them a loyal customer (Telang & Deshpande, 2016). It has been discovered through various surveys that McDonalds is suffering from the challenge of high employee turnover since few years at approximately 45% in Australia. Employee turnover can be explained as the ratio of employees leaving the organization during a given period of time. This turnover can be due to several reasons ranging from salary issues to organizational culture (Alam, 2015). High employee turnover has resulted in hampering the operations of the organization and high turnaround time. This happens as the employees replaced need to get trained and educated on the company processes all over again which contributes to increased costs to the company. Hence, it is a challenging issue that needs to be addressed by the management in order to maintain the profitability, efficiency, consistency and effective performance.

Research Aim

The aim of this study is to find out the major reasons for voluntary turnover amongst the employees of McDonalds, Australia.

Scope of Study

The scope of this study has wide implications for the management of McDonalds as well as the practitioners of the field. This study would help the company to identify the reasons for voluntary turnover amongst the talented and experienced employees of the organization which will further provide a base for the formulation of future strategies for retaining their workforce (Ceil, 2017). This will help them in gaining and sustaining competitive edge in this globalized world. It will help in framing training and development programs, maintaining work climate conducive to their demands, restructure salary and benefits, provide job satisfaction and retention of the employees in the company.

Literature Review

Many scholars have studied the subject of employee attrition and employee turnover in different sectors. They have presented the concept and calculation of employee turnover for the year and causes of the same. As defined by Secord (2003), employee turnover can be defined to be the total number of employees leaving their job during a period of time because of retirement, dismissal, resignation or death (Dr. S. O. Junare & Patel, 2011). While Muller (2008), defines the term turnover as, ‘the amount of people who leave their employment in a particular year’. The scholars state that small amount of turnover is good for the health of companies because poor employees get replaced with efficient ones. But, high ratio of turnover can affect the quality of services and goods offered by the company according to Baum (2006). For example, when the experienced employees leave McDonalds and a new member joins the kitchen staff, it makes a change in the quality of the food offered to the customers (Mohr, Young & Burgess Jr, 2011). Fletcher (2016) mentions that there are several factors that lead to voluntary employee turnover. Major reason as found by several practitioners is a bad boss. Other reasons can be low salaries, unhygienic work conditions, less number of leaves, long working hours, boring tasks, lack of job role clarity, interpersonal relations, organizational climate, leadership, transparency and participative management etc. (Wellard, Glasson & Chapman, 2012). The major component of high ratio of employee turnover which impacts the company is its cost which can be divided further into recruitment costs, cost of reduction in productivity, training cost, cost to hire and loss of profit due to reduced sales as mentioned by Pilbeam and Corbridge (2006). Further, it has been estimated by Risher and Stopper (2002) that the cost of replacing an employee can account for almost 2.5 times the pay of that employee. Thus, in order to eliminate these challenges, companies should establish systematic retention policy overtime.

Dependent and Independent Variables

Dependent variable refers to that variable which is dependent on other variables which are going to be measured. These components may change due to the experimental influence of the variables that are independent. This is the supposed effect of the study. Here, in our study, the presumed effect is High Employee Turnover which is the dependent variable. Further, those variables which remain stable and are not affected by other components which are measured and experimented are known as Independent variables of the study (Alsayed, Maguire-Wright & Flickinger, 2016). They are manipulated by the researcher and can be the assumed cause of research. From the review of literature, we have found out several reasons that can cause high employee turnover in McDonalds. These reasons have been clustered into four independent variables for conducting this study (Kwakye, 2018). The variables identified are: a) Company culture and policies; b) Work relationships; c) Development and career growth; d) Pay and benefits. These independent variables have the power to influence our dependent variable i.e. employee turnover which we would be testing as the hypotheses of our study. These variables consist of several factors connected to it. Company culture and policies include factors such as employee awareness about company’s policies and procedures, transparency at workplace, equality at workplace, employee participation in decision-making process, alignment of personal goals with organizational goals, flexibility at work, and leave policy of the company. Next, work relationship variable consists of the factors concerned with behavior of team leader, instructions given by the supervisor, recognition given by manager, communication channels, biased nature of leader, and interpersonal relations with the coworkers. Third is career growth and development which includes internal recruitment for positions, career growth chart, performance management system, training programs, encouragement for personal learning and development, and promotion policy of the company. Pay and benefits compile of compensation, perks such as food allowances, health benefits, insurance etc, provision of statutory benefits and timely rise in packages according to the performance. The changes in these independent factors define the change in dependent variable i.e. high employee turnover.

Hypothesis

Certain hypotheses that shall be tested through this research are:

  • Employee turnover ratio reduces the presence of positive company culture and policies
  • Positive work relationships in the organization result in employee's intention to stay with the company
  • Employee turnover is affected by employee development and career growth policies of the company
  • Employees leave the organization when they are dissatisfied with the salary and other benefits of the organization.
Diagram representing theory underlying the hypothesis

Figure:1 Diagram representing theory underlying the hypothesis

Questionnaire

Please rate the following factors based on your experience in the organization:

Rating Scale:

5- Strongly agree

4- Agree

3- Neutral

2- Disagree

1- Strongly Disagree

No.

Variables

1

2

3

4

5

1

Company Culture and Policies

I am aware of all the company's vision, policies and procedures.

The company maintains transparency at the workplace

I am treated equally to all the employees at the workplace.

The company gives us a chance to participate in a decision-making process

Personal goals are aligned with the organizational goals

The company provides flexibility at workplace

A proper number of leaves are given to all the employees.

2

Work Relationships

My team manager helps me at every stage of work

The supervisor is always available when I need any instructions or help regarding work

My manager provides recognition to my hard work.

I can communicate openly with my leader.

My leader is not biased amongst team members.

I enjoy a cordial relationship with my colleagues

3

Development and Career Growth

Management gives priority to the internal employees for recruitment of any position.

Proper career growth chart has been shared by the management.

I am satisfied with the performance management system of the company.

Proper training is given for any new technology or processes introduced.

Employees are encouraged for personal learning and development.

We are offered promotions and growth timely based on our performance.

4

Pay and Benefits

I am compensated according to the work I perform

I am satisfied with all the benefits and perks provided by the company such as food allowances, health benefits, insurance etc.

Statutory benefits are followed appropriately within the organization such as pension, provident fund etc.

Pay rise and promotion are given to the well-deserved.

  1. Please rate your overall satisfaction within the organization:

1- Extremely dissatisfied

  • Dissatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Satisfied
  • Extremely satisfied
  1. What changes do you wish the management to make in the organization?
  1. Would you suggest employment in the organization to your references?
  1. Provide you suggestions for improvement in the company culture and working conditions.
  1. Suggest the rewards and benefits you wish to introduce in the company.
  1. I am satisfied specifically with the following factors in the organization:

Provide your personal details below:

Name:

Gender:

Age:

Years of Experience:

Job Position:

Department:

Research Methodology

While conducting research, there are two methods available for data collection: quantitative and qualitative method. The data characteristics are expressed in quantity and extent in the quantitative method while guaranteeing accuracy (Fletcher, 2016). While a researcher does not describe the attributes of data in number form or does not make any comparison in the qualitative method of research. It is derived from the people giving out information. It provides flexibility to the researcher. This study will be based on the quantitative method of research emphasizing objective amounts and statistical analysis of the data collected through the administration of a structured and systematically devised questionnaire (Nielsen, 2011). This study will be a descriptive study as the subject will be measures only once with an intention to establish relationships between the identified variables of study. The study would consist of a sample population to make sure that the assumptions of association between variables as obtained are valid and reliable.

Data Collection

The data can be collected through various methods such as personal interviews, online surveys, personal surveys, questionnaire, literature reviews, exit interviews etc. Here the tool used for data collection is a well-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire has been divided into two parts. One contains closed-ended questions on four independent variables depicting reasons for employee satisfaction leading to a turnover, and the other part contains open-ended questions for a detailed enquiry into employee's opinion on company's policies and management. There are two available sources from where the information is collected, i.e. primary source and secondary source. The primary source of data means the source which has not been used or collected by any other researcher. It has an advantage that it can be collected from the population directly and is original (Alsayed, Maguire-Wright & Flickinger, 2016). The researcher is going to use the primary source of data collection through questionnaires.

Population and Sampling

The population of the research consists of all the employees at all the levels of McDonald's in Australia. The sample size would include 200 employees randomly selected from different levels of the management from 4 to 5 selected restaurants of McDonald's to generalize the findings. A sample should be a small representation of the whole population. It should be selected very carefully so that it can give a reliable and valid view of the population for the study conducted.

Data Analysis

The data collected through questionnaire would be organized into the numerical form presented by graphs, histograms and diagrams to make inferences. Further, the hypotheses would be tested by correlation tests through SPSS (Chen & Xiao, 2012). This method would give a reliable data to the organization for future policy formation.

Ethical Concerns

The ethical issues will be taken care of at each and every stage of research. The researcher will not disturb or enter the privacy of respondents while data collecting. It would be taken care that the respondents do not feel in trouble due to participating in the survey. The identity of the participants will be kept confidential at every phase of reporting to address the issue. The researcher has taken into consideration the ethical issues while planning the methodology of research for every stage (Pereira, Malik & Sharma, 2015). The restaurant manager would be handed over a letter stating the purpose of this study before giving out the questionnaires to the employees so that they can decide if they want to participate in the study or not. This can help us in getting more response from the population and also ethical grounds are taken care of.

Constraints

The researcher might have to face some problems while getting the forms of questionnaires filled by the staff of McDonald's as not all of them would be willing to participate in the study. It is difficult to get the permission of the management to conduct this survey in their organization on first hand (ZIEGLER, HAGEN & DIEHL, 2012). They might think that this study would give out a picture of their confidential policies and practices which they don’t want to reveal. Further, it will take long time and patience to deal with the managers and employees of the organization while administering the questionnaires (Boynton, 2004). Many questionnaires would be returned half-filled or spoilt by the participants as they might not want to disclose certain parameters of their job which would jeopardize it. Some employees might fill up the questionnaires in haste due to work, and missing out some questions. All this might affect the validity of the findings of this research and pose a challenge to the researcher (Bais, 2012).

Conclusion and Recommendations

No organization can afford to lose its talented pool of employees to this present scenario of an increased competitive market (Siyanbola & Gilman, 2017). The study is aimed at finding out the reasons for high employee turnover in McDonalds, Australia. The study will adopt quantitative method of research administering questionnaires to the selected sample for the study. Four independent variables namely organizational culture and policies, pay and benefits, work relationship and career development has been identified to be influencing the dependent variable of our study i.e. employee turnover in the organization. The study is important for the company in order to reduce the ratio of employee attrition which has been estimated at 45% in a year and help company maintain competitive edge and profitability issues (Bais, 2012). The scope of the study includes implications for the practitioners and the company such as a foundation for future retention strategies, training programs, salary and organizational climate. The researcher may face some constraints during the study as mentioned earlier on which the validity of the whole study would depend. So that all these challenges are minimized, the researcher would personally meet the managers of the outlet and explain the importance of this survey and its implication for their organization so that the staff members could take it seriously. It would be explained to them that the identity of staff members would not be disclosed in anyways so that they can answer the questions without fear of losing their jobs. All the ethical concerns (Mia, 2012) would be taken care of during study, from data collection till the conclusion of the research.

References

Alam, S. (2015). Employee Turnover in MFIs: Reasons & Remedies. SSRN Electronic Journal, 2(1). doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2710258

Alsayed, I., Maguire-Wright, K., & Flickinger, K. (2016). Utilizing Secondary Data Sources In Combination With Primary Clinical Data To Optimize Data Collection In Prospective Study Designs. Value In Health, 19(3), A108. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2016.03.1699

Bais, D. (2012). Employee Retention Management:some Issues. International Journal Of Scientific Research, 1(4), 22-24. doi: 10.15373/22778179/sep2012/8

Boynton, P. (2004). Administering, analysing, and reporting your questionnaire. BMJ, 328(7452), 1372-1375. doi: 10.1136/bmj.328.7452.1372

Ceil, C. (2017). Service Quality and Branding Strategies at McDonalds. SSRN Electronic Journal, 3(2). doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2984100

Chen, H., & Xiao, X. (2012). The Application of SPSS Factor Analysis in the Evaluation of Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal Of Software, 7(6). doi: 10.4304/jsw.7.6.1258-1264

Dr. S. O. Junare, D., & Patel, D. (2011). Studying Interrelation: Employee Turnover & Technology. Indian Journal Of Applied Research, 3(8), 445-446. doi: 10.15373/2249555x/aug2013/143

Fletcher, A. (2016). Applying critical realism in qualitative research: methodology meets method. International Journal Of Social Research Methodology, 20(2), 181-194. doi: 10.1080/13645579.2016.1144401

K.Narmadha, K. (2011). Indian Ites Industry and Employee Attrition –An Overview. Indian Journal Of Applied Research, 4(3), 243-245. doi: 10.15373/2249555x/mar2014/74

Kwakye, E. (2018). Organisational Culture and Employee Turnover: Evidence from Ghana. Journal Of Economics, Management And Trade, 21(2), 1-11. doi: 10.9734/jemt/2018/39062

Matthewson, G. (2017). The gendered attrition of architects in Australia. Architectural Research Quarterly, 21(02), 171-182. doi: 10.1017/s1359135517000367

Mia, A. (2012). Ethical Issues in Social Research. Bangladesh Journal Of Bioethics, 1(1). doi: 10.3329/bioethics.v1i1.9522

Mohr, D., Young, G., & Burgess Jr, J. (2011). Employee turnover and operational performance: the moderating effect of group-oriented organisational culture. Human Resource Management Journal, 22(2), 216-233. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-8583.2010.00159.x

Murugan, D., & Murugan, S. (2011). Employee Attrition And Retention In Private Insurance Sector A HRM Challenge. Indian Journal Of Applied Research, 1(5), 115-117. doi: 10.15373/2249555x/feb2012/43

Nielsen, R. (2011). Cues to Quality in Quantitative Research Papers. Family And Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 40(1), 85-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-3934.2011.02090.x

Pereira, V., Malik, A., & Sharma, K. (2015). Colliding Employer-Employee Perspectives of Employee Turnover: Evidence from a Born-Global Industry. Thunderbird International Business Review, 58(6), 601-615. doi: 10.1002/tie.21751

Siyanbola, T., & Gilman, M. (2017). Extent of employee turnover in Nigerian SMEs. Employee Relations, 39(7), 967-985. doi: 10.1108/er-02-2016-0046

Telang, A., & Deshpande, A. (2016). Keep calm and carry on: A crisis communication study of Cadbury and McDonalds. Management & Marketing, 11(1). doi: 10.1515/mmcks-2016-0003

Wellard, L., Glasson, C., & Chapman, K. (2012). Sales of healthy choices at fast food restaurants in Australia. Health Promotion Journal Of Australia, 23(1), 37-41. doi: 10.1071/he12037

ZIEGLER, R., HAGEN, B., & DIEHL, M. (2012). Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Job Performance: Job Ambivalence as a Moderator. Journal Of Applied Social Psychology, 42(8), 2019-2040. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2012.00929.x