April 21, 2009

Interview of McDonald’s Ombuds

As vice president and national ombudsman for McDonald’s USA, Ron Hawkins, works to resolve issues with franchisees and employees. In the past five years, none of the cases he has handled have resulted in litigation. A life-long employee of the company, he describes the position as being an independent, internal third party. Hawkins says his ability to resolve conflict is based on trust and explains:
You build credibility by building trust, and you build trust by doing the right thing. It’s not who’s right, it’s what’s right. And it’s not what’s done, but how it’s done.

Although McDonald’s created the Ombuds program in 1976, there is almost no information publicly available. Hawkins was named a 2008 Professional of the Year by Strathmore’s for his achievements in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. (Nation’s Restaurant News; Strathmore’s Who’s Who.)

Related post: International Franchise Association Touts Ombuds Program.

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