Naomi’s Employee of the Year 2020

A Co Down woman has been named ‘McDonald’s Employee of the Year 2020’ for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

By Claire Cartmill
Friday, 5th March 2021, 1:00 pm
At the McDonald’s McKinstry Road restaurant are Franchisee John McCollum and Naomi Hodges, McDonald’s Employee of the Year 2020 for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
At the McDonald’s McKinstry Road restaurant are Franchisee John McCollum and Naomi Hodges, McDonald’s Employee of the Year 2020 for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Ballynahinch’s Naomi Hodges has been selected as McDonald’s Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland winner for her role as People Manager, having played a key role in the recruitment, on-boarding and training of 100 employees at the recently opened McDonald’s at McKinstry Road in Derriaghy.

Speaking about her recognition, Naomi said she was “absolutely delighted” with the award: “It is great to be recognised and it made me proud not only of myself, but also of the restaurant and team that I work with.”

Describing the accolade as “a fantastic personal achievement”, Naomi also believes it important that her teammates get the recognition as well, as it “shows what a good team we have, especially since we have only been open a matter of months.”

After studying Marketing and Spanish at Ulster University in Coleraine, Naomi decided to return to education to complete a CIPD Level 5 in Human Resources Management at Belfast Met – something which she says has further enhanced her skillset. Prior to managing the recruitment process for the new restaurant, Naomi worked in McDonald’s busy Sprucefield restaurant, which has over 200 staff. It was here that she helped develop her organisational and people skills, with one of her achievements being helping to reduce average Drive-thru times from 200 seconds to 130 seconds in early 2020.

Naomi then took on the recruitment and training of the McKinstry Road staff during the pandemic.

“The majority of the process was undertaken virtually,” she continued. “There was a lot of communicating and planning with our new team members to ensure everything was as seamless as possible, as well as ensuring face-to-face contact was limited.”

McDonald’s franchisee John McCollum said: “This is fantastic recognition for Naomi. After what has been a difficult year for many, there is great importance in recognising our people who have consistently displayed our values and behaviours. It goes without saying there have been many outstanding team contributions and I would like to thank the entire McKinstry Road team for their hard work, dedication and commitment so far. Individual contributions and achievements are equally as important, however, and it was obvious that Naomi demonstrates our ethos and values. She epitomises what we’re all about at McDonald’s: how we recognise, look after and train our people. It’s lovely to see her getting recognised in this way.

“There truly are some fantastic employees in the group, but every so often a superstar arrives on the scene and that really is what Naomi is – a superstar.”

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