Kraft Foods, High Performance Work Systems (HPWS)

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In 1995, Kraft was created through the reorganization and merger of J. L. Kraft, Oscar Meyer, and C. W. Post into one operating company. For the reorganization the Operations Division chose to use the High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) change management tool because they believed it was the best way to include all of the necessary elements that would contribute to the vision of undisputed leadership. They also liked the HPWS tool because of its strict structure and because it was a good platform to create and communicate a consistent management philosophy. HPWS allowed them to monitor all of their plants, new and old, for efficiency and effectiveness of the reorganization. Strengths of the Change Intervention Kraft Foods, Inc. approached their change initiative by researching and testing before implementing. The High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) was first implemented into three start-up plants. The HPWS method was successful and adopted by the new plants. HPWS helps determine factors such as total inventory, cost of production, and measurement of productivity. Once the HPWS method proved to be successful it was then implemented into the existing plants to help gain control of costs, waste, and productivity. Kraft was able to provide quality examples to the existing plants of how this method improved productivity and profits. Employees were able to embrace the change plan easier when they could actually see the possible improvements. Kraft had a bonus because the employees were able to see the method working in similar situations, which helped build trust and acceptance in the change plan. This method also empowered the employees giving them an opportunity to increase their skill levels and an opportuni... ... middle of paper ... ...ecause of the communication tools provided through HPWS. “By consistently applying the tools across Operations, Kraft was assured that people and work systems were aligned” (Carter et al, p.37). In fact, most of their Champions became so adept at HPWS that they are now internal consultants for the company. That level of knowledge, commitment, and motivation among their people will surely allow Kraft to sustain momentum and realize future success. References Bridges, W. (2009). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press. Carter, L., Ulrich, D., & Goldsmith, M. (2005). Best Practices in Leadership Development and Organization Change: How the Best Companies Ensure Meaningful Change and Sustainable Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer. Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading Change . Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

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