Analysis of Kraft Foods
[pic] Kraft Food Analysis of Kraft Food Kraft Foods is an American food and beverage multinational company. It produces and markets many brands to more than 170 countries, and 12 of its brands earn more than $1 billion worldwide annually (“Kraft Foods”, 2011). Most of the food products which we consume everyday belongs to this company. For instance, some of well-known brands are Jacobs and Maxwell, Milka and Toblerone, Tang and Cipso. It is the successful and popular leading food companies of the world.
So, Kraft Foods will be reviewed in terms of values and promises that it communicates with consumers and employees, communication and job satisfaction respectively. Values of the company are shared among its employees. First value of the company is its employees. The company highlights the importance of its employees and their contribution to the company. It emphasized that hardworking and passionate workers, who constantly seeks ways to make content consumers by finding innovation, make the company what it was. After it, Focus, Passion, Speed, Teamwork and Trust are listed as the most important values of company.
Those five values describe fundamental structure of organizational process. Firstly, focus on what is needed to improve the business and focus on what is important to make customers happy is like starting point of the process. Generating innovation according to needs is second value of the company. After focus and innovation, Passion which is motive of making better outcome in each work, the next value in order to reach the most desired outcome. You can manage focus, innovation and passion, but you also have a speed as a fourth value of company in order to compete with other food companies.
As it is known in the beginning of the paragraph, employees are the key agents who make the name of brand. So, it is normal that fifth value is the teamwork. The final value of it is trust which is the fundamental block of teamwork and organizational communication. Firstly, the company promises to be open and inclusive, because it sees this value as a critical value to create a high-performing organizational culture. Being open to different perspectives make innovation easy and better. It claims that openness and inclusiveness to diversity are so embedded into their way of doing business and into every department of it.
They constitute its blocks of organizational culture. Taking into account every possible different perspectives and evaluate them is one of promises which the company gives to its employees. Also, it guarantees that discrimination or harassment based on age, race, disability, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation or any other legally protected status are not allowed. If the company is able to approach diversity in a positive manner, this gives workers feeling of recognition and makes them more motivated. When we want to give concrete example, 43% of their mployees are women and 35% of management team is constituted by females. It shows us that there is no gender discrimination on hiring and it opens up to gender diversity. Secondly, it promises employees that they will be work in an international environment. For instance, they can be participated into European/International projects. Other than it, they can join into short-term overseas assignments, and then join into longer-term assignments when they develop in their career path. Moreover, the company assures training and development programs for employees in order to reach their best level of expertise.
These programs are like job training, cross functional projects and corporate training programs. It also promises giving feedback about how employees’ outcome contributes to the business in general. It is obvious that the promises of the company are motivating factor for employees. When we take into account both values and promises of the company, we can conclude that we are open to all ideas, we can discuss about them in a participative context, we can decide collectively and finally we deliver what we decided to others in order to make them be aware of what is going on the company.
Their motto is “We discuss. We decide. We deliver. ” The company uses variety of internal communication channels. Social and sports activities are among the practices which HR department prefer to use as internal communication channels. Employees can join sports teams and organized social events including a winter ski day, summer golfing day and a winter family fun day during the holidays. Those enjoyable events are organized by the company-subsidized social committee. They make work atmosphere better and improve communication among workers.
It also creates a sense of equity, because every employee has equal access to them. In addition to this, employees can have a chance of socializing and increasing interaction with their co-workers by providing richly physical workplace which contains the fitness facility with free membership, employee lounge with foosball and television, quiet room for meditation and reflection, and a nap room for employees who need a quick break during the day, cafeteria with healthy menus and subsidized meals. While those places offer many opportunities for employees, they can facilitate the internal communication at the same time.
The company thinks that every people has different ways of absorbing news and information, every people can use different channels, therefore the company must use very different channels to communicate with its employees. The Kraft Foods is relatively very successful in this issue. It uses face-to-face communication activities such as town hall meetings and lunch-and-learn sessions. Moreover, it has its corporate intranet and internal blog sites. Newsletters, news magazines and e-business updates are also available for employees. The company is also in Facebook. It shares company news.
Their community involvement projects and sustainability efforts are announced here. The most important application of it is that some of the Kraft Foods team join to talk about their own areas of expertise to enable information sharing and facilitates internal communication. One of internal communication channel of the company which is very popular is iPhone. Kraft employees use their iPhones for sending email, organizing calendar, and saving contacts. Kraft employees can listen to audio messages, dubbed “Kraft Casts,” from the CEO and other executives on their iPhones.
They are so useful to stay up-to-date on the latest corporate strategies and branding initiatives. It can be also very effective to improve [pic][pic][pic] downward communication. It makes easy information flow from top people in the company like CEOs to all employees. Learning company future strategies or plans by reading from a bulletin is less visual and live compared to by listening and watching from iPhone. There have been many community involvement projects within organization. Employees organized national and international charitable organizations with the support of company.
For instance, in my view, the welfare activities serve two functions for the company. Firstly, they can make employees from all levels of organization together. They are one of social events and internal communication channels. They can work for an interdependent goal cooperatively during these charities. Employees from different departments can have a contact with each other and can improve their social relationships with co-workers. In this way, internal communication among employees can be facilitating thanks to them. [pic][pic][pic] Secondly, they can also become an external communication channel for the company.
We can encounter much news in the social media when the company performs a charitable activity or subscribes to a relief fund. The company can communicate its brand externally thanks to this news. They can make contribution to the respectability, reliability of company, and at the same increases brand awareness at the same time. In sum, we can consider charitable organizations as both internal and external communications channels. Employer brand of the company is one of external communication channels of it. It can communicate itself through its brand name.
While it creates its brand with what it did in the market, the brand creates the company at the same time. There is a reciprocal relationship between two. It can tell the reputation and image of the company in the market via its brand. At the same time, this external communication channels can be a motivating factor for the employees and for the upcoming new employees. The more famous and prestigious brand is, the more people want to work in this company. Its reputation in the market will attract the new employees. Upward communication is less applied in organizations than downward communication.
Although there is an open and inclusive workplace for generating diverse ideas, we can not know whether this freedom is also seen in performance evaluation of managers by subordinates. There is not available information about whether subordinate appraisals of managers are applied or are not. Appraisals of supervisors which are done by the subordinates can give feedback about the performance of supervisors. If they take into account these feedbacks, they can be more effective in their working process and managing process. As employees start to recognize that heir feedback is taken into account, upward communication can be also provided. On the other hand, the company has spread all around the world. For instance, one manager who is from Europe can supervise the employees who are from very different and far away country. Thanks to the ways the Internet enables communications like teleconference, a manager can work for a far away office of the company (Waltner, 2010). Although it has some advantages like company can choose best manager by basing on performance, not basing on location, it can be a barrier to upward communication.
While networks for teleconference are available more easily when there is a meeting between senior managers from different departments, it can accessed more difficulty when more subordinate employee need it to communicate with managers. Moreover, the other factor is cultural differences. How much employees want to share their ideas about managers can be change according to culture. For instance, in more collectivistic culture, people can think that making criticism about a person can be perceived as offense by him. So, they don’t want to share its views about him in order to conform existing situation.
They can fear of being evaluated negatively by their managers if they give negative feedback about their managers. So, suggestion or complaint boxes can be a good solution for those employees. Attitude surveys are one possible ways of improving upward communication. However, if the results of those surveys about the performance and effectiveness of manager are not taken into account by managers, they have no value (Aamodt, 2010). So, managers also organize a time for discussing the feedback with employees face to face.
Although Kraft Foods has those kinds of surveys like many international companies, in my view, it can not effectively discuss its result with subordinates. Because, some employees have still reported some upward communication problem in a website that employees can report reviews about their company anonymously. One of employees says that there is low level of employee participation in decision making. Also, he suggested that the company should take into account the employee surveys (Kraft Foods Employee Review, 2011). Along with that comment, Kraft should initiate more democratic and participative style of management.
It can improve upward communication if employees are able to generate ideas or share their concerns about process by including in the decision-making process. The company has all of the channels of communication which are essential in downward communication like bulletin boards, annual reports, newsletters, annual fact sheets or intranets. Although much of communication in organization is downward when compared with upward and although most of channels are available, still downward communication can not reach perfect level.
For instance, although the company has a policy manuals or annual reports, they can not function properly, because they have a very technical language. Employees have to read themselves. Interactive meetings to discuss about current company news can be more effective than only transmitting corporate news and facts through written material. For instance, although Kraft Foods Senior Financial Analyst says that the company has many benefits, he suggests that it should improve communication and especially downward communication from middle management (Kraft Food Employee Review, 2011).
Although the company has many channels, still some managers don’t really share essential things with employees. Some of them don’t set a proper guideline for what employee will do to achieve its goals. They don’t healthy share about what, when and how employees will do a task. They think that employees have already known those things, because they are their work. They have a problem in taking employees’ perspectives. So, people managerial positions can be received training programmes to improve their communication skill with their subordinates and make them aware of needs and strivings of their subordinates.
Do employees really satisfied with their jobs? For instance, Dieter Follens who is the manager of Product Costing Coffee in Kraft Foods Europe said about the company is that it did not provide only a job for him, but it also provides a career in Finance for him. He had worked as an assistant with internal controls, a financial analyst, a cost controller, finance manager in our European Union (EU) Office after Belgium, and product cost manager respectively. This shows us that Kraft Foods provides employees job rotation.
It is one of motivating factors of the company. They can satisfy the needs of growth and challenge. Employees feel less boredom and feel more motivated to their jobs. Also, they can understand better how they contribute to the development of the company (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Understanding the effectiveness of individual outcome and the significance of task which are among five core dimensions of Job Characteristic Model explains the satisfying effects of job rotation. Also, Mr. Follens indicated that awareness of contributing to the the growth f company make him satisfied and engaged with job, an even he added that when contribution took place in different ways, then satisfaction turns into real pleasure for him. His comments obviously showed us that job rotation and changes in the job characteristics make workers satisfied. This is the example of satisfied employee. It is impossible to expect that all employees feel and think same things about the company and their position. Also, Dieter works in organizational part of the company. We can analyze Kraft Food Company as focusing separately on white collar workers and blue collar workers.
It is a big multinational manufacturing company in the field of food and beverage, so most of its employees are blue collars, in other words, they are hourly workers. While flexile work options were useful for professional employees, they are not good for manufacturing ones. Therefore, employee dissatisfaction was observed among hourly workers in 2001 and 2002 surveys. Fast Adapts Program was prepared in order to decrease the dissatisfaction. It provided workers shift-swapping, single-day vacations and job sharing.
Changes in work options make increase in the level of satisfaction one year later (Executive Office of the President Council of Economic Advisers, 2010). The underlying factor that made this improvement was the autonomy, because it offered plant managers the autonomy in deciding the best suitable flexible work options for their own plant and implementing them. One empirical study showed that when the perceptions of nurses about opportunity of structural empowerment changed, changes in psychological empowerment and so in job satisfaction were observed.
It means that employees feel more motivated to work and satisfied with their job when they can make work related decisions that will affect themselves (Laschinger, Finegan, Shamian, & Wilk, 2004). We can also form a relationship between this employee empowerment strategy and the Job Characteristic Model. It proposes that any job has five basic dimensions: Skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, feedback. The most relevant dimension to the empowerment programs in Kraft Foods is the autonomy. It can be defined as the degree of freedom which job offer employees about scheduling the work and deciding procedures to implement it.
This freedom makes employees more satisfied and intrinsically motivated to job over time by providing to them experienced responsibility and recognition (Robbins & Judge, 2011). We can observe the same pattern in workers of Kraft foods. There are basic key motivators for employees. As in the most companies, compensation and benefits are among key motivator factors of Kraft Foods. For instance, Canada Kraft offers great financial benefits like bonuses for some employees (depending on the position), new employee referral bonuses (up to $1,000 for some positions), and year-end bonuses (to $100,000).
Also, it provides health benefits plan including fertility drug treatments. In addition to this, it offers an employee store with discounted food products, dinner catering services (called the “Kraft Kafe 5 O’Clock Solutions” to take home meals). Also, it provides maternity leave with 100% of salary for 17 weeks. Performance management is one of motivator factors of Kraft Foods. For instance, employees receive individual performance reviews every 6 months in Kraft Canada (Yerema & Leung, 2011). In order to evaluate employees better, managers enroll training programs how to make effective performance reviews.
Also, performance evaluation is not only based on one manager’s views, but also it is based on co-workers and other managers who know the employee. In addition to this, it takes a consultant service to make employee satisfaction and engagement surveys better and professionally. In relation to performance management, the most important motivating factor of the company is the training and skills development opportunities for employees. Two motivators are very much related to each other. As the company makes proper performance management, it can organize better training programs according to developmental needs of employees.
For instance, Kraft Canada offers tuition subsidies for courses that are related to employees’ position for the development of them. Moreover, it provides professional accreditations; in-house training programs; online training programs; new employee orientation program. In addition to this, the company offers skills development outside the position of employees in Kraft test kitchens like food tastings, cooking classes and culinary presentations. Also, Kraft Foods North America (KFNA) promotes intranet provides professional development resources for its employees including access to training and mentoring.
Values and ethics are among key motivator factors of the company. There is an available 15 pages document of Codes of conduct and Kraft Foods Rules of Behavior in the website of the company. It is also translated so many other languages in order to communicate its compliance and values correctly and efficiently with employees from different nations. It states 10 rules which all employees have to be obeyed. For instance, one of the most important rules of it is behaving people fairly. There are some missing motivating factors for employees in the company like clear career path.
For instance, Cristina Monterrey who is Human Capital Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers emphasized that Pwc provide a clear career path to employees. Each employee knows what will be his position in five years. Thanks to this knowledge about their future work life, employees feel more secure and certainty. In this way, employees feel more committed to their work and companies. Other than themselves, an agent helps them organizing their future. Worries about future which can cause stress destroyed in this way and employees work passionately.
But, in the case of Kraft Foods, although it provides feedback about performance and training programs according to these feedbacks, there is no available information about a structured career program for employees. In order to make employees more motivated, career plans can be provided for them. Kraft Foods Category Planner in Glenview said that Kraft Foods is a lucrative place to work, but the employees earn every cent they make due to extremely long work hours (Kraft Food employee review, n. d. ). Although he reported that there were lots of opportunities, he paid attention to work load especially for employees with a family.
Long work hours can create stress problems, because employees can not balance their work and family life properly. Long hours can be a fundamental dissatisfying factor and it can harm performance along with effect of stress. In my view, there can be some modifications in work schedule. For instance, they can provide alternative or flexible work schedules. Employees start to feel more control over their work by deciding their own working hours. This autonomy and positive effect of change on family life can make employees more motivated to their jobs. References Aamodt, M. G. (2010).
Industrial/Organizational Psychology. USA: Wadsworth Cengage learning. Executive Office of the President Council of Economic Advisers. (2010). Work-life Balance and the Economics of the Workplace Flexibility. Kraft Foods. (2011). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 19, 2011, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Kraft_Foods. Kraft Foods Employee Review (2011). Retrieved from http://www. glassdoor. com/Reviews/Kraft- Foods-Reviews-E13294. htm. Laschinger,H. K. S. , Finegan, J. E. , Shamian, J. , & Wilk, P. (2004). A longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of Workplace Empowerment on Work Satisfaction.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 527–545. Robbins, S. P. , & Judge, T. A. (2011). Organizational Behavior. New jersey: Pearson. Yerema, R. and Leung, K. (2011). Chosen as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2012. Retrieved from http://www. eluta. ca/top-employer-kraft-canada. Waltner, C. (2010). Networking Communications for the Global Corporation: An Interview with Kraft Foods CIO, Mark Dajani. Retrieved from http://newsroom. cisco. com/feature-content? type=webcontent&articleId=5305212. [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]