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Deploying L&D Strategically: Accountable Partnerships with the Business


With over eight $1 billion+ brands, the Kraft Heinz Company is the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. As a globally trusted producer of high-quality foods, the company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, Capri Sun, Jell-O, Maxwell House, Planters, and Smart Ones. Key to the company’s success and its environment of empowerment are Kraft Heinz’s core values of meritocracy and ownership, reinforced through Ownerversity, an online, academy-based corporate university. Kraft Heinz’s Ownerversity, launched in 2017, provides their global workforce with continuous development and growth opportunities, building a talent bench – at scale.

“In order to be highly effective learning and development professionals, we have positioned ourselves as strategic partners of the business.”

– Julie Dozier, Former Global Head of Learning Design, Technology, & Operations, Kraft Heinz

Learning & Development Approach Aligned with Company Culture

When the new Kraft Heinz L&D team was assembled in early 2017, training programs were largely instructor-led. There was no centralized tracking or ability to leverage analytics. Moreover, there was little evidence of knowledge retention or knowledge transfer. This wasn’t going to cut it in Kraft Heinz’s value-oriented and results-oriented culture. The team was tasked with building a new L&D organization from scratch and embarked on a path to create a vibrant learning culture that was closely aligned with the needs of the business.

Core to the design of Ownerversity, debuting in the summer of 2017, was its integration with the business functions and focus on building capabilities. Ownerversity is organized into academies, some of which support a specific business area and are focused on functional skill-building, such as Sales, Marketing, R&D, and Operations. Other academies, like Leadership and Methodology, serve the whole population and offer learning experiences to build critical skills that all Kraft Heinz employees need.

Building Immersive Learning Experiences at Scale

The Kraft Heinz Company needed a learning experience platform that could support and cultivate a dynamic learning culture and deepen the impact of learning and development. The team sought a platform that would:

  • Empower global learning teams to create and facilitate custom courses easily
  • Allow for cohort-based and self-paced micro-courses
  • Encourage group interactions from peers, mentors, and leaders
  • Promote active participation through gamification and progress tracking
  • Seamlessly integrate with Cornerstone OnDemand and Workday

The team began the search for a learning platform that would help them create, curate, and deliver an interactive, digital learning experience. The Kraft Heinz Company ultimately partnered with NovoEd because the NovoEd learning experience met their business requirements and learning aspirations. Additionally, they wanted a partnership and found an authentic, collaborative partnership with NovoEd.

“The ease with which our learning teams can author courses and develop online practice components was a real differentiator.”

– Julie Dozier, Former Global Head of Learning Design, Technology, & Operations, Kraft Heinz

Expanding Learning – Leadership, Sales, and Marketing, Onboarding

The Kraft Heinz Company has launched over 20 Ownerversity courses on the NovoEd Learning Platform including onboarding, marketing fundamentals, leadership, and methodology training. One notable course example is PDCA Basics (plan, do, check, act), the company’s continuous improvement methodology, which is required of all employees with MBOs and is currently translated into eight languages to extend the reach of the program to 7,000+ employees.

Measuring Success

Academy learning teams rely on two measures of success – completion rates and satisfaction scores. Since partnering with NovoEd, Kraft Heinz has received positive feedback through end of course evaluations and continually monitors the success of their courses. And, as needed, in response to demand from business functions, they will introduce additional courses to facilitate their learners’ ongoing growth and career progression.







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