HP’s Ambassador Program brings new trust between managers, workers

At the Image and Printing Group (IPG) of Hewlett-Packard, social media have created a new openness and immediacy.

Fifteen months ago, Ragan’s Steve Crescenzo interviewed Caron Kushner, head of the Ambassador Program for Hewlett-Packard’s Image and Printing Group. They talked about the success of a program that asks ordinary workers to frequently act as managers. The Ambassador Program at HP had begun two years earlier, in 2005, in the midst of big change at the West Coast computer giant.

The basic idea of the Ambassador Program: Each of 800 employee ambassadors worldwide is responsible for communicating the gripes and ideas of his or her network of 30 IPG workers to management at least once a month. An ambassador also acts as a delegate from management and a teacher, bringing facts to the network, squelching rumors and filling gaps in employee education.

We went back to find out what has happened at IPG in the year and a quarter since Crescenzo’s story appeared.—ed.

In 2005, Hewlett-Packard’s Image and Printing Group (IPG) division began the biggest transformation in the division’s history.

It didn’t need to do this. Business was booming.

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