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Reinventing the Workplace:
How Business and Employees Can Both Win:  Rhino Foods
by Dr. David I. Levine

Rhino Foods is a fifty-employee specialty dessert manufacturer in Burlington, Vermont. In the spring of 1993, efficiency improvements, resulting in part from the company's employee-driven productivity program, and an unexpected drop in orders threatened to displace workers. Shunning layoffs, Ted Castle, president and founder of Rhino, brought the problem to the whole company and asked for volunteers to find a solution. The twenty-six volunteers developed a list of ten solutions. The top one was an employee exchange program between Rhino and other companies in the area with a need for workers. Rhino sent employees to companies such as Ben and Jerry's and Gardener's Supply as contract workers, broadening the employees' experience and building commitment for the entire work force.

Note: This example was drawn from Department of Labor, Office of the American Workplace, Road to High-Performance Workplaces (1994).

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  Last update 2/16/99.