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Drywall manufacturer Improves Workplace Culture and Employee Engagement


Trim-Tex is the leader in drywall manufacturer with 150 employees, located in Lincolnwood, Illinois.

The Challenge

Trim-Tex was determined to break away from the traditional “command and control” manufacturing mindset and create a more collaborative and engaged work environment. The organization has been on a journey to become a lean manufacturer with a lean mindset. Leadership knew they needed engaged employees who can continue to improve the business in order to maximize productivity in a lean culture.
Our investment in people goes hand-in-hand with our success.
— George Sobota, Plant Operations Manager

MEP's Role

With a long-standing relationship with IMEC, part of the MEP National Network™, it made sense to engage the experts in order to move further on their lean journey. The transformation began with an Employee Engagement Survey, which revealed their biggest opportunities for improvement — they needed to upgrade their leadership and supervisory training to cultivate an open, positive work environment.

They then completed the Building a Competitive Workforce of the Future training, partially funded by Chicago Workforce Funder Alliance. This training focused on educating leaders and bringing them to a better place to lead the company into the culture Trim-Tex was aiming for. Once Trim-Tex fulfilled the need for leadership training, Employee Manufacturing Essential Skills training through Tooling U was the next logical step. They realized some frontline leaders were being overtasked and overburdened, impacting their ability to effectively supervise and lead their teams.

With employee skills training managers were able to focus on empowering their employees to improve productivity and personal growth – leading to more bandwidth for the frontline leaders. “This was a fantastic introduction of a tool that could be further applied to our organization,” said Trim-Tex Plant Operations Manager George Sobota. “The fact that this was online and that an individual can take this at their pace, was very helpful."

Trim-Tex has noticed an incredible response from the employees. The most notable change is the boost in company morale. The workforce is more engaged — individuals are being more assertive in how they do their day-to-day work, and more innovative ideas are starting to surface. Overall, business is more resilient than ever before, and they can adjust to market conditions and changes faster and more effectively. These trainings allowed for growth on all levels, resulting in a more well-rounded, flexible workforce. Responsibilities that were hindering managers and supervisors from focusing on leadership-level tasks are now handed off to a level down: from the manager to the supervisor, and from the supervisor to the group lead. Now, responsibilities get pushed to where they need to live, enabling managers and supervisors to make better and faster decisions, while focusing on their core duties. It is safe to say that Trim-Tex is one step closer to becoming a lean manufacturer.

Created August 4, 2022