Total Door

Success with The Center

TOTAL DOOR SYSTEMS: Boosting Employee Engagement to Become a World-Class Leader

After our employee engagement survey, we were not afraid to recognize we had weaknesses. Bringing in The Center to do a deep dive on our employees’ frame of mind was a critical step. As an executive team, we were able to show a greater level of trust and respect in letting the Area Experts do their job, which in turn allows us to do our job better.
-- Jeanne Kitchen, Chief Operating Officer

Total Door Systems ( is the global leader in fully-integrated door systems that provide unparalleled security and unmatched reliability with a nearly infinite selection of design options. Total Door has built their processes and service around integrity, efficiency, sustainability and world-class service. All parts are engineered, manufactured and assembled at their award-winning Waterford, Mich., plant, where they employ 46.


The Total Door management team understood the value of engaging their employees to become a world-class organization. At times, communication, accountability, recognition and opportunity were not at the forefront of the organization. Recognizing weaknesses in those areas, they wanted to ensure their employees felt involved and appreciated at all times to improve cost, quality and delivery, while inspiring a sense of fulfillment and self-value.


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To understand how their employees felt regarding key engagement drivers, like communication, leadership, opportunity and teamwork, Total Door’s workers completed an employee survey facilitated by the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center). Combined with one-on-one and focus group interviews, The Center used the data collected to create an assessment of employee engagement.

This assessment provided a path for Total Door to create an engagement plan, which involved restructuring the organizational chart to promote a new Plant Manager and gave Area Experts more departmental accountability and influence. A cross-functional Employee Engagement Team also was formed to implement engagement recommendations, including weekly meetings with the office team to improve communication, monthly one-on-one meetings between the COO and team members and daily meetings between the Plant Manager and Area Experts.

Sales representatives who frequently visited Total Door’s facility in the past noticed the improvements made in the facility, with John Acton of Mitchell Sales & Associates commenting, “Each member of your team, from the front office to the loading dock, is a testament to the positive environment you’ve created there.” Peter Walker of P.B. Walker & Associates also stated, “From the posters on the wall by the team lunchroom to the positive attitudes and friendliness of the people… Together, you have all built something great.”


  • Turnover decreased 10%
  • Tenure increased 7% over two years
  • Levels of engagement increased from 47.6% reporting moderate to high engagement to 96.9% in one year