MRC - Manufacturers Resource Center


Highwood USA


Highwood USA is a Tamaqua, Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of premium synthetic products that mimic the look of wood and other natural materials.  Since 2003, Highwood’s building trim, deck/dock products, fencing, furniture, and outdoor accessories have delivered the beauty of wood with the long-life and ultra-low maintenance associated with synthetics.

“MRC’s assistance enabled us to conduct an employee satisfaction survey that helped identify the strategy needed to work toward our strategic goal to be an Employer of Choice.”  …  Danielle Hess, Plant Manager


In order to continue its trajectory of business growth and expansion, Highwood established a strategic goal to be the employer of choice in the region.  Without a baseline understanding of the way employees view the organization, however, the company’s management realized it was impossible to either assess its starting point or track progress.  In order to refine its strategy and understand what areas were in need of improvement, Highwood needed to establish an accurate benchmark.


Highwood engaged MRC for assistance with the survey effort.  MRC decided to pursue a third-party vendor in order to ensure validity of the results and guarantee confidentiality for survey respondents.  In the end, MRC recommended Tweed-Weber, Inc. to conduct the online employee perception survey.

Over the course of the two-week survey period, Tweed-Weber interviewed 56 of Highwood’s approximately 60 employees, asking the respondents to rate their level of agreement with 45 statements encompassing key performance factors in seven areas: job perception, work environment, opportunities for involvement and work improvement, management support, compensation and career advancement, education and training, and overall understanding of Highwood.

“The project gave us valuable insight into our employees’ collective state of mind,” says Highwood’s Plant Manager, Danielle Hess.  “We picked the five lowest scores and enacted plans to improve performance related to teamwork between shifts, effective communication flow, opportunities for career advancement, and other areas.”


  • Highwood USA created inter-shift “huddles” at the beginning and end of each shift in order to enhance communication and improve each shift’s ability to begin production quickly.
  • The company created a career plan for salaried employees and built career planning into their annual performance reviews.
  • In order to improve the accessibility of promotions related to a contribution-based pay system for hourly employees, Highwood USA streamlined the paperwork associated with this program.
  • Highwood USA decided to repeat the survey effort in the first quarter of 2016 in order to track its improvement.

To learn more about Highwood USA, visit