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Picture Copyright © Trelleborg AB



Trelleborg Sealing Solutions struggled with a harsh tone and a tenacious old shipyard culture among the employees.  It set the stage for a modern performance culture and the goals that top management had set for the work environment. It was exciting too  legs for the employees' own desire to be involved. One  thorough kickstart of the mindset throughout the organization has sent the corporate culture on the right course.  

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in Elsinore has more than 50  years has been the market leader in the production of high-tech  sealing systems for industry. In the vicinity of 430 employees  contributes with great professional commitment to the Trelleborg Group  strong production results and positive development of danish production. But beneath the surface, for many years there has also been a harsh tone and distrust - both the employees  between and between management and production. Not exactly the best conditions to achieve a stated goal of becoming the best  placed industrial workplace in “Great Place to Work®” within  a near number of years. 

Trine Søby Jacobsen


“Maestro has been very explicit

in their way of talking to employees

on, and it just worked. In the beginning they were

most very frustrated as their usual

the mindset was peeled apart for afterwards

to be rebuilt. But it really has

kickstarted a culture change here.  

Trine Søby Jacobsen, HR Manager   

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions A / S

A showdown against shipyard culture 

Trine Søby is HR Manager at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions and has followed the lame corporate culture closely through  more than 3 years:

- Helsingør is an old shipyard town, with all that entails  of old union virtues. There were many stories that were inherited  here at Trelleborg, despite the fact that they were not substantiated. There was a little too often a "those against us mood", where the hernia heads filled too much. To that extent, we needed someone from the outside to lift us to a new level and kickstart the culture. We knew we wanted something different, but were unable to create the change ourselves. We  moves into new domicile in 2020 and it is a good opportunity to do away with the things that are not working. If you want to attract and retain the best employees in the market, it does not work with a negative tone. Fortunately, we have a very committed top management, which was behind the desire for a service overhaul of the culture here. We wanted to focus on the form of communication, how to learn from mistakes - both our own and the team's, how to hold each other up on agreements and take responsibility - not only for our own area but for our entire company. There was enough to get started on. But we believe  basically that happy employees are also efficient employees - and that they just have a fatter everyday life.  

Jesper Luja Thomsen took over as General Manager in 2016 and noticed as one of the first things the lack of performance

culture in the old company.


- It was obvious that there was rule  an old-fashioned shipyard culture and a harsh tone. How we  performed was not something one talked about or appreciated. Trelleborg is the world's best at making seals, and we have not experienced  a "burning platform" since the crisis in 2009. The business rolled  just from there, but it rarely does that forever, says  Jesper Luja Thomsen, who after half a year in the director's chair had  the first meeting with Maestro Business.  

- I have previously worked with some of the more - about  I must say - chrome-plated consulting houses. These are talented people with lots of comprehensive analysis and action plans, but it was  just too theoretical for us. Maestro came up with the headline "Performance Culture". There was substance in what they came up with - there  was tangible and direct experience and it was operational and accessible. There was good chemistry from the start and we could hear them speaking a language that our staff understood. They are even business people with a hands-on approach, and you can feel it. 


Jesper Luja Thomsen

From "Us and You" culture to a performing "We" culture  

Throughout 2017, all managers and employees throughout the organization have been through min. 5 days training with Maestro Business. Work has been done on mindset, responsibility, collective learning, constructive dialogue and communication, etc. The fact that all employees have a common image and language, and thus the same starting point, for the further cultural journey, has been high on the agenda in the process. This common starting point is i.a. something  of what will help to replace the old "Us and You" culture trip with a new "We" culture, where performance and cross-organizational cooperation are prevalent.  

- It has been difficult to get started with this in every way  huge project in one of our busiest years ever. But it is  ended up being a success story! Some employees did not want to leave in the beginning. "How do we get time" and "Yes  yes, then we try it ”and“ Can not we just be allowed to take care of our work ”we heard many times. But after the first round of training, the vast majority fortunately could not wait to start with the second  lap. Maestro has shown a great spirit and flexibility throughout the project and has, for example, trained the night team at night. They have been very explicit in their way of talking to employees  on, and it just worked. At first, most were very frustrated,  when their usual mindset was peeled apart to be rebuilt afterwards. But it has really kickstarted a culture change here. And culture is mega difficult to change, states Trine Søby,  and continues:  

- Some of the strengths of Maestro's concept include been that it is so practically applicable - not only in work situations but also in the private sphere. Many of our employees do not have an academic education. That they can understand it and use it  that in many contexts - that is a great strength. The work  with the Learning and Responsibility Models has made it clear to everyone how important it is to be able to let go of the things that cannot be changed  on; a modern puddle button and an acceptance of the premises to which we are now once subject.  


Convenient anchoring breaks down silos 

Precisely the applicability of the concept, Quality Control Manager Hans Lyster can nod in recognition of:  

- In my department I have had great pleasure in getting some tools that were easy to use. I have worked a lot with the
leadership and know the value of a common spirit, culture and language across the organization. And in my role as head of  quality control, it is important to be able to work across to find the right causes and problem solutions when things are not working out.  Previously, I experienced a tendency for us here at Trelleborg to be more silo-divided, where you sub-optimized your own department to achieve your goals. The culture did not match the flexibility of collaboration required in a modern company. Today, the professional competencies must play together with the human relations, and you do not necessarily learn that when you study to be an engineer. In the quality department, we have in connection. Maestro's course spent a lot of time working with Constructive Confrontation ™ and the mechanisms that influence how to communicate with colleagues on  across levels. Today we use Maestro's principles regarding. Learning and Responsibility active in everyday life. I feel that they provide value because we  can see that they create results. All my employees have returned from training and have been lit by the holy fire and use the words in everyday life. I experience a great satisfaction in connection with. our short daily meetings where everyone now speaks the same language. Everyone has heard the same thing, and it creates an understanding that the changes are legitimate. And then it is also my clear experience that it meant a lot that we had an overall top management which was behind the initiative. The attitude from the start was that everyone should have a chance, but not that  everyone was necessarily with when we came out on the other side. Now we just need to maintain momentum and we are on the right track. At least Maestro did what they could. 

Joint responsibility for collaboration and performance 

Ihsan Tümtürk, who has worked as a machine operator at Trelleborg  for 16 years, remember

his first reaction to having to leave for training:  

- I thought it would probably be a bit boring like the other courses I have been on.

But this was completely different - it was just really, really good! The teachers were skilled

narrators, who  talked a lot in pictures. We have always made high quality products, but today are

there much better collaboration in the department. In a way, we can say that we have become more adult people, who clearly help and support each other. We make each other better. In the past  should we grab our foreman or chairman every time a problem arose. Today we use Maestro's tools in the group and pick up and find a solution together. We have not only been given and taken more responsibility for what we do ourselves, but also for ours  colleges. We solve it in the group instead of spreading it outwards.  There will always be some who complain, but there have been fewer.  Today I see many more happy faces and there is a good mood here. And then I can greet many more by name from the other departments, it also gives a satisfaction in everyday life ", says Ihsan Tümtürk, who is backed by Trine Søby:

“Maestro Business has been fantastic at dealing with and confronting non-constructive employees. The hernia heads have not been able to come along  something that the teachers had not seen before. To that extent, Maestro has got the people involved and has been shut down for a lot of complaints. And it is my experience that 80-90% of employees have shopped  on the new ideas. It has not just been 5 training days. There has  always been something to look forward to and work with along the way. It's cool to see colleagues today dare to stand up and say

"I  have no idea what you are complaining about. You do not know at all how amazing you are  got it?" There has also been a lot of learning in it for the management,  who have become more aware of what we need to do  or understand. Maestro has been super good sparring partners in it  process and has continuously adjusted the process according to our needs. Now dry  everyone talks openly that we want better and that we do not find ourselves in a quarrel.  We simply would not have gotten here without the Maestro - at least  not in the relatively short time and we would have stood much weaker without the kick they have given us. That which is also quite strong by  Maestro's course is that it does not require their presence to live on when everyday life occurs again. Of course, it requires focus from all of us, but the tools are - after a little practice - easy to  use and make part of everyday systematics. ”  

Mission Completed 

Jesper Luja Thomsen is also extremely satisfied with the extensive cultural course that Maestro has led Trelleborg Sealing Solutions  through.  


- Maestro has fully lived up to the agreements we made from the start. They have had a super good understanding of our situation and we have only met good and committed coaches. The entire process has made it clear to all employees that a healthy and financially well-run company is a prerequisite for jobs. In the past, we experienced more of an attitude that it was a right to be here. I think that  it has dawned on many that it is not a matter of course to be part of the team here. Something is required of the individual, and it is a healthy attitude on all fronts - that you have to make an effort to be a good team player - and you have to make demands on yourself but also on your colleagues and managers. From the start, we set a vision for where we wanted to go, and we have achieved those goals. This was something we were going to do  be common about, across day, evening and night teams, staff groups, etc. And it has succeeded perfectly. We have just conducted an Engagement Survey, which shows an increased satisfaction among  employees, as well as our latest Christmas lunch and summer party  had several enrolled one ever before. It speaks for itself a bit. One of our goals has i.a. been to be the highest ranked  industrial workplace in Great Place to Work® within a number of years.  That goal is suddenly within reach now. So I can only say mission completed.  

Follow-up after 2 years

2 years after Trelleborg invested in building a new performance culture, the specific business results could be calculated as:

  • Number of complaints -50%

  • Backorder -50%

  • Productivity + 16% improvement

  • Absence -50%

  • Employee satisfaction index 70 to index 83

… And Trelleborg's journey continues. Mission still completed!

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Ishan Tümtürk

About Trelleborg Sealing Solutions 

Trelleborg is a global industrial group whose leading position in the market is based on advanced polymer technology and in-depth know-how. Trelleborg develops high-performance products that seal, dampen and protect under demanding industrial conditions. The group has an annual  turnover of around SEK 31 billion in more than 40 countries and employs 5,800 people. 

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has over 27 factories strategically spread over four continents. Complete sealing is supplied by the Danish department.  and rental solutions for all applications. Trelleborg provides sealing solutions for, among other things: Mobile and stationary hydraulics, pneumatics, oil and gas, wind, automobile, food industry, pharmaceutical industry, ships and offshore. 

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