Top Workplaces 2022: Magid glove and safety


Ask Kristy Williams why she loves her job as Vice President of Talent at Magid Glove and Safety in Romeoville and she quickly extols its virtues at length.

“Magid has been very intentional in creating a workplace culture that attracts top talent,” she said. “Part of that is because our CEO, Greg Cohen, takes a lot of time to make sure team members know why Magid is a great place to work. He does a great job of clarifying Magid’s vision and making sure we all understand how we connect to it.

“He is very involved in meetings with our management team and our senior leaders and emphasizes the importance of leadership, which is essential to ensure that when we obtain talent, we are able to keep talent,” said said Williams.

Kristy Williams, vice president of talent at Magid Safety.

Magid, a manufacturer and distributor of personal protective equipment, is a fourth-generation, family-owned company ranked #47 among midsize employers in the Chicago Tribune’s 2022 Best Workplaces list, as measured by the consulting firm Energage in Exton, Pennsylvania. Magid does serious work providing innovative safety products to protect workers in hazardous environments. But he also likes to have fun and understands the importance of work-life balance.

“The No. 1 key to our success is our strong team,” Cohen said. “We currently have the strongest team in our history, and that’s what really makes Magid so successful. An integral part of our business model is to help our team members develop, grow and succeed. The company offers tuition reimbursement, in-house training and support for external training programs.

“We like to say that safety isn’t just a job, it’s our heritage. Since 1946, my family has been passionate about worker safety. Years later, we are still a family business, and that passion and concern for helping others has continued and grown with our organization,” Cohen said.

“As I walk around Magid and speak with employees, it’s clear that our team is proud to work at a company where they know they make a difference every day. We don’t just make and ship products. We help our customers keep their workers safe.

Because Magid is in the personal protective equipment business, it was able to provide first responders and healthcare workers with the PPE they desperately needed, donating over a quarter of a million product dollars to various organizations throughout the pandemic.

Magid has also partnered with big companies like Google, Amazon, Tesla and Bechtel to jointly donate large amounts of PPE.

Dave Forberg, Vice President of Operations for Magid Safety, leads a tour of Magid's manufacturing facility and warehouse at Romeoville Headquarters.

Beyond that, Team Magid members volunteer with Feed My Starving Children and Habitat for Humanity, and participate in fundraising events throughout the year, such as the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5K. and a variety of food, toy and clothing donations during the holidays.

“Founder’s Day is when we celebrate important anniversaries and milestones,” Cohen said. “Some people have spent their entire careers here and it’s a special experience to celebrate members who have contributed to the company for 30, 40, 50 plus years.”

Magid has found that providing a fun and engaging workplace makes employees more motivated, productive and happy.

“Two words we often hear when our team members describe their work at Magid are family and fun,” Cohen said. “We work hard to accomplish our mission to protect workers, but we also take time to have fun and enjoy each other. We celebrate holidays and events together, celebrate each other’s accomplishments, and encourage our team members to take care of themselves, build relationships, and support one another.

He added: “A healthy work-life balance is a top priority at Magid, as is physical well-being. We offer camaraderie opportunities like indoor and outdoor walking tracks, a playground with basketball, pickleball and ping pong, and even the occasional yoga session at your desk.

Several production samples of leather gloves produced by Magid Safety can be seen on a wall at Magid's Romeoville manufacturing facility.

Caring for people within the organization and outside of it in the wider community leads to a higher level of purpose for Magid. It takes shape in many ways.

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“We’re caring for our community with holiday campaigns to donate clothes, food and toys,” Cohen said. “We sponsor blood drives, group volunteer sessions, and have even partnered with Chicago Scholars to provide opportunities for young people in underprivileged communities. It is in these moments that Magid’s strong corporate culture is most evident. After more than 75 years in business, we strive to be a place where people can be themselves, have fun and perform at their best to help the business grow.

Sarah Anderson, Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management, rose through the corporate ranks at Magid. She started as a product manager about 10 years ago.

Sarah Anderson, Senior Director of Marketing and Product Strategy at Magid Safety.

“Over the years Magid has made significant investments in my professional development,” she said. “This is one of the main reasons why I have stayed with the company for so long. Magid has helped me realize my potential by providing many opportunities and training programs to improve my professional and leadership skills.

She added, “One of the things we are working on is leading our industry with innovative security solutions, and through that one of the processes we take is deep discussions with our customers so that we can create products that keep our workers safe. This mission is very inspiring for all employees here.

The importance of having a strong organizational culture cannot be overstated. A group called The Forum! meets regularly to foster a culture of high performance.

“Senior management and I meet with representatives from every part of the organization, and anyone in the company can submit concerns, requests or opinions,” Cohen said. “The interlocutors are responsible for bringing the issues to the group and we respond to each in writing and pass it on to the entire Magid team. Over the years, we’ve used that feedback to make changes as small as adding straws in the cafeteria to changes as big as implementing our first work-from-home policy.

Brenda Richardson is a freelance writer.


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