Our company has been recognized as PROSALES' Dealer of the Year for 2006. That is a tremendous public acknowledgement for the efforts and attitudes of the 1,100 people who make up the Ply Mart team.

Our company motto is “Pride in our Product and People” and our No. 1 asset is our culture. It is the way those 1,100 people interact as members of a team and demonstrate mutual respect, courtesy, commitment, and a focus on internal and external customers.

Randy Mahaffey, President Ply Mart, Norcross, Ga. Randy Mahaffey, President Twice a month, I lead off our new-employee orientation with the sole purpose of gaining “buy-in” to the Ply Mart culture. New employees are told that, among other things, they should view the company as being the vehicle to their career and financial goals. After all, they recently determined that their best option for a career was at Ply Mart. With that in mind, they can make the very best of the opportunity by being valuable in whatever role they are in.

Prior to beginning my comments at employee orientation, I hand each employee one of my business cards. Early on, I ask the new employees to look at the cards and tell me if they see anything unusual. Someone will say, “It's got your home telephone number on it.” I reply, “Yes, and it has my direct office line and my cell phone number. During this orientation, we will be making a lot of commitments to you. Some are those value statements here on the wall. Another important commitment is that you will be treated with respect, you won't be subject to prejudice of any kind, you won't be managed by fear and intimidation and you won't be subjected to embarrassment and humiliation. You can hold me accountable for those statements. That's why you have all of my phone numbers.”

I also tell them, “We believe that at the end of the day, people of the Ply Mart team want to return home knowing that they have been a valuable part of the team and have contributed to the team's success. That's why one of our Value Statements is about ‘meaningful work.'”

A big part of our culture is having fun. We are simply more productive when we're having fun. Nothing says that better than my closing remarks—remarks that I first heard in 1987:

“There are two things that you should do every day: The first is to have fun. If you find that you are not having fun, then you need to have a backup plan to have fun.

“The second thing you do every day is have a positive impact on the life of another human being.”


Ply Mart, Norcross, Ga.