At an awards dinner held on February 27, 2019, Brand Vaughan Lumber President Jon Vaughan and CEO Chip Vaughan were delighted to find out that BVL had been named the 27th Top Midsized Workplace in Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The annual award had over 4,300 nominated businesses this year and was determined in part by an extensive survey sent by Energage Consulting to each nominated company’s employees.
“Unbelievable,” said Jon Vaughan, when asked about finding out his company had made the top fifty. “We want our employees to be recognized for how awesome they are. This was an awesome feeling of accomplishment.”
It hasn’t been easy. Two years ago, when Brand Vaughan submitted their company for consideration, the results weren’t what they were expecting.
“We knew that our culture needed a lot of work. It wasn't something we really spent enough time on.”
But Jon didn’t see a low score as a defeat. Instead, it was an opportunity.
“The key was we got back the information. We took those results and looked at how we could work on our structure and culture. I spent a lot of time on that, once we had a benchmark.”
Jon started a series of professional development lunches. The program was originally developed to target young employees in the company but was eventually expanded to include employees of all ages and from all departments.
A new program, Java with Jon, focuses on helping employees understand the company’s collective mission and seeks input on what elements of the business are working, where it could improve and what they’d like to see happen in the future. And it’s been a huge success.
“The response has been so tremendous. I thought people were going to walk in like it was a jail sentence. But they get there and they’re excited. They’ve got notebooks full of ideas they want to contribute.”
The results have paid off. “When [the Atlanta Journal-Constitution] called to say ‘hey you made it’, it was great because we’ve worked so hard. Working hard on sales, you see the impact of changes almost instantly. But culture is tough to gauge and easy to lose sight of. We’re really excited to be on the list.”
The timing of the award has an extra special family connection. “March 3rd was my grandfather’s birthday. He would have been 101 years old, and this is something that would have made him incredibly proud.”