April 01, 2017
The Best Places to Work in Direct Selling 2017 Honorees
by Andrea Tortora
Table of Contents
The atmosphere within Plexus Worldwide’s Scottsdale, Arizona office is a feeling of everyone being on the same team.
Employees at all levels and the company’s brand ambassadors support one another on a daily basis, as well as when someone is in need. The company culture is all about improving lives and being as approachable and as transparent as needed to make that happen.
Emphasis is placed on treating people with dignity and respect every day, and on fostering relationships with a personal touch.
“It’s a team culture,” said Pam McTague, Senior Manager of Incentives and Promotions at Plexus, which makes and distributes nutrition and wellness products and supplements. “The one culture, one Plexus, mentality means we are all working together for the good of the company.”
That culture is why people stay at Plexus and why they recruit friends and family to work there, too. The welcoming environment adds to the family feel.
“This is a very supportive and amazing group of people, and I feel blessed every day to have found this opportunity, but more importantly, this family,” said Crystal Thudium, Human Resources Director.
Thudium recently had to leave the country to spend time with her father, who was hospitalized. The timing of his illness occurred right before a long-planned vacation.
“I’ve had so much support from my coworkers, offering everything from help at work, help with household chores and taking my two sons under their care,” Thudium said.
Thudium’s experience is a perfect example of how employees live the company culture every day, McTague said.
From executives down to the newest employee in the call center, Plexus operates with an open- door policy where everyone is approachable and “it makes the business more successful in the long run. It’s something people appreciate,” McTague said.
The corporate culture at Plexus is what differentiates the company from competitors, says CFO Steve Howard. It’s also what retains employees, more so than other company benefits.
As a relatively young company founded in 2006, Plexus initially “was a bootstrap organization” that had gone through a lot of growth. Today, the company provides health benefits, a 401(k) plan and a full-fledged Human Resources department.
Howard helped CEO Tarl Robinson implement all of these benefits and more, such as a health and wellness program complete with a full-time, on-site health coach added this year.
The two men knew each other socially and often talked about how Plexus was doing. As the company began to expand, the need for a professional finance department arose. “I asked Tarl what kind of firm he wanted to build, and what he said surprised me,” Howard said.
Robinson’s vision is that when employees or Ambassadors are out and about and someone asks what they do, and they say they work at Plexus, the response will be, “Wow, I have heard so many great things about that company. What do you do there?”
It’s really all about helping people, which goes back to the corporate culture. In fact, people stay at Plexus because of the culture and often recruit friends and family to join them.
Thudium’s mom works in the warehouse and Howard’s two sons have spent summers working in the warehouse, too.
Employees also enjoy weekly meetings with Plexus executives, where updates are shared, questions are asked and answered, employees are rewarded for jobs well done and upcoming challenges are addressed. Plexus also celebrates its team with special outings to baseball games or company barbecues and generous holiday parties.
Robinson is committed to making sure there is no schism between those at corporate and those working in the field. For employees, the company provides an opportunity for interesting work as it continues to grow and expand.
For Ambassadors, corporate managers as well as employees strive to support them as they build perseverance, resilience and passionate commitment to distributing Plexus products.
Each week, Plexus executives spend time talking with an Ambassador about their issues and concerns, and also to share what’s new at corporate.
Howard remembers the first time he went to a convention. He was surrounded by thousands of Ambassadors, and he said he felt the compassion and love in the room.
“There is a higher calling to it,” Howard said, and that’s why he sees no problem spending money on company events, recognition items, prizes, and awards and trips.
“All we do is designed around the Ambassadors,” Howard said. “Ambassadors put everything they’ve got into Plexus every day, and the least we can do is put all we’ve got into them. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”