Top 100 Ideas: Hayes Marine – Looking within


Brent Renneke
March 29, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

This is part three of a series of ideas from the 2012 Boating Industry Top 100 dealers. To apply for the 2013 list, visit

Travis and Kathy Hayes, co-owners of Appling, Ga.-based Hayes Marine, had a quickly growing business, which warranted the growth of its staff. And with more hands on deck, also came an increase in capable minds to play vital roles in the further growth of Travis and Kathy’s company.

So in 2010, both came up with the idea to begin holding staff-wide strategic planning sessions. Topics included human resource-related items, action items for the upcoming year, forming an employee satisfaction survey, process maps, quality control process and even pay plans – among others.

The result, according to Kathy, was increased team engagement and a better business.

“The session was a success and was a time for our employees to ask us what our goals were for Hayes Marine, where the business is going and how we could all achieve our individual and collective goals together,” she said.

Leadership and the employees were able to select the pay plan for the staff, as well as choose a new rotation of their work schedule, shifting to four, 10-hour days.

The physical environment of the dealership’s service shop was tweaked with new supplies added, which was at the suggestion of employees at the meeting. Travis also took the opportunity to give a firsthand report of Hayes Marine’s financials, and how each employee in the room was able to impact those results.

In the second year of holding these strategic meetings, the dealership invited its business coach for feedback on the meeting. The adviser was particularly impressed with how Travis communicated the financials of the business and how each employee was looped into his or her own contribution and the mission of the dealership.

“He felt this meeting was a vehicle for increasing our team's engagement in the process and the business,” Kathy said.


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