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Building companies raising the bar for workplace culture

Hiring is hard for everyone at the moment but you can be more attractive for potential talent through offering a great culture.

Leading Teams, a specialist organisation that facilitates programs to create a positive organisational culture, says candidates are driven toward organisations with a positive culture, purpose, and strong leadership.

They report that 66 per cent of Australian workers would sacrifice an increase in pay for a more supportive workplace culture with greater work flexibility, engaging leadership, connection to purpose, and mental health and happiness.

Christopher Italiano, People and Culture Manager with Hermitage Homes says that a positive work culture is one where everyone feels they are valued.

“We all live these busy and chaotic lives, so it’s important to create a calm, caring & inclusive environment. Make no mistake, we are results driven, but at Hermitage our people come first, they are like our family,” says Chris.

“Making sure we create an environment of belonging allows everyone to express themselves and feel safe.”

“We support our people to make decisions so they can deliver on their projects,” he says.

Chris also says culture comes into play when aligning with suppliers.

“We like to operate like a family and hold onto strong values of everyone helping each other – this is a big part of selecting the suppliers we work with. It’s got to be people we trust,” he says.

Creating that culture comes down to the right hire too, according to Chris.

“We look for people whose values align with us – whether it’s staff or suppliers. A particular trade may be more expensive but if they’re the right fit, we will pay.”

For co-owner of Panache Designer Homes, Angie Gaddi, creating a great culture in the building industry starts with safety for trades and employees.

“We want to make sure everyone gets back home safely to their family,” she explains.

Angie shares that as a woman in the building industry, she has experienced the unpleasantness of being spoken to poorly because of her gender. In her own business, she combats this by making sure everyone knows they are valued for what they have to offer.

“Everyone deserves respect – trade, apprentice, or owner,” she says.

“It’s important your team knows you appreciate them, that they have a shared purpose to complete the project at a high standard, and that they’re working for someone who treats them as you would like to be treated.”

Finally, Angie says strong communication is essential.

“The first thing I do on site is see if anyone has any issues to raise or if there’s anything that we can improve on. The team knows they can always call or text if there are any issues and know their thoughts and ideas matter,” she says.

A positive working environment can get the best out of your team

In the 60s American psychologist Frederick Herzberg developed the “Two-factor Theory” that identified different drivers that impact our motivation and performance. He claimed hygiene factors such as pay, conditions of work, and workplace equipment are very important elements of work, but do not tend to drive performance over time, rather prevent staff being dissatisfied. Meanwhile, what drives staff to go the extra mile include praise, recognition, purpose and meaningful work.

Tips for building a great culture

  1. Have safety at the core of your business, physical and psychological. When team members can feel comfortable in sharing their authentic selves without judgement or risk, they are more effective and loyal
  2. Ensure genuine alignment with your organisation’s values and its team members, then align with others who share them
  3. Teamwork makes the dream work. Celebrate everyone’s contributions, praise, and share respect and appreciation
    and get in and help each other when it’s needed

Thanks to Hermitage Homes and Panache Designer Homes for sharing your experience. As one of your suppliers, Dahlsens can vouch for the stand out team culture you have built.

Hermitage Homes celebrating Luna New Year.

Hermitage Homes celebrating Luna New Year.

Anuj and Angie from Panache Designer Homes.

Anuj and Angie from Panache Designer Homes.