Pictured: Jeremy Dixon (CEO) and Glenda Hamilton (Training Manager)
A management decision to put its people at the centre of its business development has paid off for Christchurch’s Isaac Construction that collected four awards, including the Connexis Company Training Award at the recent Canterbury Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) Awards.
Isaac CEO Jeremy Dixon says the awards are a humbling recognition of all the hard work and efforts that’s been put in to developing the company’s staff.
It all began with a decision almost two years ago to put people at the centre of the company’s core values and to focus on developing and recognising their team’s skills.
“I’ve always had the management philosophy that people are at the centre of everything. And if we help them be the best they can be, it’s going to not only benefit them, but the work they do,” Jeremy says.
“We added a new core value – ‘the place where people matter’ – and then we had to figure out the best way to fulfill it.”
Recognising they didn’t have the right expertise in-house the company hired a new training and development manager and quickly identified the then newly introduced Civil Trade Certification as a perfect way to implement their core values.
“The Trade Certification is an awesome initiative. Road workers have traditionally been seen as the lowest of the low, but I’ve worked in this industry for 20 years and I know how skilled many of our people are. Now they can get the recognition for those skills,” Jeremy says.
Civil Trade Certification recognises our civil construction workforce as skilled tradespeople and requires civil contractors to hold an approved Civil Infrastructure Trades Qualification (Level 4), 8,000 hours of practical experience and to be assessed for a Civil Trade Certificate.
Now, to be an Isaac foreman, staff must have Civil Trade Certification or be on the path to it. And momentum has built quickly with almost 100% of the current foremen either qualified or on their way toward it.
“The results have been incredible. The first people who went for the certification we knew were the leaders, and they inspired others to do the same. But what’s been really surprising is some of the guys who have stepped up to help others complete the certification process. It’s been quite amazing.”
And their efforts are paying off for Isaac in more than just the CCNZ Awards. “They know there is a path now. Our team is more engaged. They tend to have tidier work sites, they interact well with clients, they make better decisions; they just work better.”
Jeremy says he would absolutely recommend other companies engage with the Civil Trade Certification process, as the benefits are huge. “We’ve also had fantastic support and help from Fiona Malloch South Island Manager and Emma Feathery Account Manager at Connexis. They really helped us through the process.
“Winning the CCNZ Awards is amazing recognition for all the work, and the commitment of everybody in the team.”