“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” Halford E. Luccock

The journey of our team from inception to now, has not been an easy or straight path. We’ve seen fast growth, workflow pivots, restructures and expansions into new regions. The constant challenge is: how to make a group of people with all their different skills, experience and personalities, become a high-performing team.

Over the last 10 years, we have learnt that our success is directly related to our level of unity as a team and with our build partners and clients. Embracing the collective diversity of thought, experience and cultures leads to increased creativity and productivity. And when we as individuals are flourishing holistically, we can contribute our best to our work and wider community. These are some of our key learnings.

Diversity unlocks opportunities
Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect states: “Most people think success comes from surrounding yourself with others that are like you, but true success and breakthrough innovation involves discomfort. This is where difference of experience, opinion, and perspective come in. Diversity is a well-documented pathway to unlocking new opportunities, overcoming new challenges, and gaining new insights.”

We have found this to be true. By intentionally embracing diversity across all parts of our team, we have continued to create active learning opportunities for each other through shared experiences, mistakes and ideas.

When we excel as individuals, the whole team benefits
In our mission to build flourishing communities, we have realised that to be successful in our mission our people need to live as a flourishing community first - living whole and abundantly in every area: financially, relationally, physically, mentally and emotionally. To do this, we have established initiatives and policies to better look after our people. We train and coach like an elite sports team, but we also care and nurture like a family.

How we go about our work is just as important as why we do it.

Through our response to challenges, we have grown and identified the values that are now the life blood of Home: service, excellence, passion, resilience, integrity, hard work and teamwork. Our values set the tone, they are what we celebrate, and they set a standard that our team is encouraged to rise to.

In every aspect of our business, we strive to consistently demonstrate and establish our values as we know they form the company culture and build our team.

Empowerment, not management
We believe in the power of names, so over the years we have changed names to call out what we want them to be, to remind ourselves of their purpose and identity.

General Manager, Paul Nanai reflects, “Our senior leadership team is called the Empowerment Team, which reflects our company focus on service. We believe our sustained optimal performance and productivity is a result of leading our team with compassion, understanding and integrity. Seeing the gold in a person and doing everything we can to help them reach their full potential.”

People need purpose
We recognise that all people regardless of background, culture, gender, age or belief, need a sense of purpose to their lives. A purpose that is greater than ourselves, that serves others. At Home, we have a clear goal of ending homelessness in Aotearoa and beyond. This translates into passionate individuals working within a team, investing their best into the tasks of each work day.

Working for positive change
We understand that we must be the change we want to see in our industry. We want our team to bring positive change and provide solutions that will ripple from our team, out to our partners and clients.

We want to change the poor stats on mental health in the construction industry, so we put high value on care for our staff by encouraging regular mind maintenance rather than only emergency help. Alongside supporting ‘MATES in Construction’, as part of our ‘Wellness in the Workplace’ policy, we offer staff free counselling, health checks, ‘blue-sky’ time and opportunities to socialise with their colleagues.

Employment and Career Opportunities
In 2018, we committed to the Women’s Empowerment Principles, and we have been pushing hard to outwork these principles in the company. According to StatsNZ, only 13% of people working in construction are female and BCITO has stated that there must be much greater diversity in the industry in the next 20 years. At Home, 28% of our team are female and they range from CFO to Carpentry Apprentice. We are proud to be pursuing equality and empowering women to succeed in the construction industry, but it requires recognising the challenges particular to women in work and providing solutions that will enable women to progress their career throughout their life.

A skills shortage is a crisis we want to avoid, so we invest in apprenticeships and cadetships building skills and knowledge in the next generation of carpenters, project managers, quantity surveyors and business leaders. In the last 10 years, we have supported many individuals to train in their chosen career. Many have graduated and are valuable members of our team, some have moved on and are working for other companies. All are an investment into the wider team of construction professionals, which is good news for everyone.

The journey has only just begun. We are grateful for the years gone, all the people who have contributed to our mission and experiences that have made us the team we are today. We look forward to the future, knowing that teamwork is the only way forward to eradicate homelessness and to provide stability, security and tenure to Kiwi whānau.

Te Umu Nui Buildtech Apprentice Day March2019 9602