Placemakers Dunedin: Investment in staff

When Mr Macready took up the reins at PlaceMakers he inherited a team of over 50 staff who had a combined experience in the industry of over 530 years. He said, “Some had been there for one year, and some for over 30 years which made for a really good mix of mentors and new staff growing through the business. It was a legacy that the former joint venture partner, Trevor Cockburn left me. He had built up a strong team and my goal was to further enhance their significant strength.

“That gave me a great head start and I like to think that I have built on that. I am a great believer in developing people’s capabilities and rewarding them with promotion. As a leader, my greatest reward is watching people grow and develop their strengths, achieving things they’d never had thought possible.  Our two current Senior Managers are testimony to that.

We call our work ethos “Place’. It inspires our team to realise it’s always the people factor first and to focus on empathy for our team and our customers.

“We have 57 staff and I foster a working environment where we respect each other and work hard but we have fun social times too. The Culture Club is our social club that organises regular social events that partners can attend as well. One of our last events was curling at the Ice Stadium. It was the coldest night to go out! I couldn’t believe the number of team members who came. Doing stuff like that is a great leveller.  

Drive through team leader Ian Johnston.
Drive through team leader Ian Johnston.
Trade service team, (from left) William Barrie, Chris Pragnell, and Tom Goodwin.
Trade service team, (from left) William Barrie, Chris Pragnell, and Tom Goodwin.

“I really believe in the old adage that ‘the team that plays together stays together’. Mixing socially develops empathy for each other it creates a sense of belonging, of common purpose, despite the different roles people play within the team.

 “I feel blessed with a pretty amazing group of people who make up our team.”

Today we have a very strong team and a great mix of youth and experience, we have a team member who celebrates 50 years with the company next year, but we equally have some young team members who are excelling very early in their career. Our Team of specialists in all areas of the building and construction industry is unsurpassed by anyone else, this people investment is a real strength and makes us a real ‘go-to’ business for the trade customer.

Timber yard team leader Tony Cockburn, with Mosie Purukamu.
Timber yard team leader Tony Cockburn, with Mosie Purukamu.

Looking Back – Looking Forward

Reflecting on the last ten years Mr Macready says all he has to do is to drive around Dunedin and see the part that PlaceMakers has played in supporting the trades, from new houses and renovations through to large iconic projects.

“I’m very proud of the part we played in the Forsyth Barr Stadium and remember how exciting it was to visit before it opened. Other major contributions have been with the Town Hall upgrade, the Regent Theatre renovation, the Children’s Ward at the Dunedin Public Hospital, we even have a plaque there with our name on it, and the Otago Polytechnic Student Village where the Customer won two National awards.

“I’m also very happy with our investment in new technology which will ultimately revolutionise both our staff practices and our customers’ experience.

“Our new store on the Taieri, establishing our Frame and Truss plant in Mosgiel and expanding our product range to include commercial building products and systems have all proved to be value-added initiatives for our industry. “

Looking to the future, Mr Macready says that he will be looking at either redeveloping their current site or moving to a new premise as he can see expansion on the horizon. “Dunedin has increased its population and over the next ten years the city will undergo probably some of the biggest changes to the CBD than ever before with the hospital rebuild, developments in the University area and other infrastructure projects. As well, we will see a greater demand for housing.  I was at a recent very positive Otago Chamber of Commerce meeting and it’s great to see how Dunedin has really come of age with a very exciting future.

PlaceMakers is in a good position to play a major role in that development and to help support our customers get their fair share.

“We will continue to support our local community, invest in our team, promote the trades, contribute to the industry’s training needs and ultimately enhance our customers’ efficiency and their success.”

Check out other related stories:
Celebrating 10 Years
Meeting the Changing Demands of the Construction Industry

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