Perfect Day™ is AusGroup's cornerstone cultural program. Built from the ground up by AusGroup's shopfloor team a decade ago, the program came to life following an incident at the company's Kwinana workshop. Perfect Day™ is centred on asking our people to identify and share their ‘why' story.
Getting to know each other's Perfect Day™ story is the key to an engaged, caring and connected team, according to Nathan Pike, AusGroup's Operations General Manager - Resources.
"The Perfect Day™ program opens the door to meaningful conversations about our safety at work and we reflect this in our everyday culture. New AusGroup employees are asked during the recruitment process what their Perfect Day™ looks like. I am yet to hear someone describe a day at work!"
"My Perfect Day™ is spending time with my family camping and exploring our country. I like sharing my story with our people and love hearing theirs. It is important as leaders we get to know our people personally, what is important to them and what drives them." says Nathan.
Everyone at AusGroup carries their Perfect Day™ card. Each card has a photo and message that is important and unique to each to remind them why they demand high safety standards from themselves and their workmates.
People & Culture Power
Covid19 meant a tough start to the year for AusGroup. With the early part of the year was about tough choices, as the business downsized its workforce from a peak of 1,800 to less than 1,000 as the impact of the pandemic hit. AusGroup had to balance the needs of its people, its clients and to secure the business in the short term.
"It has been a tough time for our people. We unfortunately had to let go several of our leadership team and long serving support staff. Many of our blue-collar team were stood down while our clients implemented their Covid19 response plans. Through all this we strived to maintain an open and continuous dialogue with our people. We ensured everyone had access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and we managed our risk by spreading our teams across three physical locations to ensure social distancing and provided our people flexible working arrangements" said Nathan.
AusGroup is keen to keep doing what it does best and that is keeping a handle on its business growth. For them, 1800-2000 people is the current sweet spot and with the business now back into a growth phase, it is AusGroup's people and their relentless drive to provide the company's clients with safety and value that has been the key to AusGroup riding out the waves during 2020.
"We don't want to outgrow ourselves. Connectedness to our people keeps our culture strong. Maintaining a small number of premium clients that we know and service well ensures we deliver value for them every day."
"Our goal is to always exceed client's expectations and simply delight them. Every AusGroup employee knows they have a duty to leave our clients wowed by their interactions with us. They should walk away from every conversation knowing we are striving to deliver a Perfect Day™, quality and value." Nathan explained.
In his two and a half years with AusGroup, Nathan has seen significant change within the business. With Australia's mega oil and gas construction projects winding up in 2018 AusGroup adjusted its business strategy.
"We have made a pivot back towards the resources sector and have actively re-entered the market with a goal of servicing a small number of premium clients exceptionally well. Reconnecting and rebuilding relationships has been slow but we are proud of the service we have delivered to our clients since getting back into the sector." says Nathan.
Highlighting two projects that stand out as success stories is easy: The dismantling and construction project completed for Yara and Orica at the Yara TAN plant across 2019/2020 was a complex and time sensitive project.
"Honest and open client relationships, a strong focus on safety and great project management by our team meant we could deliver this critical project, in a complex environment, with a high-quality outcome" explains Nathan.
Across Rio Tinto's Pilbara iron ore operations, AusGroup engages a team of over 150 trusted rope access technicians that go places scaffolding simply cannot, quickly and cost effectively.
"We are proud of our safety record delivering this critical service to Rio Tinto's operations. Our rope access team are delivering a premium service to our client and managing the critical risks to an exceptional standard."
Strategic Partnerships Making a Difference
Having lived and worked in remote mining communities across Australia, Nathan is proud of AusGroup's approach to providing real opportunities for Indigenous people and their businesses. Over the years, they have taken on apprentices through a partnership with the Matera Foundation at their workshop facility in Kwinana and embraced partnerships with Indigenous organisations.
"I have seen first-hand the way some Indigenous communities have failed to extract social and economic benefit from the development of their lands. Offering people training opportunities, meaningful jobs as well as supporting Indigenous owned enterprises is important to us at AusGroup.
"A pathway to an education, a meaningful job or the ability to start a business is what makes a difference. We set ourselves stretch targets to improve outcomes for Indigenous Australian's and work hard to deliver on those promises. I am excited that we have our first female Aboriginal apprentice joining our business shortly," adds Nathan.
AusGroup has become known for its ability to thrive and revive amongst uncertainty. Forming solid connections in the sector and with industry associations means they can drive positive changes and achieve an enviable safety record to be proud of.
"Partner relationships with our people and our clients really drive our success story. Creating the space for open and honest conversations on what we all want to achieve is the key."