Post Entry Quarantine Facility

August 2016 Newsletter

Human Resources

It’s a wonderful thing when a company is running at full pelt

Over the past 7 months we have recruited around 24 full time permanent staff and have placed many more in fixed term, casual and part time capacities.   All these new names and faces and meant that special focus has equally been placed on our onboarding process.  Once a person starts, how do we keep the momentum up and ensure that we help them settle into their role and into the company at large?  ‘Onboarding’ is the term that has replaced ‘induction’ in recent times.  Whilst  induction is typically a very short term focused function, ie 1 hour or 1 day, onboarding takes a longer term view and is a process that seeks to integrate the new employee into the organisation from before they begin their job, through their first month, to the successful completion of their first year. Research shows that the trajectory of a new hires success is set as early as the first two weeks so it is important to make the first day and indeed the first week a special one for new employees.  We have put some work together with an eye toward the goal of helping create a welcoming atmosphere and ‘grooving in’ new employee’s by providing the guidance necessary for new hires to acclimate to Ace.

Of course, part of the employee experience is being appraised along the way – how am I tracking?  Where do I want my career to go?  Where do I need training or extra support?  Performance appraisals have been carried out and this will now go to an annual process each July.

I am pleased to report that in May we submitted and passed our annual Workplace Gender Equality report.  The Workplace Gender Equality Agency requires all non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees in Australia must report.  Reporting on various statistics annually keeps issues such as diversity, workplace analytics, current policy & procedures front of mind.  Organisational change and strategy realignment can result making workplaces more progressive and welcoming of differences.

Our Graduate Engineering Program is now in its second year and is always an exciting time of integration.  The aim of our Grad Program is to lay the foundation for a successful career in the contract engineering arena.  Our grad’s are typically rotated into different facets of the business every two months.  Ideally this incorporates site experience, estimating and administration associated with running a business.

We all know that stress and mental health are big issues in society and equally in the workplace.  As a result of a “Health & Wellbeing” think tank run in 2015 where the question “what would a ‘good’ Health & Wellbeing program look like at Ace?” was posed.  A variety or responses were given ranging from trivia nights, social events, fun run’s, weekly walks at lunch time, yoga, mindfulness, pedometer challenges, healthier fruit baskets in the kitchen, workplace health checks and more.  As a result of this group, the past 10 months or so, Eltham office has been running weekly Mindfulness sessions.  These sessions typically have about 10 people attend on a regular basis.  These sessions are run as a welcome ‘refreshment’ time in our otherwise busy lives.  Viv from accounts might lead us through a guided meditation, Wigrai has introduced walking meditations, other times, we might listen to a short meditation from an experienced practitioner or do something completely different.  Really it doesn’t matter what form the meditation takes, it is about gathering together as a group, supporting and nurturing one another and exploring another side to ourselves.

Some of the feedback that participants have given us is as follows:

  • Helps me clear my mind of the day’s stress
  • I get moments of clarity relating to work problems
  • My body feels more relaxed
  • Increase in intuitiveness

The overall and holistic benefits of this ancient practice cannot be overstated.  This is actually cutting edge practice both in and out of the workplace.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank management for their support in this and equally welcome you to attend should you be in the Eltham office at midday on a Wednesday.

Fortnightly morning teas continue to provide a forum to learn about the diversity of our employees.  The time spent every alternate Friday morning provides us with a rich opportunity to know and understand our colleagues better and learn a bit about their background and upbringing.  This long, rich tradition at Ace continues to provide a unique experience for all our staff.  A particularly special occasion was when we celebrated Chinese New Year!  Presented & hosted by our employees of Asian heritage, it was a particularly special where we all treated to celebratory food, learnt about Eastern symbolism and the importance and significance of this event in Eastern culture.  Many of us even wore red clothing in celebration! Please see the photo of our Chinese New Year celebrations.

Where would we be without the internet, Google and website’s?  We are currently in the process of reviewing and updating our website to bring the content more up to date and to ensure that we are easily found for job hunters.  Literally, watch that space!  You may be asked for a photograph of both yourself and your worksite.  I would love to receive any general comments about your experiences at Ace or any quirky stories you might have to tell about your jobs.

Many of us spend so much time and energy at work – it is really important that people feel safe, happy, invigorated and challenged at within our four walls and beyond.  At Ace, our challenge is to remain up to date with changes in the external environment that make our workplace attractive and ensure that we have internal processes that keep our employees engaged.

Please feel free to always come and speak with me about any ideas you might like to share.

Looking forward to speaking to you soon!   Anita


Names of new starters 2016

Mark Bradley – Maintenance Manager Masab Osman – Project Engineer
Mark Callahan – Construction Manager Poya Parvaneh – Project Manager
George Dalton – Project Manager Chad Perry – Formworker
Sarah Downs – Logistics Co-ordinator Eamonn Power – Electrician
Dominic Fehrmann – Graduate Engineer Fergus Power – Apprentice Electrician
Neil Hordern – Project Manager Chau Tram – Project Manager
Steve Jha – Graduate Engineer Jason West – Supervisor
Darren Jordan– Graduate Engineer Shehan De Fonseka – Graduate Electrician
Adam King – Supervisor Andrew Schutt – Project Engineer
Sandro Lombardi – Supervisor Kerry Schwass – Supervisor
Michael Matuschka – Operations Manager, Landscape Eoghan Collins – Project Engineer
Josh Naughton – Site Engineer
Michael Noonan – Foreman