Conplant’s success is built upon the foundations of our culture.
Freedom to innovate, focus on collaboration and in-the-veins customer obsession has been part of our DNA ever since Conplant was established in 1961. In fact, it’s one of the main things our employees love about working here.
But as the company grows, staying true to our family roots becomes a bigger challenge.

Here’s how we keep company culture fresh and innovative as we evolve.

We treat everyone as an individual
We aim to recruit and retain people who take individual responsibility for their results but love to collaborate.
Janet O’Brien, National Manager of People & Performance, explains:
“Personally, I think the key is treating people as individuals and understanding their needs. That means different things to different people depending on their circumstances.
“We all work as a team, and we all cooperate – people can collaborate, and innovate, and just get on with stuff without being bogged down by things that seem to take up lots of time when there’s not a good culture.”


                                                 

We provide support when people need it
People face challenges in their lives, and they bring their whole selves to work. Our challenge is to make sure we have the processes in place to provide support where it’s needed.
Janet explains those processes:
“We have an employee assistance program in place for employees and managers to get practical support if it’s needed. – it’s a pragmatic way of supporting people when they have other things going on in their lives that they may not want to talk about or share at work.
“We find that happy people do a good job. So we look for people who know what they enjoy doing, and try to find a good match.
“If someone’s going through something, or having a tough time, that’s an issue for us. It’s not just a ‘fluffy’ thing – it’s an imperative. Being supportive helps us keep our people safe and contributes to a positive culture.”

We take great care with inductions
Start as you mean to go on, so they say.
That’s how we see it too.
Our recruitment and induction processes are designed to find the right people for Conplant and get them settled in and supported.
They might not be ‘standard’ for employers in the construction industry, but we think it’s important to go the extra mile to get the best people and put them in an environment where they can thrive.
“We do a few things that aren’t ‘usual’ for a business like ours”, says Janet.
“We use psychometric testing to help managers assess competency and fit – not just for the job itself, but the culture. We’re also very honest about what we are during the recruitment process. If you’re looking for somewhere shiny and corporate – this isn’t it!
“For induction, most people come to Sydney. They have a safety induction, so they understand our expectation and focus in this area, it’s key to taking an ethical approach in business and It helps for them to understand the bigger picture of what we’re trying to achieve. They spend time with Dary and Liam getting to know the products – the central figures in the business are very available.”


                                                 

We try not to forget the human element
“We celebrate people’s birthdays, and we have cake... we try and do the human things that connect people, so that people don’t forget they’re dealing with another human being when they have a problem,” says Janet.
“We have to continue to keep the human connection - to travel, to see people, to remember our humanity when we’re dealing with people issues.”
As Conplant grows, keeping the personal element intact is important, making sure people feel connected and supported is key.
“We try to be compassionate in our dealings with people, and we work with managers to ensure that they understand this even when they’re under pressure and dealing with a range of day-to-day problems and challenges.”

We’re careful about who we integrate with
Conplant recently acquired a competitor, Compaction Australia.
Janet says the success of the acquisition was down to, among other things, cultural synergy.
“The key thing is that Ian understood from the start that Compaction Australia was a really good cultural fit for us. There was a lot of work and it was a really busy time, but we acquired a group of people who fitted well within our business and who seem really happy. That’s the really positive thing,” says Janet.
It was this good fit that helped Conplant succeed where others haven’t.
“I think operationally, it’s had its challenges, but practically and culturally it hasn’t been difficult. We had a detailed questionnaire when they joined us, we planned inductions and provided a range of information to help people make the transition and feel part of our business – in my experience, and from the feedback I’ve had, it’s been a painless process. But that’s because the cultural fit was there from the start. That’s why, in bigger organisations, mergers and acquisitions can fail.”

We take company culture seriously
It’s lots of little things that make the difference to company culture.
And as we continue to grow, these are the principles that we’ll continue to come back to. That’s what will make us a great company to work for – and keep us innovative – well into the future.