[Company Study Project - MaBu] SMEs In Construction: How Do They Achieve Their Growth?

A key objective for all companies is to hire the right people and keep them in the job. One such example that shows a company's commitment to this mission is MaBu construction company; which has been specialising for many years in the development and execution of small-scale projects. A positive working environment is central to operational success, legitimised by increased occupancy and a positive outreach in the community - securing a steady stream of dedicated new applicants to the company. Read on to discover how they do it...

In a recent statement by the company CEO, Marc Bussels, he explains the main characteristics of his company. "The various phases of construction, both the needs analysis and planning, supply and implementation are based on a collaborative model. At MaBu, we plan, develop and build with a strategy to ensure solid communication with the client. We intended to grow in the short term and that is why we have been working since April 2017 with an external consultant to carry out this operation. While we were still working in March 2017 with seven masons and a construction site manager, today we have 17 masons, two construction drivers and the company manager."

[Company Study Project - MaBu] SMEs In Construction: How Do They Achieve Their Growth?

MaBu focused on three strategic pillars, namely the execution of medium-sized construction projects, the development of expansion projects in various municipalities in North-East Limburg and the completion of public contracts of class 5 and forms of public-private collaboration. It was clear that it could not easily achieve this growth without expanding it's workforce with experienced and well-trained staff.

Employees Occupy A Central Place

MaBu bases itself on a sustainable personnel policy where all HR domains are equally important and inextricably linked:

A good entry and transition policy;

  • The definition of the outgoing flow;
  • An effective training policy;
  • The permanent control of the results a balanced remuneration policy;
  • The creation of a pleasant working environment in which employees are invested in their work.

By following these objectives, Mr Bussels explains that "employees want to stay in our company, which is crucial for us. A person who feels concerned works harder and provides better benefits.

In addition to this, MaBu work with many organisations during recruitment to find competent staff, including recruitment specialist's VDAB and local schools. Thanks to this diversified approach, it offers opportunities to young people, inexperienced workers who have yet to be trained, workers with little or a lot of experience, site managers, and so on. "We assist our staff members on a social level. With new employees, we try to overcome any obstacles to ensure job stability. It can be mobility, home, registration with a mutual, a payment agency, etc."

The company also includes many opportunities for external engagement such as internships, professional immersion conventions (CIP), individual vocational training (FPI), etc. By acting in this way and offering a good working atmosphere with further opportunities for workers, simple word-of-mouth advertising is incredibly successful in attracting new application.

Collaborative Vocational Learning Initiative

Starting in September, a new project will be launched where MaBu collaborates with local schools as part of a national vocational learning initiative.

The way in which this works is that during the previous school year, the managing body and careers councillors identify strengths and weaknesses in their vocational training programme skills and develop a new strategic plan. One of the points of action is the strengthening of technical training through collaboration with companies. This makes the training much more realistic both in terms of acquiring the necessary attitudes, technical skills and professional aptitude.

Mr. Bussels explains that "the goal is for students to gain hands-on experience on one of our sites two days a week, accompanied by their teacher. During winter and bad weather, the school will welcome students and work on skills that could not be addressed during field learning."

In collaboration with Constructiv, a service organisation for the construction sector, a number of tailor-made courses will be offered as part of this specific project:

• Module No.1 ~ Teacher Training. A practical, interactive training programme specifically aimed at the skills of the school's training supervisors and managers. The goal is to sharpen technical knowledge, specifically at the level of coaching, communication and training.

• Module No. 2 ~ Working Safely At Heights. Mandatory training that was organised in September 2017 by Constructiv for students.

• Module No. 3 ~ Formwork Techniques. A tailor-made training program within the framework systems, which is organized in collaboration with Cometal and Constructiv, to ensure masonry repairs are solved efficiently and safely by utilising purpose built scaffolding services.

In addition to vocational education, students will be able to participate in the VCA exam free of charge during the school year through Constructiv. Each new entrant is accompanied by a tutor. In this way, the company creates a bond of trust that is the essential element of sustainable employment. This would certainly be beneficial to the sector and would present it with a positive outlook.

In Conclusion

Interaction and exchange of experiences are strongly encouraged throughout the duration of the training. The ultimate goal is to improve communication between the world of education and construction companies and to achieve lasting collaboration between the two parties.