the Site Visit

Building Culture and Resilience in the Construction Industry with Dylan Moesker, Owner at TruGrit

May 28, 2024 Andrew Hansen, James Faulkner, Christian Hamm
Building Culture and Resilience in the Construction Industry with Dylan Moesker, Owner at TruGrit
the Site Visit
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the Site Visit
Building Culture and Resilience in the Construction Industry with Dylan Moesker, Owner at TruGrit
May 28, 2024
Andrew Hansen, James Faulkner, Christian Hamm

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Imagine relocating across continents, embracing new cultures, and then pivoting your professional life into a field less explored. That's the compelling journey of Dylan Moesker, who after spending 14 years in Australia, returned to Canada, bringing with him a treasure trove of experiences and insights. Discover how Dylan transitioned from landscape construction to marketing within the construction industry, and his mission to change the public's perceptions through better storytelling. His pride in his well-maintained truck serves as a symbol of the meticulous care he brings to all facets of his life and work.

Leadership within the construction industry is undergoing a transformation, and Dylan is at the forefront. His expertise in turning a passion for photography into a career is a testament to finding one's true calling. TruGrit aims to build strong company cultures through resilience and authenticity, which are crucial for retaining talent. We discuss the competitive edge provided by a supportive work environment, and how different sectors have modernized to attract better talent – a strategy construction must now adopt.

Lastly, we shine a light on the invaluable contributions of women in construction and share some thrilling anecdotes that reveal the industry's unpredictable but rewarding nature. From adventurous hunting trips to volunteer firefighting in Australia, Dylan's stories underscore the essence of teamwork and community spirit. As we wrap up, there's excitement in the air for the launch of the new TruGrit website, signaling new beginnings and continued growth for this dynamic field. Join us for an episode filled with personal stories, professional insights, and the promise of a brighter future for the construction industry.

PODCAST INFO:
the Site Visit Website: https://www.sitemaxsystems.com/podcast
the Site Visit on Buzzsprout: https://thesitevisit.buzzsprout.com/269424
the Site Visit on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-site-visit/id1456494446
the Site Visit on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cp4qJE5ExZmO3EwldN1HH

FOLLOW ALONG:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thesitevisit
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesitevisit

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Imagine relocating across continents, embracing new cultures, and then pivoting your professional life into a field less explored. That's the compelling journey of Dylan Moesker, who after spending 14 years in Australia, returned to Canada, bringing with him a treasure trove of experiences and insights. Discover how Dylan transitioned from landscape construction to marketing within the construction industry, and his mission to change the public's perceptions through better storytelling. His pride in his well-maintained truck serves as a symbol of the meticulous care he brings to all facets of his life and work.

Leadership within the construction industry is undergoing a transformation, and Dylan is at the forefront. His expertise in turning a passion for photography into a career is a testament to finding one's true calling. TruGrit aims to build strong company cultures through resilience and authenticity, which are crucial for retaining talent. We discuss the competitive edge provided by a supportive work environment, and how different sectors have modernized to attract better talent – a strategy construction must now adopt.

Lastly, we shine a light on the invaluable contributions of women in construction and share some thrilling anecdotes that reveal the industry's unpredictable but rewarding nature. From adventurous hunting trips to volunteer firefighting in Australia, Dylan's stories underscore the essence of teamwork and community spirit. As we wrap up, there's excitement in the air for the launch of the new TruGrit website, signaling new beginnings and continued growth for this dynamic field. Join us for an episode filled with personal stories, professional insights, and the promise of a brighter future for the construction industry.

PODCAST INFO:
the Site Visit Website: https://www.sitemaxsystems.com/podcast
the Site Visit on Buzzsprout: https://thesitevisit.buzzsprout.com/269424
the Site Visit on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-site-visit/id1456494446
the Site Visit on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cp4qJE5ExZmO3EwldN1HH

FOLLOW ALONG:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thesitevisit
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesitevisit

Speaker 1:

So Dylan, australia, what was that like? So how old were you when you were in Australia? From when to when?

Speaker 2:

So I moved from Toronto, ontario when I was seven with my family and so, yeah, coming to Australia was a whole new world really Lived there for 14 years so until I was 21 or 22. Yeah, and then I decided I kind of came to a dead end there and there was not really a lot of opportunity for me, I felt anyways. So I was like, well, I'm going to go back to Canada and see what's, what's, uh, what's over there. So Nice, my, my dad suggested that I start in British Columbia, get a truck that's not a rust bucket. And then my dad suggested that I start in British Columbia, get a truck that's not a rust bucket. And I still have it today. So it's just clocked over 300,000. So pretty happy with it.

Speaker 1:

So Toronto, australia, bc. Yep, crazy, yep. Do you have any Australian accent for me? Oh man, is that a no? Or is that New Zealand? Or is that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I met a guy from New Zealand just coming up the elevator. I think his name's Mike Mike. Yeah, he works for.

Speaker 1:

Mike, he's a Kiwi.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, he's a Kiwi. He's from across the pond, as they would say.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I see. Oh, that was good, because the Australian one's almost more subtle, Depending on where you're going.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, on the East Coast it's super heavy, like we had a guy working for us when I was landscaping and he was just like thick as anything the west coast.

Speaker 1:

It's a little. It's not as as thick, but yeah it's.

Speaker 2:

It's heavy, so west coast is sydney uh west coast is perth, east coast is sydney. Yeah, yeah, there's.

Speaker 1:

There's no r's there, it's just yeah no, uh, no, oh yeah, you got a pretty good accent there.

Speaker 2:

That's uh, that's impressive yeah yeah, I mean, I don't.

Speaker 1:

I don't really know which one it is. The problem is is like I can oscillate from new zealand to south african to australian, all in one sentence okay, that's a big problem yeah, I insult three groups. Yeah, and I might be saying, hey, how's it going? And I just insulted three groups of people.

Speaker 2:

Hey, how's it going.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Site. Visit Podcast Leadership and perspective from construction With your host, james Falkner. Business as usual, as it has been for so long now that it goes back to what we were talking about before and hitting the reset button.

Speaker 2:

You know you read all the books, you read the email, you read Scaling Up, you read Good to Great. You know I could go on. We've got to a place where we found the secret serum. We found the secret potion. We can get the workers in. We know where to get them. One time.

Speaker 2:

I was on a job sale for a while and actually we had a semester concrete and I ordered like a Korean finished patio. Oh, fun to just say chill these days. I was down at Dallas and a guy just hit me up on LinkedIn out of the blue and said he was driving from Oklahoma to Dallas to meet with me because he heard the Faber Connect platform on your guys' podcast, Own it crush it and love it, and we celebrate these values every single day. Let's get down to it. Celebrate these values every single day.

Speaker 1:

Let's get down to it. So, dylan Moosker, hello from True Grit. How?

Speaker 2:

you doing Good yeah, how are you?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, having a good day today.

Speaker 2:

So far yeah.

Speaker 1:

So marketing and construction.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, marketing and construction.

Speaker 1:

Media and construction.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Media and leadership development Leadership, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that's interesting. So just take me through this a little bit, like give me a little background on why you started this initiative, how long you've been doing it and you know what you're finding is your sweet spot, like where you think you're finding successes, and et cetera.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I have a background in landscape construction.

Speaker 2:

Um so that's my, that's my ticket, or my red seal, whatever you want to call it, Um. And so I was doing that for you know a bunch of years and, um, probably two years ago, I saw this need that there was. You know, there's no marketing, there's no really good marketing in construction, there's no one like telling the story of marketing, and one of the situations that made that very apparent to me was I was out in the front of a job site and a woman and her son, I think, walked by and she said look, son, that's what happens when you don't do well in school.

Speaker 1:

Oh, not this topic. Oh my God, a real kick to the guts, so to speak. Yeah, this topic.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So you know that whole stigma is surrounding the industry just because we work in the dirt and I'm like, well, something's got to change. Did that put a bee in your bonnet, I think later on down the road it did Like. At first I was kind of like like, what do we? What do we meant to do? Um, but you know, photography was just kind of a passion at the time. It was a hobby. I did hiking and I took photographs of the landscape and stuff like that, and it kind of evolved to taking portraits of people and then did a couple weddings here and there, but it just wasn't something that I was passionate about and I was like, okay, I can do it on the weekends, but it's not like I don't get fired up about it. Where, you know, I wake up in the morning. I'm like I get to go to a job site and take photos of an active job site and take photos of the people in the job site and share their stories.

Speaker 2:

And with the leadership development side of things too, you know a lot of the guys that we're talking to who see the importance in this. They're like, yeah, when I was growing up in the construction industry and I got yelled at and I got, you know, the proverbial wrench thrown at me. They now want to create a different environment than they grew up in. And if they can do that and create an environment where people want to come and work for them and they enjoy working for them and they see a career path in front of them, that's the difference. And so you know, especially in construction, where things are very tangible, we go to school, we go to, you know, we learn the trade and that's all the hard skills, but we're not often taught the soft skills of how to lead people effectively. So you can be really good at your job and you can move up in the company, but doesn't necessarily mean that people look up to you or that people feel led by you.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, that's very true. So is that the focus of you with True Grit is, through media, through telling stories, through communicating the value of a construction? Know, there's all those different brand audiences from the investor audience Maybe they've got money in there there's the customer audience, there's the B2B, as in do you pay your invoices on time? Do your suppliers like you? And then there's the employer brand Do your staff and do you have a good culture, etc. So those all those different cohorts of messaging, to attack all of those is your focus and I guess you're going to be doing that. I mean, I see you got this great shirt, you got a great hat, geez. So true grit. So what is the ethos of the name?

Speaker 2:

we spent a long time on the name just trying to figure out like what, like how do we, how do we encapsulate the, the essence of what we're doing? Um, and you know you, you go to AI now and you're like what's a good construction media name or whatever, and it spits out a whole bunch of names and I just like nothing really, just sat and when we were looking at it we're like, well, what are we trying to do? What are we trying to share here? And we're trying to share the true story of the industry, and the industry is known for having resilience. It's known for having a lot of grit. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So we're like, well, let's do true grit, let's make this happen. And so we sat on it for a couple of weeks and just thought about the idea and I was like, yeah, that that sounds good, let's, let's roll with it. So it took a little bit of time, but that's that's kind of the idea behind the name. And so now when people see the name True Grit, they're like, okay, they're, they're telling the real stories of the industry and they're trying to, they're trying to improve the industry by what they do.

Speaker 1:

Nice. So um, when you so, when you contact companies, what do you lead with Like we can do X for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's. It's been an interesting journey, like we're only a year old, okay, um, so we're, we're pretty fresh. So the found like figuring out the foundation of the business for us has taken a fair amount of time, just to make sure that we really nail down what our offer is and what we can offer and what we're good at. So when we go to a company, we lead it by saying do you enjoy high turnover? Do you have high turnover in your company? Do you want to retain your people instead of having to, you know, chew through them all the time? Because the cost of recruitment is higher than retaining people and it's better for your company if you retain than if you turn people over.

Speaker 2:

So, and oftentimes in construction, you know, we got all this work, we can't find people. So it's like how do we attract people? So we have these problems and how are we trying to solve these problems? Well, let's work on your leadership development first, because we can. We can advertise a company and, you know, make a really kick-ass video or you know all this kind of stuff If we're doing that and attracting people to the company, but the company is not, you know, solidified in who they are and they haven't found their brand and they haven't found their identity and their culture, then we're just going to turn that person away.

Speaker 2:

So we see it as let's work on the culture first, like the foundation of the company. Let's find out what your mission is. Let's discover those things first and start building that into the company, and then let's start advertising who you are.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I get it.

Speaker 2:

We feel that's kind of the cart behind the horse idea, instead of the other way around. So yeah, that's what we lead with. It's like you know, let's help with your leadership skills and then let's tell your story.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so who are typically the champions within the typical client you have that are thinking, yes, we need this Because it is a bit of a you know, looking in the mirror process.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Because it is a bit of a, you know, looking in the mirror process. Yes, they have to admit that maybe they could be leading better or they could be a better example, or maybe the culture that they think they have, or they tell stories that they have, isn't actually congruent with how the company operates. Do you find that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, how the company operates, do you find that? Yeah, so our typical client that we're looking at is you know, around the age of 35 to 45.

Speaker 2:

Okay, and, like I said before, you know they grew up in an industry. They're passionate about the industry and they love what they do, but they grew up in an industry where they felt like they weren't treated right or they weren't valued properly. So now they want to create that environment for the people that they do have, and they're at a point where they're like okay, I want to scale and grow the company, which is good, but if I don't know how to lead people effectively, then I'm just, you know, I'll just keep turning people over, whereas if I want to grow the company, I need to learn how to lead the people that I have now and then. So when people do join the company, I have these processes in place so that we can put them in the right spots in the company so that we can give them, you know, responsibilities that we know that they can grow into and that we're comfortable with handing that responsibility over and setting those systems in place. So Okay.

Speaker 1:

So what are some of those? What are some of those things? I mean, you don't have to tell me your secret sauce, but like, well, what are some of these things that you suggest you know to companies? Like when you said that you know people want to be they have had a career, I mean treated a certain way, and now that they have their own company, they want to treat people differently, maybe in a more modern approach. Does that dovetail away from meritocracy? Because what I find is when, with construction, it is meritocratic period, because something's either built or it isn't. There's no subjective opinion whether or not a structure is in front of you or not. Either is or it isn't. So we either put the work in today based on what the schedule was and the task. On that schedule did we achieve what we wanted to achieve? Of course there's delays, but those are explainable, yep, but there's no real fluffing it.

Speaker 2:

I mean, it is what it is.

Speaker 1:

And the pressure from developers to contractors is very high. Banks are making it harder. Pressure creates diamonds. So do you find that that narrative is popular these days, or is it becoming a softer culture these days where it's a little fluffier?

Speaker 2:

yeah, it's always interesting, you know, hearing older guys on the job say and they're like we don't need all that baloney, like I'm yeah you know, 50 years old. I've been doing this for X amount of years and the work that they have done has been.

Speaker 1:

Hey, I'm 52.

Speaker 2:

It's.

Speaker 2:

Not even 50. I got to be careful what I say, but no, but what they've done is amazing. Like they've built the infrastructure that we have, and it's great and we needed that, but things are changing. Things are we, and it's great and we needed that, but things are changing. We need to adapt as an industry and unfortunately, I think we're a little bit behind the times. No-transcript. And they've created these communities where people want to be a part of. Yeah, so if, if the construction industry doesn't understand that or it doesn't follow with that, we're going to get lost in the dust, kind of thing.

Speaker 1:

Um so Well that's true For those companies, specifically Apple. Just I mean, it's so big, but a lot of the other companies have realized that they've created snowflakes and that's gone.

Speaker 1:

They've fired the people who are not cutting it. So even those companies and we're not even discussing the hundreds of thousands of tech companies that failed because they didn't work hard enough. So and that's not 50 year old guy saying that this is literally about output and output will win. So I think that you're very correct on I think it's a finessed message to be able to value output, but healthy output, yes, do you know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

So that if there's that message in between which is like we want to create amazing things, we've got a lot of opportunity, we can have great careers, we've got a lot of opportunity, we can have great careers, but the source of opportunity doesn't come from nothing. It has to come from something. The well spring has to come from somewhere. We can't just grab stuff out of the air and expect to grab it, because it just won't exist. So we need to create things, create revenue, create the opportunity to achieve things, and that, in turn, will teach people that if I go towards something and achieve a goal, we can celebrate that goal when we get there, and we celebrate even harder if we make it on budget and on time. But it's I think it's in an interesting inflection point in time right now of where we are um, with people and work and in general, and covid kind of made it all very strange for everybody, as you know, yeah, but um, all right, let's um sorry, I just want to touch on that snow, on the, on the snowflake culture in tech.

Speaker 2:

Well, not in tech, but just the idea of, like you know, the, the, the culture of. Oh, you know, we need to start caring for our people.

Speaker 1:

Well, you do.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and it's, it seems, and that culture of caring for our people in the industry just seems to be, you know, being brought to, like, brought to the surface and being like, oh, if we actually treat our people right, and that's, you know, culture is kind of like a, you know, like the the it word. Nowadays it's like, oh, you know, you have, you have great culture, you have great, we have great culture, all that kind of stuff and so. But it's important and if, if you say you have great culture, then you have to show it as well and building into your people with that leadership and it's not some sort of like snowflakey, like fluffy stuff. It actually works and we know that there are companies out there that really care about their culture and they want to see their people win and they invest in them.

Speaker 2:

So it's not like some fantastical idea, it's a thing that works and if we as an industry understand that and start building into our people, I think I believe that we will see the industry start to succeed.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, no, that makes sense. I think it was just more on the tech example specifically. It was like you don't need AAA Angus steak at lunch Right.

Speaker 1:

In the cafeteria. That's true, right, yeah, in order to do your job. That's true. So there has been a too much pandering kind of thing where it's like hello, this is like where you work, right, and work does need to be. We spend a lot of time at work and it has to be fun, doesn't need to pay me. We spend a lot of time at work and it has to be fun, but it is.

Speaker 1:

You know, something that we business in general, as you know, is a transfer of problems for a return of payment I can't build a building, so I hire a company to build a building. I can't design a building, so I hire an architect. I can't X, y, z, I can't cook a meal, so I go to a restaurant. It's all transfer problems. That's right. But problems in essence create pressure and those problems need to be addressed and the more professional you are about those problems, the better a company is going to be Right. So I totally. I mean, I think we're talking about the same thing. I think that maybe you're thinking he's one of those guys who's just, he's one of those oppressors. Oh no, I don't think that James?

Speaker 1:

Not at all. I'm not, not at all. No, I'm. I. Also, I always like to try and figure out the underneath factors behind everything we do have, just from a macro point of view. We do have other countries that are looking at us going. They're becoming weak. We really need to pay attention to this. That's true. Like we hire, we've hired quite a few people who have come from overseas, who live in Canada. Now their mindset is this is crazy over here. Yeah, like it is. It's not like that in other places in the world. No.

Speaker 1:

So some lessons can be learned. I think If you have, I think if you have a company in Canada who has the work ethic of Eastern Europeans and you treat them like gold, I mean you can't lose.

Speaker 3:

No, you cannot lose, you're going places. I mean that's anyway.

Speaker 1:

So let's get to some. Usually, when we do an interview like this, we have some questions. So in terms of, let's just focus on the culture for a minute. So what do? Is there anything a difference from this is, in your opinion, is there any difference between a subtrade or a general contractor in terms of how they position themselves as a culture of a company to attract people?

Speaker 2:

All right, I think typically the sub-trades are a little smaller to a certain extent in the fact of they don't have as much publicity. I think, like the general contractor will be running the project and then they'll get the sub-trades in to-.

Speaker 1:

And there's usually PR around projects and who's running it?

Speaker 2:

blah, blah, blah.

Speaker 1:

Subs are kind of just show up and do their thing, yeah, that's, right, yeah, that's right, they do.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so it is different in the way they market themselves. So subcontractors basically want to focus their marketing on okay, we are the best in our space, yeah, and and how do we? How do we market that to the general contractor? And then the general contractor wants to market themselves as, okay, we are like to the developer and being like we are trusted in our space. We were like a great contractor, we know what we doing, we'll complete the budget on time or complete the project on time on budget. So there's there's kind of different, different levels, but honestly, it all comes down to the same thing.

Speaker 2:

When we talk about marketing, there's lots of you know, acronyms and stuff and confusing things that are. You know, there's just lots of words around marketing. How I believe we should look at it is marketing equals communication. And how are we communicating ourselves to those around us? Just very simply put, and if we are communicating to others that we can be trusted, that we have a story behind who we are, that we can share that story, that we can show people who we are instead of just talking about it, I think companies who do that can position themselves in a way that helps them stand out above the rest. There are a lot of great contractors and sub-trades out there who are good at what they do, but unfortunately they don't share who they are, so no one really knows who they are, and oftentimes everything now is online, and if you don't have an online presence, it's just the way of the future.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that makes sense. I think a lot of these companies they're really busy and they have more work than they can possibly do. They've got to turn down projects. But I think to your point is that they still need people. So it's like like it's difficult to. I mean you can go the recruitment like recruiters which are okay, I mean.

Speaker 2:

It costs lots.

Speaker 1:

It costs lots and they're never going to get your culture like you do. No, recruiters are fine for some things. I mean you want to find an accountant or whatever, but um, or bookkeeper or something like that, they're going to give you a pretty good funnel of those, yeah, um. But when it comes to you know people are real fit with a company and have to, like, deal with things that are difficult and you've got to be in the mud with them and it takes a certain. You know like a kind. You know like there's a certain. You know like a kind. You know like there's a certain kind of person that's going to work at a company that's going to mesh with their, their vibe Right.

Speaker 1:

So and I find that the company leaders kind of know their vibe so and it's important for them to instill that in the company.

Speaker 2:

I mean, if we find that we're busy and we are turning down jobs because we don't have people, it might be time to maybe take a step back from focusing on other things and focus internally and be like, okay, let's figure out our culture situation, let's figure out who we really are and when you, when you start to define that and you start to share that, other people with those same values and those same align, who are aligned with what you do, yeah, will be attracted to that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, um, and and when you start, you know, having people coming to you instead of you having to go find people, and you start having a bench of people that are like, hey, I want to work with you because I like what you guys are doing. I see what you guys do online. I've worked on other projects with you guys and I know the type of communication that you have. I see how happy your guys are on site. I see the culture that you have and I want to be a part of it. So it's creating a community, really and being like, hey, let's, you know, people want to join something, people want to be a part of something that they are proud of.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that makes sense and if you have that and you invest time into building that, people will come but the ability to get your media in front of people is, as you know, very hard.

Speaker 1:

Let's say, you've got XYZ Subtrade, you've done a great video for them and it could be the coolest thing ever In construction. It's after a certain time of day people have checked out. Yes.

Speaker 1:

And there's only a little bit of time where people are engaged at all. So two-thirds of your possible audience are like I don't even look at anything in construction after work. Forget it, no, thanks. And then the ones that do are the ones who are at par with the ones creating the strategies are like, okay, I'll see what that company's doing, maybe we should do the same thing. So you had a copycat situation going on there and then um. So to break through um on the B2B side, online, it's really hard to do, because the things that grab attention for us in media these days are the things that are that kind of shock us or are so like oh my God, I can't believe I got to have you seen this thing, I mean, and it's getting very intense. I don't know if you see, if you go on X or if you go on like Instagram, and you do see there are granted, there are a number of influencer construction people who take great videos and photos. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But that's kind of their own curated passion project. They might have a million followers there's some that are amazing at that but that's not going to be the average sub trade. A they don't have the bandwidth for that. B there's no way that they would have the velocity for that. But that's not going to be the average sub trade. A they don't have the bandwidth for that. B there's no way that they would have the velocity for that. And then so you got to figure out like how can it turn into? This situation that you mentioned is hey, I saw this, I kind of like your thing, but how do they? How do they even see it? Because it's they're not going to be.

Speaker 2:

they're not going to be on LinkedIn for an hour.

Speaker 1:

No, that's true Right. And then on Instagram they're looking at other interests that are in their personal life. You know, motorbiking, fishing, whatever you know. So it's like how do you get, how do you get the airwaves? Yeah, it's tough.

Speaker 2:

I, I would, I would push back a little bit on the, you know, after the after work or after hours or something that they're kind of focusing on their own personal things, spending time on Instagram and seeing guys, guys who are in the industry. Actually they love what they do. Yeah. And I actually think they spend more time than we think in construction content Geeking out. I think so that's cool Because guys are like, yeah, like I love watching videos of you know excavators scooping dirt into a big dump truck, like that's cool.

Speaker 2:

But like we're very tangible beings and we like to be entertained by cool videos like that, and you know it doesn't have to be, you know, out of this world, awesome. But at the same time, when they see something that they relate with and they're like, oh yeah, we do that kind of work, yeah, then there's some sort of relation of pride to that. No like, oh, this is cool, this is what I do. And then you look at a guy's phone and you look at all the pictures that he's taken of the job site, like you scroll the gallery and it's just all pictures of work.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we see them in site Max. It's mostly because it goes to their. We have to do, it has to go to two places Okay, Into SightMax, and then it goes into their gallery as well. Okay, just in case they want to mark that one up, and then they have the original. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, so you're right, they do. But I think that there's a romance to building in general that people have this affinity to who do this kind of work, and that's why you know those the couple of fellows I've seen have the you know, million followers on Instagram because of the quality of the video and that cinematic kind of movement that they have. They're like, oh yeah, look at that, that looks awesome. So yeah, I can totally see that. It's interesting where you have. Did you see the video of the autonomous painter?

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

The robot painting thing. No, whoa, that thing is bananas. Okay, yeah, it's like like machine going along a slab.

Speaker 2:

okay, it's going spraying the ceiling perfectly okay I've seen, I've seen the ones that that are like the concrete. Yeah, like they're.

Speaker 1:

They're shot creating with a, with a robot, basically crazy right, that's pretty cool, yeah, so I mean all of that stuff. It's getting better and better. I think the cool thing is, is that what I liked about the beginning of our conversation? I'm not saying I didn't like the middle, but one thing I definitely have a connection with you on is the brand of construction and how it's becoming more exciting. Yes.

Speaker 1:

And it's really the next or the next. It's kind of like the last bastion of technological transformation. A lot of other industries it's happened already, yes and where it's less dirty every day. So when you say you know jobs in construction, what you're saying about that comment of that you know kid walking with his parents or whatever, saying this is what happens. If you I want to squash that, I don't't know about you like I have a bee in my bonnet about that. So I was asking if you did too, like I don't want that because that. So you think you go get a college degree in sociology and you're going to go at some company. You're going to sit by the water cooler and talk about a bunch of b Exactly. Is that better?

Speaker 1:

No, it's not, and you can't make as much money, that's true, and you don't really have a skill to fall back on, yep. So you know, I think that there's. I'm totally with you on that. So let's just talk about you know the brand of the company in construction and let's just talk about, like know the brand of the company in construction and let's just talk about, like, how you like how a company steers, that, like the image of the company is. There's two things there's either. There's how, there's the reality of what the public thinks, or the audience any of those audience cohorts thinks, or the audience any of those audience cohorts thinks, and the net of all of those together, the average is what the company's kind of brand equity is, right, with all of its audience Right, and you can see different charts on different cohorts and basically what the engagement is and what people rate it, so you can see what sort of brand equity it has. And then so that's what the reality is.

Speaker 2:

And then there's the people inside going well, we think we're this, it's like, well, you're this, good first step.

Speaker 2:

And asking others outside of the company.

Speaker 2:

We can, we can talk to people inside of our company, but oftentimes, when we're so in the trenches and in the weeds Echo chamber, yeah, we get, we get clouded Confirmation bias. So once we step out of that and we start asking people, hey, what do you think of this company, what do you think of the brand, what do you think of their culture and their marketing and their people, and you'll start to get some better feedback than if you just ask the people within the company. So, if I was to, yeah, lost my train of thought there, yeah, so if you're removing yourself from the company and taking a good hard, long look at who you are and finding out other opinions about who you are as a company, that's the first great step. Um, asking people within the company and and and tell them to be honest with you instead of you know, hey, hey, here's a company survey, you know, on a scale of one to 10, dah, dah, dah, dah it's. Have those one-to-one conversations with those people. Make sure, of course, that you have relationships built with them.

Speaker 2:

It depends on the culture, too, if it's open culture If it's an open culture and there's, you know, good accountability there and it's like, hey, let's be open and honest here, let's have an honest conversation. What can we do better? Yeah, and if you're asking your own people that, and if they have that sense of ownership too and they're like how can I personally in the company make this better, then they have that sense of pride too, being like okay, if we want to become better as a company as a whole, what can I do personally to do that? And by checking in with your people and being like, oh, what can we do better? Let's have this honest conversation. What can we do better as leadership? What can we do better to serve you? How can we help you in your own career path? How can you help us in the grand scheme of the whole company? So, just getting other people's opinions, I think Like the sum of its parts kind of thing. Yeah, just remove ourself from that.

Speaker 1:

That that's cool yeah, nice, yeah, okay, um, so let's chat a little bit about you okay and um so working up the company ladder from a laborer to a foreman, um what you know now and what you would wish you had known then yeah so take me through, me through this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so one of the when I, when I started in the landscaping company out in Chilliwack I was, you know, I had my ticket, but I started as a general labor, um bottom of the company and throughout the four years that I was there I worked my way up to a foreman. And there are things that I wish. Um, I was there, I worked my way up to a foreman and there are things that I wish happened and I didn't read books back then. A great downfall of mine. If I read books in school that meant four essays and that just didn't appeal to me. The books that I'm reading now. I wish I knew when I was a labor to ask more questions Be more curious, be more curious.

Speaker 2:

And if you're starting out in construction, if you're coming from school and you want to be a part of the construction industry, any advice I would give is just be curious, ask questions, be genuine in your questioning and actively listen.

Speaker 2:

So that's the first thing that I wish I knew.

Speaker 2:

And then, as I worked my way up to a lead hand position and a foreman position, I wish I understood how to train better instead of just doing it myself because I'm that type of personality where I'm just like I'll just do it because it's quicker, I'm not creating a succession path for, you know, if I move up or if I'm gone for the personality where I'm just like I'll just do it because it's quicker, I'm not creating a succession path for you know, if I move up or if I'm gone for the day, you're just creating holes over yeah, who's going to take my spot?

Speaker 2:

Gotcha, yeah. So the art of delegation and creating that feedback loop is something that I wish I personally knew and acted upon, because I think it just well. I know it will profit the company in the long run and you know it was never on the budget sheet. You know, as a foreman, you see, I saw the price of the job, I saw where we were at with hours, I saw where we were at with materials, all this kind of stuff, and there was never any sort of training on that list. Okay, Interesting.

Speaker 2:

No time for onsite training, right, it's kind of just like Balls to the ball, throw you in and figure it out. So, having that opportunity and also having the guts to speak up and be like, hey, why aren't we doing training, like why don't we do this and that was never something that really crossed my mind, because you're just in in it all the time, you're in the weeds and you're just doing the daily thing and you just go and you, you look at your, you look at your plans and you can go and do it. Whereas if I showed my crew, my whole crew, the plans for the day and we're like, hey, let's, let's have a bit of a toolbox talk in the beginning of the day and let's figure out, hey, okay, what are you doing, what are you doing? What are you doing? And show them the plan and help them understand just basic drawings so that they could see the picture.

Speaker 2:

You know, simon, sinek, start with why it's like why are we doing this? Okay, now it'll start clicking in their head and instead of just having one guy on site who knows exactly what's going on and a guy who kind of does, and then a couple labors who are just moving stuff around and it's all of a sudden, four or five of you know exactly what's going on. You all know the process, so you're all more efficient, and this is something that I never understood or realized when I was in the position that I was. Now looking back, I'm like oh man, I wish I wish I knew these things.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's yeah. I think probably some of the bigger companies do that. I think some of the smaller ones are just thinking for every hour where's the return, where's the invoice to the customer? Yeah, and how do I get that back? Yeah, so that they're probably just, you know, not looking at the big picture but, rightly so, dealing with money all the time not getting paid on time.

Speaker 2:

Who knows?

Speaker 1:

There's so many pressures of running the business, so you have a disk assessment here. Yes, powerful communication tool.

Speaker 2:

Yes, give me the lowdown. So we are partnered with Professional Leadership Institute Trevor Thronis. Okay, and he uses the DISC assessment at the beginning of the training of the courses. Which courses? So they're online courses that he's created For, for leadership.

Speaker 1:

Leadership Okay.

Speaker 2:

Gotcha. So we've partnered with Professional Leadership Institute. We take these online courses, Okay, and we facilitate and teach these courses to construction companies. It starts with the DISC assessment and understanding one's personality and the importance of understanding one's strong suits as well as one's blind spots. So creating that self-awareness and understanding who I am as an individual, but then also understanding who your teammates are and how they react to certain situations, how they react to conflict, how they react to stress, all those sorts of things. There's lots of different personality assessment tests out there. There's like the Enneagram, and you know there's tons of them. The beauty about the disk assessment it's very simple to understand and you can put it in practice right away. The next day on site you can start understanding people a little better and if it's so, it's like the Myers-Briggs kind of thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah pretty much, yeah, personality traits.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, personality traits, the different colors, all that sorts of I'm purple. Okay, I'm purple, I'm just kidding. Okay, I'm not sure what that means I'm just joking.

Speaker 1:

So recruitment marketing, so leadership development and storytelling. So how do you knit those together in terms of creating that for recruitment marketing?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So when we look at recruitment marketing in a general sense, I guess or in the general sense we're looking at how do we bring more people to the company, how do we market, how do we tell people, hey, this is a great company, or how do we grab people from other companies, and sometimes that's needed In construction. I feel, though, we need to take even a step further back into the leadership development side of the company first and understand how we are being led, and let's develop those skills first, so that, when we do have people coming to the company, instead of panic hiring and instead of being like, oh shoot, if we don't have X amount of people, we got to turn down this job let's focus first in investing in our people and understanding who we have in our team and making sure they're on the right seats on the bus, and then let's focus first in investing in our people and understanding who we have in our team and making sure they're on the right seat seats on the bus.

Speaker 2:

And then let's go and tell our story. Let's like, if we're hiring for exposition, let's make a video on exposition a day in the life of, let's show them what the culture is of the company. Let's show them what they will do, let's show them their task, let's show them what they will be so people can see themselves in their shoes. Gotcha Right, you know we can. We can throw job ads and stuff like that and be like oh, these are your, this is your task list and here's your benefits and all this kind of stuff. It's just like everyone else has that. So how do you stand out? How do you? How do you be different from everyone else? You have a great leadership team, who who focuses and cares for their people, and then you also have an opportunity to tell those stories to attract people who align with your values.

Speaker 1:

That's cool. So, yeah, okay. So I think that, yeah, there's, there's lots to it what you're offering here, and that I guess the challenge always is how do you do this in a way that's not disrupting the company, yes, and that the leadership buys into, because sometimes it can be pretty invasive, yes, I mean, I've done these before and sometimes it's like, yeah, they don't like the questions. I'm asking.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because they're like I run this company for blah blah blah. You know who are you to tell me anything? Yeah, and the successful ones are a little bit more open. Yes, I find they're like okay, maybe I don't know, everything.

Speaker 1:

I used to hear a lot. I don't know what. I don't know. I used to hear that one a lot. I'm like no kidding, but yeah, I think that I've been talking for a while. In this last podcast I was on on the, the contact crew. Yes, that one was interesting because it had we're talking about the, the evolutions of the like other industries are have been doing this kind of thing. Look for longer right. Banking has been doing it for 30 years. Yep, you know um, insurance, food companies, retail brands, you know tech company. They've been doing it for a long time. Right, and now construction is finally like kayla, we got to start following suit here. Yeah, we, we just can't just like get to the job all day and just go, go, go, because we need to attract people. Yes, because everyone's looking at this thing like okay, why? Do I want to do?

Speaker 1:

this. It's a campaign, yeah Right. And so we have to help ourselves in construction. I've always said this, so I think what you're doing is really good telling those stories. Construction so I've always said this, so I think what you're doing is really good Telling those stories Like.

Speaker 1:

One thing I always find is that if you've got a company that the people you're hiring don't want to even have the life of the owner, that's a problem. So there does need to be this attractive thing at the top that they're trying to achieve to be I'd like to be that one day. But if they don't like that, then you know. You see that from the tech companies, right? You see, did everyone want to kind of be like Steve Jobs? I don't know, I wasn't there, but they all wanted his position, they wanted his power, they wanted his influence, and I think that's really a currency these days that people want.

Speaker 1:

People want to be heard. They want it as power, they want it as influence, and I think that's really a currency these days that people want. People want to be heard, they want to know that they're contributing to something, that their ideas turn in, they get manifest into something, and if you can match that openness with wanting to be like the leader or the leadership team, and it gives people something to strive towards. So, yeah, I think that the storytelling, but you got to make sure that it's genuine and that it's not an act.

Speaker 1:

Yes, right, and that's the real difficult part, because some people are just amazing business people. They're great craftspeople, they do really complex projects, they know how to make money, they know how to be a successful company. But you give them a microphone they're like no thanks, I don't like to do that. So, yeah, it's a tough road Finding.

Speaker 2:

I think there are guys like that and they're really good at what they do. If you can find a champion in your company who owns that and is like, okay, maybe the boss, he's really good at what he does and he's good at the craft and he's good at making money and he's good at business, why don't I take the responsibility of being that champion for the culture and the company? The boss may the boss, he may have buy-in for that, but he's like I don't, you know it's. It's hard for me. You know I get all caught up when I'm public speaking and all that kind of stuff.

Speaker 2:

If you want to do that, go ahead and then that champion takes it on. So if a company has a champion that is willing to take that task on and show that and share that with the people of the company and he has the you know quote unquote free reigns to do that within the company from the permission of the boss, then I think that is an opportunity and that's an option. It doesn't always necessarily have to be from the boss side of things. You can't just go and rant on whatever as long as but making sure that the boss approves of it and is like, yep, they have these discussions beforehand. I think that's definitely an opportunity for companies to have too. If you're not comfortable in speaking and being an aspirational speaker or whatever, and you want to hand that out to someone else, go ahead.

Speaker 1:

I find that there's a lot of the women in construction are really good at this. Okay, yeah, women in construction. There's a couple of organizations we've of all, or predominantly, women Okay. In one women Okay, in one group Okay, and like we've seen some female leaders over the past number of years, so impressive. And then I think in construction really good.

Speaker 2:

They really bring something unique to our industry.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no it's really nice to see and brings a calmness as well, which is very cool. Calm and no BS, and you just listen. There's very little power struggle, it's just matter of fact, which is cool. Okay, so I like to do these rapid fire questions. Ready to go? I'm ready, you're ready to go? Okay, all right.

Speaker 2:

What is something that you do that other people think is insane? I enjoy hunting, so a couple years ago went up, drove far up north, boated across the lake, hiked up a mountain with 70 pounds on my back, sat up on the top of the mountain for four and a bit days Probably like maybe two of those days was actual walking around, and the other days we were just sitting in the tent because we got rained in and weathered in.

Speaker 1:

So you and one other person.

Speaker 2:

It was me and two other guys. Okay.

Speaker 1:

And what did you?

Speaker 2:

hunt. We were hunting for mountain goat. Mountain goat, yeah, wow.

Speaker 1:

Is that good eating. I had some. I had a goat leg my friend got one. It tears you like shit. Okay, did you eat this?

Speaker 2:

thing we didn't get any. Oh, that's the thing. Like you can see those guys, but the terrain that they live in, yeah, that's tough. It is insane what they do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the mountain goats, those are the ones that kind of hang off the yeah, they're just right on the side Under the hoofs.

Speaker 2:

Yep, is it hooves? Hooves I don't know, but they're good at climbing and sometimes you're like how did you get?

Speaker 1:

there hiking and not a lot of packing animals, that's right.

Speaker 2:

But we're going up again this year a little further up north, so hopefully we'll bag something this time. Good luck yeah thank you.

Speaker 1:

What would you be doing if you weren't doing what you're doing now with True Grit?

Speaker 2:

Wildland firefighter.

Speaker 1:

Wow, yeah, where could you go?

Speaker 2:

I was a volunteer firefighter in Australia and that's's thanks for that. No worries, mate. Um, that was. That was that's probably the thing that I missed the most. Um, it was just such a. It was a cool way to to be a part of the community and and to help out, and I I enjoyed, yeah, so like fulfilling yeah, very fulfilling, yeah, like wow, we kicked us.

Speaker 1:

We kicked this thing's ass. Yeah, yeah, it's so cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so there's car fires and there's bushfires and you know the helicopter is flying around. It's just. It's really cool too.

Speaker 1:

People underestimate the power of fire.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and how fast.

Speaker 1:

Like when you're near it yeah fast it is.

Speaker 1:

It is incredible. You know those uh torches that they flame sushi with. Okay, yeah, you twist the thing on, like those canisters. Yep, I had one of those and I went to turn it off and it wouldn't go off, okay, so things like blue flame the whole time and I can't turn it off and I got a full canister in there. Oh, so I'm like, eventually, if that thing burns for I don't know how long, it might melt the tip and then get down to the canister, and then we had a real problem, right? So I'm like I got to deal with this thing now. So, yeah, I uh, yeah, I put my hand on the thing and twisted it off.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

But it was hot.

Speaker 2:

Okay yeah. What did that result in?

Speaker 1:

Uh I I. I don't know how I didn't get burned. I mean, maybe someone was looking out for me. Okay. I had a little singe smell of burnt hair on my hand a little bit but yeah, I experienced, like, like, how powerful fire is and how dangerous it is. So, yeah, good on you, man. Yeah, that was pretty cool. You did that. Okay, what is your most memorable job or story from a job?

Speaker 2:

site. So I saw this question. I have a couple. They're really quick. The first one when I was in Australia I did strata maintenance. So a little bit of everything. A little bit of tiling, plastering, kind of like handyman stuff, insulting. Yeah, bit of everything. A little bit of tiling, plastering, kind of like handyman stuff, insulting, yeah, um. So the the one project that I did, um, I received an email from my boss and I opened it and it said you know, dylan, great work on this project. Never would have known if there was a water leak here and there was a replacement here, great job. And that's something that's stuck out to me. And just the simple act of recognition for myself was huge and I think that's a lesson that can be learned throughout the industry. Just giving recognition to the people in the field and appreciating the work that they do is awesome. Second one my first day on the job site here in British Columbia. My foreman rolled his excavator down a crevice, a ravine. Yeah, it was quite a shock to the system. First day on site, first day.

Speaker 1:

So he was in the cage.

Speaker 2:

He was in the cab it was a 30 case.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and he flipped the thing down the down the house. Yeah, I, I should have said something, but, being the first day in the company and like the new guy, I'm like, uh, I think he knows what he's doing, but, yeah, I should have spoken up about it. So, yeah, and then quickly the third thing. Um, you said there was two Sorry, trades guys are. You know, they're hard on the outside but they got soft insides.

Speaker 2:

And moving from Australia where it's 364 days of sun, and coming to British Columbia where in the wintertime it's pissing rain and it's two degrees and it sucks outside and it's just mud, it was one of those, one of those days, super muddy, that winter itself was not enjoyable. Yeah, um, and you know, I was, I was down in the dumps and one of the guys on my crew he said, come over to the side of the house, came over the side of the house and he just gave me a hug and he's like, it's all right, we'll get through this. Like just, you know you get the mental like the blues, yeah, and I was, I was having the blues hard, yeah, but just acts of kindness like that, like just, yeah, it's just to pick me up and be like you know the crew's got my back. Not that positions matter, he was very much like the same skill set and stuff like that, but it's just nice that that was a memorable experience for me. Nice, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's a good end. Yeah, there you go. So truegritca, no E in the true yes, so T-R-U.

Speaker 2:

T-R-U-G-R-I-Tca.

Speaker 1:

We're actually just wrapping up our website today, cool, so it's going it's going live today or tomorrow.

Speaker 2:

Okay, good.

Speaker 3:

So excited for that. All right, dylan Well best of luck.

Speaker 1:

Well, that does it for another episode of the site visit. Thank you for listening. Be sure to stay connected with us by following our social accounts on Instagram and YouTube. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter at sitemaxsystemscom slash the site visit, where you'll get industry insights, pro tips and everything you need to know about the site visit podcast and Sitemax, the job site and construction management tool of choice for thousands of contractors in North America and beyond. Sitemax is also the engine that powers this podcast. All right, let's get back to building.

Life in Australia and Transitioning Back
Leadership Development in Construction Industry
Business Culture and Communication in Industry
Building a Strong Company Culture
Effective Leadership in Construction Industry
Corporate Storytelling for Employee Engagement
Women in Construction and Outdoor Adventures
Crew Support and Website Launch