Experience counts on any construction site. At Chisholm & Winch, we always make sure that we leverage the value of the experience of our team by assigning the right people to the right roles. But that doesn’t mean we have rigid criteria for every post. Our approach is to nurture talent, channel potential and help every employee to achieve their career goals.
Project manager, Darren Godfrey, is a great example of how we have put that philosophy into practice. We have promoted him to a role that has allowed his experience and abilities to shine, and, thanks to his skills and professionalism, our business and our clients have reaped the rewards in terms of excellent service and superb quality.
Experience & Enthusiasm
Darren has been part of the Chisholm & Winch team for more than six years, having originally joined the company as a construction manager. But he hasn’t always worked in a management role. For more than 20 years before he joined us, he was a carpenter and had been involved in our projects as a subcontractor. It was always clear that he had great leadership and organisational qualities, however, becoming a foreman for his former employer before the opportunity arose for us to invite him to join our team. Thanks to his ‘can do’ approach, his ability to inspire those around him, and his commitment getting the job done on time and to the highest standards, we have never looked back.
“I think my experience of working for a subcontractor really helps me with my project manager role at Chisholm & Winch,’ says Darren. “It means that I understand the pressures from the subcontractor’s point of view and helps me communicate effectively and motivate the team across the whole supply chain.
“It also means that I’m conscious of the expertise we can tap into across the team. I see a key part of my job as listening to my colleagues on site so that we can capitalise on any suggestions for how challenges can be met or buildability can be approved. Being a project manager is not just about leading the team and managing the programme; it’s also about collaborating and communicating.”
Day to day, Darren’s role involves planning what work needs to be done, ensuring the work is sequenced correctly and assigning roles and responsibilities across the team. He is responsible for quality management and ensuring the programme remains on track, responding in real time to any potential setbacks and the need to work around other trades.
“Communication is such an essential part of the role,” Darren continues. “I have to communicate with our in-house team, our supply chain, our client and any third parties, such as other contractors on site or consultants involved in the project. I have to tailor communication to all those different delivery partners and ensure they understand me, picking up on anything they might not fully understand. Some of that involves disciplined site practice, such as daily briefings and weekly update meetings, but keeping an ear to the ground and being visible on site is equally important.”
Health and safety is another key element of Darren’s role as project manager. His remit includes assessing risk and planning how hazards will be managed on site.
“Managing hazard and risk effectively doesn’t just protect people,” Darren says, “it also protects the project. A safe and disciplined site avoids the potential for delays and ensures high quality expectations are met, resulting in a project that finishes on time, on budget and to a high standard.”
Passion for the Role
One of the reasons behind Darren’s success is the fact that he loves what he does.
“I always knew I wanted to work in construction,” he says, “because my dad and older brother both work in construction and I loved going to work with them when I was younger. The variety of the job and seeing a project develop as you work towards the finished result are really appealing. As a project manager, I not only get to see the job from start to finish but I also play a key role in making sure it’s delivered successfully, which is very rewarding.”
Darren’s ability to plan, manage resource well and make decisions under pressure have all contributed to his success at Chisholm & Winch and made him a very well-respected member of the team. He is equally respectful of his colleagues.
“Chisholm & Winch is a very supportive, motivating and productive work environment,” he adds. “In just a few years I have achieved some significant career goals here and that is just as much down to the company culture as it is to my skills, hard work and ambition.”