Usher Group is a big business – 500-plus staff, multimillion-dollar revenues, operations in Australia and New Zealand.
Ask those staff to describe what it’s like to work there though and the word that gets mentioned most often is one you don’t normally associate with big businesses – ‘family’.
“One of the biggest focuses at Usher Group is to ensure that everyone feels at home,” one apprentice says, while another adds: “I think it is important for everyone to feel like they are a part of a family.”
That ability to maintain a family atmosphere despite rapid and ongoing expansion is a credit to owner Theodore Vairaktaris, who started the company as a one-man painting business 17 years ago and loves few things more than family – both his own and his work clan.
“Usher Group’s family values and support for employees is always at the forefront of operations across the company,” Queensland Operations Manager Brooke Corrie explains.
“We have a real sense of not only how important the wellbeing of our staff members is but how their energy and enthusiasm is crucial to us fostering a positive work environment. While some bosses would never dream of providing employees with a skating half-pipe at their office, as we did in Melbourne, Theodore knows such small gestures make a big difference for our team.
“It is a real achievement that we have been able to grow the company to this size but maintain a personal touch with all our employees.”
One of the reasons behind that success has been Usher Group’s commitment to nurturing staff.
A significant amount of training, effort and time is invested in helping employees be the best they can be and that is repaid when they choose to grow with the company.
The number of long-term employees at Usher Group is overwhelming, with some senior executives having started out as apprentices many years earlier.
“Fostering career development enables us to grow as a company,” Brooke says. “Training for all our staff is not only available but encouraged, with our apprenticeships in particular enabling us to invest in developing team members’ skills, education and practical experience.
“We currently have 18 site-based apprentices and it’s nice knowing they are working for a company that not only wants them to succeed now but be part of our journey long into the future.
“We are big about our core values at Usher Group and that’s because they are the principles that guide us in what we do, help shape our culture and allow us to take ideas, services and products to the next level.”