In celebration of our 40th anniversary this year, we have spoken to people within the business, from Directors to those 'on the ground', to find out what they think is behind the company's success.
In today's fast-paced and ever-changing landscape, longevity and success are rarely achieved without a dedicated and exceptional team. As we celebrate our 40th year in business, we can proudly say that the secret ingredient to our continued success is our team.
The internal spirit, dedication and efforts of our company's employees, team members and leaders have played a pivotal role in ensuring J Freeley Ltd's achievements in this challenging industry over the years.
A cohesive team drives success
At the core of our success lies a cohesive team of individuals who share a common vision, values and goals. The company is headed up by the Directors: John Freeley, who started the business some 40 years ago and his sons Michael and Sean, who oversee the successful completion of projects and plan the future direction of the business.
Both at Head Office, and on the various sites, the directors and management are supported by professional and highly trained staff who are totally dedicated to meeting the needs of the firm’s many clients.
Our team members are not just employees; they are an integral part of our family. This sense of unity has not only cultivated a positive work environment but has also resulted in the exceptional performance that has driven our company's success.
Andy Whitfield, a Machine Operator who has been with J Freeley Ltd for ten years, explains: "In 9 out of 10 companies, you're just a number on the payroll. They tend to look down at you. At J Freeley's, you feel part of the company rather than someone who turns up to do their job and then goes home at the end of the day. You don't mind putting more effort in because you know it's appreciated."
Site Supervisor Lee Kingston agrees. "I joined as a labourer in 2018 and haven't looked back. They make you feel like you're part of the family."
A culture of openness fosters collaboration
We have always been a company that promotes an open-door culture where everyone is welcome and accessible. We actively encourage transparent conversations between team members and encourage employees to reach out to John, Michael or Sean. This can be through phone calls, face-to-face discussions, or our WhatsApp group. It doesn't matter whether it's a minor matter, such as needing more toilet rolls on site, or something as significant as a pay rise; the Directors are always available.
Andy Whitfield comments, "You feel part of the company being able to contact the Directors whenever you want. Working for J Freeley is like a family. You can talk with anyone: John, Sean, Michael."
This culture of approachability builds trust, encourages our employees to voice their ideas and concerns freely, and reinforces the open and collaborative team spirit that drives the business forward.
Investing in growth and development
The success of J Freeley is not just a happy accident; it's the result of a commitment to the growth and development of the business and team.
Our company believes in nurturing the potential of each team member, providing them with opportunities for continuous learning and skills enhancement.
Lee Kingston's journey is just one example of this approach. Lee started as a labourer with little demolition experience but has been provided with comprehensive training that has helped him work up to the supervisor role. This has included asbestos awareness, removal, working at height, PASMA, IPAF and SSSTS.
Lee explains, "J Freeley promotes from within the business and supports you along the way. I really can't fault them for that.”
As well as progressing individuals in their careers, this investment in training ensures competence, safety and overall success of the business.
"Being an NFDC (National Federation of Demolition Contractors) member means we're also automatically a member of the NDTG (National Demolition Training Group)" explains Michael Freeley, "We make sure all our site operatives have the correct training and competency to hold the required cards for our industry. These include CCDO (Certificate of Competence for Demolition Operatives) and CPCS Construction Plant Competence Scheme) for their particular roles."
For example, new team members gain a green CCDO Demolition Labourer card; supervisors hold gold CCDO Demolition Supervisor cards and managers hold black CCDO Demolition Manager cards, reflecting their differing responsibilities.
Being part of a strong team also means that people can learn from the experiences and knowledge shared by others within the company, reinforcing John Freeley's belief that "there's no substitute for experience."
Empowering our teams to deliver excellence
This feeling of trust extends into the heart of our site projects, whether demolition, decommissioning, asbestos removal or civil engineering. We have the utmost confidence in our site managers and have developed an approach emphasising independent decision-making and project management.
Central to this is Sean Freeley, who takes a proactive lead by catching up with our site managers daily. This practice ensures everyone is on the same page regarding project progress and goals. After these crucial meetings, our site managers lead the way, gathering the project's team each morning on site and providing a clear roadmap for the day's tasks and individual responsibilities.
The exceptional team behind our 40-year success
This emphasis on belief in individual capabilities empowers our people and drives the continued desire to deliver projects that exceed expectations consistently.
When John started the business 40 years ago, he believed "staff must be an integral part of the business." As we reflect on the past four decades, it is clear that the secret ingredient to our enduring success is, without doubt, our exceptional team.
As we look ahead to the future, we're confident that our team, from Directors and office staff to our on-site workforce, will continue to drive our continued growth and success.