Moments of Trust

Moments Of Trust

It’s funny how quickly young children come to trust those dedicated to keeping them safe. Looking back at photos from last week, when the generous Alex from William Adams showed my 3-year-old daughter around the diggers and dump trucks, one could easily think it was a shot of a father and daughter. Not two strangers who had just met minutes before.

It was the highlight of her week, her month, maybe even her year – given her obsession with diggers. She was beaming today at kinder drop off, holding her little pink caterpillar cap and inhaling intensely before launching into how Alex had let her ‘drive’ the 100-tonne dump truck (not really, obviously…safety first!).

Trust is a sacred thing – with little people more than anything in my opinion. I trusted Alex completely in those moments, as did my little girl.

It was a memorable ‘non-business’ moment in the relationship between Chandler Macleod and William Adams, yet at the same time reflected the solidarity of our working partnership. It really hit home that day –  how the symbol and the act of ‘trust’ operates both ways.

The Chandler Macleod team feel privileged to have been one of William Adams reliable advisors when considering their people decisions. A strong relationship of trust that has been built over 20 years. The level of trust feels strong – but it doesn’t mean we assume we know what’s best or that we rest on our laurels. We continue to work together to produce decisions about people. We communicate openly and honestly when things are going great, when they aren’t and when there are issues to resolve.

Although I didn’t build the relationship in the early years, a lot of that was done by the esteemed (now retired) Chris Reilly, but I feel lucky to have been a part of this partnership. I especially appreciate it at moments like this, where we are welcomed as family.

Thanks to the team at William Adams – Angie, Oliver, Pamela and of course Alex –  for a pretty special experience!

As well as sharing their diggers and dump trucks with us,

The HR team at William Adams kindly shared their insights around the current challenges and opportunities their business faces in this age of disruption. A welcomed distraction to the day, they allowed us to have a look at their digger and dump trucks. Digging a little deeper, parallels between interactions with the business, customers and their employees align with many of the trends we are witnessing across other industries.

CMPI:  What do you see as the biggest opportunities in the earth moving / agricultural production industry over the next couple of years?

 William Adams: The delivery of advanced technology to the market will bring significant operational cost savings, productivity improvement, enhanced safety and vastly improved reporting on machine fleets to our customers. Availability of technology alone will not be sufficient and the key will be for manufacturers and suppliers to assist customers with the integration, training, and use of these products and solutions. The supplier that gets this done best will enjoy significant product and solution differentiation and its rewards.

 CMPI: What about the greatest challenges, threats or disruptors? How does a company like William Adams/Caterpillar prepare for them?

William Adams: Managing the changing market demands towards greater digital online presence and potentially away from the traditional dealer strengths of “bricks and mortar” (i.e., product support from physical locations) and customer relationships which have been our foundation. As the market migrates to an increasing appetite to procure not only parts and services but machines online, the Amazon style experience offered by competitors is a very real threat. One that Caterpillar and the dealer network are investing in heavily.

 Furthermore, the industry will migrate to more battery powered electric options in preference to diesel engines, bringing with it very different sales and support network requirement and introducing new competitors.

CMPI: What observations have you made in changing the nature of the workforce in your industry? What should candidates expect in relation to applying for roles within William Adams?

William Adams: With the new generation of employees starting to come through we are seeing a huge change in what employees’ value most from their employer.

For example, the millennial workforce is keen for much more regular feedback than the current accepted system of annual performance appraisals. This feeds into the expectation of rapid career progression and development. Millennials are also keen to pursue a healthy work life balance by favouring employers who can demonstrate a focus on outcomes rather than tasks.

Although the ‘baby boomer’ generation are keen for these benefits too, it seems the younger generation are happy to move on very quickly if they don’t get what they want, or if they don’t see it happening soon. Career progression is certainly a strong motivator.

With different generations working side by side, we also need to ensure that with communication and knowledge transfer happening both ways, it works to bridge the gap with generational workforce differences in the business.

CMPI: What are clients like you looking for in candidates wanting to build a career in the industry?

William Adams: When it comes to selecting candidates now we are seeing a change in the traditional methods of recruiting, such as CVs and face-to-face interviews and more emphasis on recruiting for attitude and personality.  This is not to say skills and experience aren’t important but the development of psychometric testing is becoming invaluable in the recruitment and selection process to help determine the right ‘fit’. We’ll always look for candidates that have a passion and drive to learn, but in addition, we want them to be able to think ‘outside the box’ and to be solution focused.

Overall, as a business, we always look for employees with a positive and collaborative attitude as it’s much easier to teach skills than to change a mindset.

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