By Nathan Pike, AusGroup General Manager, Operations.

Pictured at AusGroup MAS Operations, Karratha.


There’s not much that hasn’t already been said about the impact of COVID19 in Australia.

I am well aware that in Western Australia we have been incredibly fortunate compared to other Australian states and compared to other countries around the world.

At AusGroup, we have not been immune. We downsized our business and rode out the worst of the COVID19 impact, with some difficult months and difficult times for many of our people in 2020 and early 2021.

We are now entering a new growth phase, and as a business we have returned to our pre-COVID19 headcount—an outcome that would have been hard to imagine just twelve months ago. It evidences the ability of Western Australia and its people to weather a storm and bounce back stronger than ever, and the resilience and flexibility of AusGroup as a business to provide continuity and excellence in service delivery at all times, regardless of the size or impact of external factors.

I am really proud of the way we as a business showed agility in both strategy and execution, and of our people who adjusted quickly and without fuss to a new way of working—while also dealing on a personal level with the challenging impacts of COVID19 on their own families and in their own lives.

It is a real testament to who we are as a business and the powerful impact that our core values have to our overall business success. These values include our focus on building trusted relationships. Open and honest dialogue is a key part of our AusGroup brand and this did not change as we navigated the COVID19 situation.

Responding to client and market needs

As a business we are now seeing strong growth and are diversifying our operations into new regions for new clients.

Twelve months ago we were supporting a large iron ore client in the Pilbara, providing critical rope access services to support large-scale projects and opportunities.

Now, our geographical and industry footprint has expanded.  In addition to our Pilbara operations we are working on a number of critical projects in the Goldfields and Great Southern regions of Western Australia, providing construction, maintenance, shutdown and rope access solutions to a range of clients in the resources industry.

For me personally, these opportunities are especially exciting. I was raised in Meekatharra in regional Western Australia and have lived and worked in the Goldfields, Tennant Creek in the NT, Mount Isa in Queensland and Port Pirie in South Australia for large gold and base metal mining companies. It’s these industries and regions that I know best, so seeing my “old stomping ground” thrive with optimism and activity is a real thrill.

For AusGroup too, these new opportunities are exciting. Each of our team members is committed to exceeding the expectations of our clients regardless of their industry or location, and regardless of their size. It is a mindset that is key to our longevity and flexibility as a business and which we are taking to new projects and new challenges.

Attracting and retaining staff

It is no secret that attracting and retaining talent is a key delivery risk in today’s economic climate.

At AusGroup, we have always been committed to building and nurturing an engaged and professional workforce and we take a multi-faceted approach to achieving this.  I have written previously about our Perfect DayTM  initiative here and this remains a key plank in our approach to ensuring the highest of safety standards for our workers, and to driving a culture of connectiveness and caring for one another.

We know that these values which we instill in all of our employees truly does drive engagement and satisfaction.

We’re always looking for new approaches and innovations to improve the way we do business, and our recently-introduced RecruitU app takes a new and novel approach to job seeking.

It’s a recruitment tool that puts flexibility in the hands of the employee—allowing people to take control of their own schedules and work availability. Using the app, workers can nominate timeslots and locations for work rosters that suit their own situations, and can elect to receive push notifications when suitable vacancies arise. It’s a disruptive approach that is perhaps akin to Airtasker for shutdown work, and has the potential to dramatically improve our effectiveness in linking jobs to candidates.

Already it is proving to be an important tool for us as part of our drive to recruit and retain the best in our industry, and one that is a key part of providing opportunity for a locally-based workforce wherever possible.

Using innovative tools to drive the success of AusGroup and also the success of its people is exciting. We’re seeing new opportunities all the time, and we look forward sharing these opportunities and their impacts with the local workforce.

Our partnering approach with clients which includes openness, honesty and flexibility is in many ways mirrored by our partnering approach with our people. In this way, AusGroup’s success can genuinely translate into the success for local communities and residents.

This really is at the heart of why we do what we do as a business.