Why we are ‘Building Respect’ at Helix

This week Helix Construct site managers delivered a ‘tool box talk’ on each of our current projects. On the face of it, there is nothing unusual about this – we engage with our workforce and deliver these health and safety talks on a regular basis. What was different about these ones, however, was that they were all about mental health and being aware of this in yourself and, crucially, among your colleagues. This helped us to mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

For me this is a small but important step for Helix. It demonstrates that the work we have been doing to embed a supportive team culture that reaches to all parts of our growing business has begun to take root. Being aware of the importance of wellbeing and mental health is a key part of this.

Everyone’s efforts are valued

My hope is that this is just the start. Since Helix Construct was founded in 2017, one of our central aims has been to build a business in which everyone’s efforts are valued. Much of my initial career was spent working for larger contractors which, while giving me a fantastic education and experience of construction project management, sometimes left me feeling very dislocated from the wider business. 

This is why we have created our ‘Building Respect’ approach. It is about cementing our intent, reflecting the good work we are doing already and pushing ourselves to continue creating a business of which we can all be proud.

We are starting to roll out Building Respect across our business now and it consists of four pillars:

  • Your safety matters – ensuring staff and visitors are safe and secure in the workplace (on-site and in the office)
  • Your feelings matter – taking care of your mental health and wellbeing with programmes such as bhsf RISE, a wellbeing service available to all Helix colleagues
  • Your environment matters – this focuses on sustainability both in the construction process and by building eco-friendly homes
  • Your community matters – we have a strong track record of community engagement when working in residential areas. Also, we want to encourage all members of our team to engage with our corporate partner Home-Start West Berkshire and good causes beyond that

We are excited as a business about Building Respect and where it might go. We are a small, growing company with all the day-to-day pressures that brings, but we are determined to build a resilient business that works for colleagues and customers over the long-term. 

Steps we are taking

As I mentioned, Building Respect brings together all the work we are already doing towards this aim. For instance, our exploration of new sustainable technologies for our homes and other buildings; the steps we have taken to protect our staff, operatives, clients and the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic ; our imminent purchase of our first fully electric company car; and our ongoing partnership with local charity Home-Start West Berkshire.

While we are proud of our progress to date, we recognise there is much more to be done in all aspects of Building Respect. Whether it is reducing carbon or improving our wellbeing, there is an opportunity for contractors to shine here. Unfortunately too many contractors pay lip service to this – but that will not be us. 

carl mulkern - helix

Helix Managing Director, Carl Mulkern

Shared responsibility to do the right thing

These issues are all hugely important to us at Helix and we want to make it clear what we are doing, the available support and the shared responsibility that we all have to do the right thing by each other, our suppliers and our customers.

For us, this is what the Prime Minister’s phrase ‘building back better’ looks like. Yes, it is about building better, higher-quality, better-performing, affordable homes; but it is also about building more resilient households, communities and businesses. Building Respect is how we will ensure Helix absolutely plays our part in achieving these aims. 

To find out more about our projects and approach at Helix, contact me on Carl@helix.limited