Get to Know Fiona
At Cairn Cross, our core values are people, planet and performance. With the right team and options to develop your career, our people are always our strength when delivering exceptional work to our clients.
As part of our new employee spotlight series for you to get to know our team members, we’ve caught up with Fiona, our Receptionist and Head Office Administrator at Cairn Cross.
What does your job entail?
You’ll normally find me front-of-house at our Leeds-based head office, directing phone calls, organising client meetings and day-to-day management of the business. I like to ensure that everyone’s tasks are as streamlined as possible so we can maximise our goals.
How long have you been at Cairn Cross?
I’ve been with Cairn Cross for four years, and in that time, I have learnt so much from my fellow team members and the industry. I am currently working on a Human Resources Assistant qualification which was put forward to me by our in-house training and Development manager, Jan. Everyone here is so supportive and friendly, giving me the confidence to progress my career and knowledge in HR. I look forward to using the knowledge and implementing ideas within the business when I complete it in early 2023.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in construction?
The office and culture that Cairn Cross has created mean it doesn’t feel like a man’s job, nor does it feel male-dominated, and everyone’s opinions, no matter position or gender, are valued and heard. That’s big in making the workplace adaptive and inclusive.
Breaking down stereotypes and having an accepting environment means that everyone progresses and encourages more people who might not feel like they would fit, can join and experience the great benefits of the construction industry.
What do you think makes Cairn Cross unique?
Cairn Cross are very people focused. Because it started as a family business, it still operates with that genuine family-orientated approach, putting people first. We are a very small team compared to the work output we produce, so we ensure we always have high staff morale.
Progression is also available; the team is expanding, so plenty of new opportunities are on the horizon. You are given the tools and resources to progress with the business.
What are your goals within the company? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Following my training and development plan, which I’m currently undertaking, I will be qualified in HR. I can’t wait to be able to use this more in my day-to-day accountabilities. I aim to continue growing my knowledge and working within a team with more responsibility.
What is the best career lesson you have learnt so far?
Like everyone else during the pandemic, we suddenly transitioned from an office-based to a hybrid and working-from-home work environment. In a very short period, we had to ensure everyone had what they needed, from phones and laptops to chairs and desks, and for the client, we had ensured it was business as usual as possible. There was a huge increase in diverting calls, setting up meetings, and implementing new ways of communication, but since we now offer where roles permit, a fully flexible approach to hybrid working, including adding a range of policies and procedures to ensure it’s as efficient as possible for everyone.
What favourite project to work on?
Although I don’t directly work on our major construction projects, I organise our Christmas parties, community engagement days, and even our highly anticipated beer and burger family days. They are a great time away from work for everyone to relax away from the office and enjoy the summer.
Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today?
Our Training Manager Jan encouraged me to pursue training, and Rob our Commercial Director, supports me every step of the way. It’s really great having a team of people behind you rooting for your success.
What’s the best advice for someone who just started their career?
Be a team player and ask questions to your team members. Everyone is a fountain of knowledge, so no matter the question, someone will be happy to help and assist with your questions. No question is a silly question!
In terms of successes, which accomplishments are you most proud of?
Being given the access, training, and support to undertake my HR training has been incredible. Everyone at work is extremely supportive, which has given me the confidence to pursue it further.
What’s your secret talent no one knows about?
I love drawing! I always draw with my children, but I’m known to get carried away and create a masterpiece! I’m the go-to parent to help with art homework. Is anyone for a portrait?
Describe your ideal tea or coffee mix?
Oh, it has to be a builder’s tea!