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Construction-profile Brian

Ryman career gives Brian the good life

While he describes himself as a ‘quiet achiever’, Christchurch born and raised Brian Ward says his rapid progression in Ryman Healthcare’s construction team still surprises him now.

“If you’d have said to me five years ago that I would be living in Auckland and managing a building site with a team of 50 guys I wouldn’t have believed it,” says the 31-year-old Site Manager of Ryman’s Possum Bourne Retirement Village.

“It’s had a positive impact on me and given me opportunities I never thought I would have at this point in my life.”

Brian originally signed up to work as a carpenter at Ryman’s Diana Isaac village in March 2012.

“All I knew about Ryman was that they were a retirement village operator and that was about it.

“I had no idea about the extent of the building operation or how involved we are right through to our own design team working on it.”

After first being assigned to work on roofing with a team of guys, within days he was asked to run a crew of men to install 200 windows.

Next he was given some small projects to do which, looking back, he believes was Project Manager Matt Smith’s way of testing his skills.

His quiet but confident approach and ability to learn quickly had been noticed.

“I was quite fortunate to be working with Matt, he took me under his wing. He trained me on how to use Microsoft Project so I could be more efficient with my forecasting. And he taught me how to manage, as I had already learnt how to build.

“By the August I was Townhouse Foreman.” he says.

Stepping up to this level meant having the skillset to deal with people, to multi-task and to think ahead.

“While it’s quite hard to analyse yourself, I guess I’m quite determined and I like to be challenged,” says Brian.

“So it wasn’t because I wanted to buy my own house or anything, it’s more about wanting to prove myself and for my own personal development and satisfaction.

“Plus I like opportunities and I don’t just want to be a face in the crowd. I enjoy it as well, if I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t do it.”

Brian admits some days can be tough. The hardest part is realising that you can’t please everyone but putting residents’ needs at the top makes prioritising more straightforward.

And he knows there is support there if he really gets stuck.

“I know I can ring someone and give them my solution and they’ll either confirm it or they’ll make another suggestion.

“It’s good to know I’ve got them there as a sounding board and I think they recognise that I’m being proactive with my problem-solving.”

Brian says the fact that Ryman does so many things in-house is something he loves, not least because problems are much quicker to solve with everyone on the same page.

“You can just pick up the phone and talk to the design manager and come up with a solution to your problem, sometimes within a matter of minutes.”

He adds: “I like the fact that we’re such a leading and progressive company, and Ryman is quite entrepreneurial so I’m happy to make Ryman a career job.

“You can’t beat that sense of achievement and satisfaction when you walk through the village and you see how established it is and how happy everyone is living there, it’s a great feeling.”

At Ryman Healthcare, we have a ‘grow our own’ philosophy and invest in developing our people.

Please click here www.careers.rymanhealthcare.co.nz to view our current employment opportunities.