A Day in the Life of Gary Murphy, Site Manager

Our next ‘Day in the Life’ focuses on Gary Murphy, one of our Site Managers who is based on our North Wales Scheme. Gary started his career as an Apprentice Stone Mason and has progressed through his career to Site Management. With his go-to attitude, infectious laugh and fantastic sense of humour, Gary really does create a fantastic culture out on site.

Welcome to our next instalment of our ‘Day in the Life of’. A series of interviews with our people here at Connolly’s, providing insight into our day to day activities and our people. 

So, let’s go back – can you give us a brief insight into your career path which has led you to be in the position you are today?

I started in the building industry at the ripe old age of 17, where I became an apprentice Stone Mason, on the Leverhulme Estate. At the age of 25, I went into business with a partner, undertaking paving and stone works for 8 years, and then returned to College to complete a Higher National Diploma in construction. At college, I gained all sorts of certificates in communication, people handling, and various other courses on how to become a better Manager.

I was then thrust into a position where I worked with disadvantaged school pupils to get them through secondary school and college for several years until TLO’s position came up in a company that was then Bullock Construction. I then went onto ROK as a new site manager and after 7 years in the position, ROK regrettably went into liquidation. I worked for Assured Insurance Repair company in Liverpool for just over 18 months as a Site Manager, and then onto Kier Construction where I ended up working for the inevitable Mr Simon Harrison (Connolly’s now Managing Director). Whilst working for another company following my time at Kier Construction, my time came to an end when the position was not available, at which point I received a phone call from Simon Harrison asking if I wanted to come and work for Connolly’s and the rest is history.

Are there any moments in your career, past or present, that stand out to you?

I think the stand out one would have to be being awarded the winner of a ROK star award for “Duties Beyond Being a Site Manager”.

I also remember getting the phone call from Simon to ask if I would like to work with him again and after my Kier experience working with Simon and Andy Taylor (Connolly Ltd Contracts Manager), it was a no brainer, of course!

My present position in Connolly’s and my team in Wales is a fantastic position. It will hopefully not change while I’m here as the team in Wales including SM’s, TLO’s, Drivers and contractors is probably all I can hope for and it’s a pleasure to come into work every day.

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

My role involves all sorts of skills from programming, communication, empathy, organisational skills, and just being an all-around good guy, (of which I am) My role can be very busy and challenging at times but when we achieved the results, we are all happy to celebrate together.

At Connolly’s, we have the flexibility to build our own team and engage with a variety of people. Customers, Clients, Operatives, Apprentices and drivers and need the empathy and guidance of a Site Manager.

Can you tell us about a typical working day for you?
My typical working day consists of arriving between 7.15 – 7.30 am and my first task is to create a to-do list. I then issue works to Scaffolders, Pointers, Joiners, appropriate works for apprentices, providing worksheets for all trades. As part of my role I also look after apprentices, Health & Safety in the workplace, liaise with work inspectors for programme progress, tenant visits with TLO, ordering materials, purchase orders for drivers and flue turn-offs for the Gas engineers.

Every day brings new challenges and different inductions for trades, all are fully inducted to the Connolly Health & Safety policies, being as efficient as possible to make sure we are all safe going home.

Where do you see Connolly Ltd in 5 years?
When I started nearly 5 years ago, I didn’t envisage the growth of Connolly’s, at such a terrific rate, I feel I work for one of the best companies, if not the No 1 company in the North West. I am very proud of this achievement for all the Connolly family, and myself in helping in a small way to achieve this.

Can you tell us about the hardest moment in your career and how you overcame it?
I think the hardest moment in my career was when ROK Build went into liquidation, and dumped me on the benefits system for the first time in my working career, leaving me without my shares, which impacted my family life and my retirement plan was shot to pieces, as with a lot of other employees in the same position.

But as with all trials of life, you have to jump back up and get another position to set you back on the career path. Look what happened to me, I ended up at the Carlsberg firm – Probably the best in the North West!

Connolly Culture is at the heart of the business – can you describe what the culture means to you?
I think the Connolly culture is family orientated and is second to none in the building industry. A caring and empathetic company, Connolly’s has very high standards and values at the heart of the brand. We look after our employee’s, our contractors, our clients and customers to the highest standard.

What do you believe is the greatest thing that Connolly Ltd has achieved so far?
My thoughts are we are the leading main contractors in the North West, and our growth is phenomenal. I think we have an amazing team ethic, especially in our little haven of North Wales and in Connolly’s main office. We are also the leading company for innovation in the industry with the likes of the 30-day sub-contractor payments.

Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the Construction industry?
Come and join the family firm called Connolly and see what you can achieve. There is a lot of positions in the industry that need filling, and with the right firm, you can achieve your potential.

What do you love most about your job?
We have great camaraderie in North Wales and throughout Connolly’s, we have passion for our work in all we do, also the variety in our work and the compassion we show to our customers. I love coming in to work every day and the challenges it brings.

Finally, if there was one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
I think in some ways my positions over the years have helped me shape my life, with seeing and doing the things in the social housing sector, from really deprived areas to the more affluent areas, have helped me to become very passionate about what I do, and my advice would be to do it all again.

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