Working at Novus - Donna Mcmullon

  09 MAY, 2018      COMPANY UPDATES
Donna Mcmullon, Personal Assistant at Novus holding flowers with employee

Novus is a family business owned by the 4th generation of the Seddon family, although we are now a national contractor with over a £140 million turnover, the family values remain.

Here is our second colleague Donna Mcmullon, Personal Assistant to tell us why she loves working at Novus.
 
What is the greatest thing about working in Novus?

People, the internal culture makes the working environment a pleasure to be part of, there is a true sense of family values and coming to work is a pleasure.
 
What has been your greatest achievement?

There are a few, achieving my Business Degree many years ago when I first joined the company. Since then, it has been managing the Investors in Excellence certificate and more recently has been the development of my department and evolving with the company.
 
What has been your most challenging moment?

Presenting to the senior management team about 9 years ago! Although I have a good working relationship with the team, I found it a little daunting stood in front of a table of over 30 board members while delivering the IIE standard!  Humour often helps me get through!
 
What is your most memorable story?

A memorable story was when we ran a customer care campaign to take 3 families to Lapland one Christmas. Terrie Brett and I took these families from 3 different housing associations, having no children of my own back then, it was like taking Ebenezer Scrooge himself!!! While I took care of the practical matters, Terrie entertained the families (and the entire plane) with renditions of Christmas carols over the intercom system!

The joy on their faces was a beautiful moment and I remember them all so clearly. Who would have thought that a company in our industry could deliver such a nice gesture to 3 lucky families!! Priceless!
 
What are you looking forward to in the future?

More of the same quite frankly! Let’s build this empire together, but let’s be happy in doing so

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WHAT DOES A COVID-SECURE CONSTRUCTION SITE LOOK LIKE?

Novus were one of the first in the country to reopen its new-build construction sites. A month on and we are taking a look at what measures have been put in place to keep colleagues and clients Covid-Secure in this first phase of our coronavirus mitigation plan.   Getting back to work safely Of our phased reopening plan Lee Hartley, operations director at Novus, said: “The safety of everyone involved in our building and maintenance projects is always the top priority for us. “We’re confident that, by following the government’s guidance around social distancing measures, adapting our working practices accordingly and providing our colleagues with the necessary personal protective equipment, we’re playing our part in keeping people safe at work and delivering building projects across the country.” So with that said, what do these new Covid-Secure working practices look like? Reconfiguration of site parking Upon arrival to any reopened Novus construction site, you will quickly notice that the parking bays have been reconfigured so that every other space is used. This measure ensures that there is a safe 2m gap between each person as they exit their vehicle and as such, social distancing is maintained from the off. Additionally, having colleagues actively participating in social distancing measures from the minute they arrive, sets the tone for their whole experience whilst working on site. Robust and plentiful new signage Perhaps the most obvious new measure is the abundance of updated signage in and around the construction site. The new Covid-19 awareness signs serve as a continual reminder to everyone on-site to remain vigilant, stay alert and help control the spread of the virus. It is important that the new signs are not only strategically placed around the construction site to be noticed, but also when designing any new signage, they need to be distinct from other health and safety notices. This is a challenge particularly for construction sites as workers are exposed to an array of signage on a daily basis and it is critical that these messages do not become just white noise. Extending this out to all other workplaces, clear and plentiful signage will be critical to reinforce new procedures until they ultimately become habitual. Whether people have been placed on furlough leave or have been working from home throughout lockdown, returning to any workplace that is implementing Covid-Secure measures is initially sure to feel alien and take a period of adjustment. Temperature checking Before coming onto a Novus work site, everyone must have their body temperature checked. As one of the main symptoms of Covid-19 is the presentation of a high temperature (found in excess of 37.8 degrees Celsius), temperature checking is a necessary precaution that many facilities are likely to adopt post-lockdown. The temperature check at Novus sites are a simple non-invasive procedure (we don’t put a thermometer in your mouth!), with contactless infra-red gun. If you are within the normal, we will be happy to welcome you on-site. Contactless site inductions As has always been the case with visits to a live construction environment, everyone must undergo a health and safety induction before they are allowed onto the site. This would normally involve a face-to-face presentation with the person responsible for health and safety at the work site and a physical orientation. However, to limit the number of people that a visitor comes into contact on-site, Novus now operate contactless inductions with the use of a video presentation instead. Sanitation stations For the foreseeable future at least, any place that accommodates groups of people will likely feature designated areas for sanitation. Whether this be with the installation of temporary hand washing facilities, placing bottles of hand sanitiser around the site, or both. At sites such as the NHS Greater Manchester, Novus have installed additional temporary hand basins for colleagues, to encourage regular hand washing throughout the day or whenever changing tasks. If you are interested in having temporary hand washing facilities installed in your workplace, business, or school, please do get in touch with us >> Social distancing It is truly a sign of the times that implementing social distancing protocol almost goes without saying. Novus have reconfigured the layout and structure of all facilities at our construction sites, from the toilets to the canteens, everything possible has been done to ensure that our colleagues remain the minimum 2 metre distance apart. All work must is planned in advance, shift times are reorganised, and break times are staggered to minimise contact between workers.  Keeping workers safe It is of the utmost importance to Novus to keep everyone safe and we are going above and beyond the guidance set out by the Government. To find out how Novus can assist your organisation in reopening, contact us or visit or Covid-Secure web page for more information.

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