Ben Tobin and Judy Harris.
Ben Tobin and Judy Harris.

Family and lifestyle at Followmont

THE idea of an open day in a blue collar industry was something Followmont's director Mark Tobin had never heard of before.

"When our Linehaul manager Clynt Leeson first proposed the idea I was a little sceptical," he said.

"But as a company whose directors have always had an open-door policy, it seemed appropriate that we opened our door and provided our managers to potential employees, customers, current staff and their families."

Followmont was founded 29 years ago as a single truck operation out of a garage in Stones Corner.

They have grown significantly since then and are now one of the largest family-owned transport companies in the state.

"In the last five years we have grown by over 60% primarily due to our staff, their pride in Followmont and commitment to service, which is what our customers have come to expect," Mr Tobin said.

"Having been a driver, loader and fleet controller myself, it has always been my philosophy and that of the other owners, that our staff at the coal face are our best ambassadors and most important assets.

"But as we grow our team must also."

Mr Tobin said despite the company's size it was not as well known as other multi-state businesses, particularly in Brisbane.

"Approximately half of the 400 people who filled out an expression of interest form had not heard of Followmont before, and the open day was about showing everybody what we as a family business are about," he said.

"With the help of Big Rigs we were able to encourage the people we needed, experienced transport professionals, to come and see what Followmont was about for themselves, so that they might consider us as part of their future."

Followmont is creating a lifestyle for its drivers and understands that words need to be backed by action.

"The open day provided the chance to show firsthand how we do that, by giving people the chance to talk to our Brisbane manager or linehaul manager, to hear from our chief operations officer about training and encouragement we offer to employees and how we invest in them as much as they invest their time in us. All of this left a lasting impression.

"And certainly received the response we hoped for.

"I would like to thank our current staff also for the day.

"Nobody wants to work somewhere where you are just a number ... one of the best experiences of the day for me was our employees coming down to show their kids and their families where they worked, and doing so with pride.

"Despite now employing over 600 staff, the atmosphere and team spirit hasn't changed since we were a 50-person operation when I started over 20 years ago, and that is what made the day and has made Followmont so successful."

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