Employee Feature: Luke Argyrous

Thinking like our customers keeps us grounded, humble and effective. Luke Argyrous has spent his career as a Site Manager using a ‘Think Customer’ approach, prioritising internal and external relationships to create a positive team culture. Complete with an effective communication style and a ‘can do’ attitude, Luke has been able to ensure the success of multiple projects in his 25-year career.

Luke’s early career began with a carpentry apprenticeship, from there he obtained his builder’s license and started his own carpentry and construction business at 19 years old. Seeking adventure a few years later, Luke decided to pack up his business and go on a working holiday to the UK.

“About 6 months into working for a high-end UK builder, they asked me to become a Site Manager, that was my first introduction into the role. My first job wasn’t huge, but throughout the 5 years I was there, the projects progressed in size, value and complexity.” Returning to Australia, rich in experience and knowledge, Luke continued his career as a Site Manager, building luxury residential houses for some of Australia’s wealthiest individuals.

Despite all of Luke’s technical skills, the one skill that has helped him to succeed most in his role is his ability to manage people.  “A building site is full of different people and as a manager, you need to have a tailored approach with each person…being able to understand someone’s values, experience and behaviour in a work environment is really important.” Luke started to work on residential apartments and commercial builds, noting the main challenge he had with the transition was letting go of the work front to focus on managerial tasks required in Tier 1 and 2 construction. “There’s many moving parts, if you try and micromanage everybody you can burn out.” A piece of advice Luke offers is learning how to communicate, he explains “Being able to effectively communicate and gain respect whilst still having a level of authority is a challenge, if you can get that from your team then it helps the whole work environment work harmoniously. People do things for you because they want to.”

One of Luke’s standout projects as Site Manager was Australia’s first Ace Hotel. Originally the Surry Hills’ heritage-listed Tyne House brick factory, the design pays homage to the original build, the team preserved heritage elements such as the original oriel bay timber windows and pressed metal cladding and cornices. When asked what his proudest moment was, Luke explained “The key moment came at the grand opening when Ace invited our team to celebrate with the development team, investors, hotel staff, everyone involved etc. That for me was the proudest moment, many of the external stakeholders recognised the effort myself and the team had put in.”

Relationships like this encapsulate Luke’s ability to ‘think customer’, prioritising internal and external relationships to create a positive team culture, he’s able to generate trust and in turn create a harmonious work environment that leaves a legacy.

“Ace Hotel is actually across from our head office – we’re often in the hotel having coffee and chatting to the team… we’re still part of the furniture!” Luke is currently Site Manager at Bourke and Bowden, based in Alexandria this project is a unique, next-generation office and local destination that will serve surrounding communities. Luke has been integral to the growth of Hickory NSW, encouraging the team to strive to create better places for future communities across the state, the division continues to flourish with each expansion.

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