Beyond the Build

Team Building

Our Greatest Asset

Our CFO is always reminding me that our greatest assets are the people in our company. Years ago, I thought the greatest assets were on the financial statement, but over time, I have learned his wisdom. One can have all of the policies in place, the procedures, and the best opportunities with the best customer relationships, but if one does not have the right people in the right positions, a company will not be as successful. Worse, you may be out of business one day.

While construction may be different than other businesses, here are a few things we do:

  • We hire when we find the right people, not because we have an upcoming job and no one to manage it.
  • During an initial interview, I always ask, “What might be your reason for wanting to work with us?” If the answer is “more pay,” it’s somewhat of a nonstarter.
  • If we hire someone for raw talent, but they don’t have the wisdom of gray hair, we partner that person with a more seasoned one in the company as a mentor.
  • When the inevitable roadblocks pop up on a job, we encourage our folks to understand no one is an island. To me, this is easier said than done by folks in the construction industry.
  • For our leadership, whether in the field or the office, we’ve also found solid success hiring people who have expertise in areas out of our wheelhouse. They can help us put another leg under our stool, and we can expand their skill set as well.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.