Matt Harmon is famous among his workmates for the slow-cooked meats he prepares on the BBQ.
“I love cooking because food brings people together,” says the Perth Branch Manager. “When you break bread together that’s when you get to know people better.”
Getting the best out of people by creating a friendly and inspiring team environment is why Matt won the 2023 Royal Wolf Employee of the Year award.
Not that he’s shouting it from the rooftops, because as well as being a great cook, he’s also pretty good at being humble.
“It’s not as if I’m doing anything amazing,” he says. “I work with really good people and it’s about giving everyone in the team ownership of what we want to achieve, talking to people about the end game, and then getting the job done.”
The family man, who also loves fishing and golf, says he has been lucky enough to have people in his career who gave him opportunities.
“I know how important encouragement and support is. I’m also good at getting things done, and getting my hands dirty, and I understand what people want, so people tend to like working with me.
“But really, it’s about working as a team and that’s what this award is about – I have a great team.”
Matt started at Royal Wolf in 2018 as a Regional Operations Manager responsible for fleet management, maintenance, and safety across Western Australia, South Australia, and Northern Territory.
He was recently promoted to the Branch Manager position in Perth, which is one of the company’s largest branches, where he oversees site operations, fleet management, maintenance, safety, and inbound sales.
Royal Wolf Managing Director, Neil Littlewood, says the annual award is about recognising a person who consistently demonstrates the company’s values and is seen as a role model across the business.
“They mentor and develop others and are loyal promoters of the company and their team. Matt epitomises all those qualities.”
Mr Littlewood says the Perth branch has an exemplary safety record and under Matt’s leadership is focused on servicing existing clients with a firm focus on the future.
“The branch, in a tough year, has grown revenue by 23% – almost a quarter – which in a market growing at 1.5% is incredible growth and that’s all due to Matt and his team.”
Matt has worked in the container industry for the last 10 years, including Wharf Services Manager at Toll and now Royal Wolf.
“It’s been containers, containers, containers for a while now, and I’ve fallen on my feet with Royal Wolf,” he says.
Despite it being a challenging year, including a major systems integration project, he says his team adapted to the changes quickly. “We pulled together as a team, and it was disruptive for two or three months, but we knew we would come out the other side and be better for it.”
As Employee of the Year, Matt won a $5,000 travel voucher for him and his family to take a well-earned break. He will also attend the annual United Rentals conference in Indianapolis next year.
“I’m very proud to win Employee of the Year but I’ll say it again, this award is created by the people around me, and I have an incredible team.”