A year of doing things differently

Meet Will Whiting, Head of Infrastructure & Drainage at Calibro

Will Whiting took half an hour out of a busy day to talk about the past year at Calibro as he became part of the leadership team, and the exciting times we have ahead of us.

“I’ve always felt a synergy with what Calibro offers: we seem to do things a bit differently, and I like that,” Will explains. “Over the past 12 months I feel we’ve been going even more in-depth with clients, really getting under the skin of a project. We make sure we get off on the right foot, and set the fundamental principles for moving forward.”

What makes Calibro a different proposition

I think clients like the way we’re very accessible, and the dialogue they can have with consultants. They appreciate our availability,” Will comments. His previous experience also goes down well with clients in the residential sector: ““I’ve previously been employed by residential developers as an in-house engineer or engineer manager, so I was the one managing consultants. Some consultants have only ever been consultancy based. Clients like the fact that I’ve been there and done that, I’ve been in their shoes.”

Part of Will’s role is to bring in other considerations, such as ecology and land appraisals, on top of his core infrastructure design knowledge. “Applying knowledge that’s more rounded means we can add more value for clients,” Will goes on to say. “Hopefully, it means I’m adding more value to the business too!”

Being open and focusing on quality

Approachable, knowledgeable, transparent, upfront: this is how Will wants clients to describe Calibro when coming into contact with us. For Will, it’s more than just a client relationship – it’s about collaborating and acting as an extension to a client’s team: “Clients appreciate our openness and honesty, meaning we’re always realistic. We’re not afraid of saying something that people might not necessarily want to hear. I try to give clients what they need, not what they want. Be part of the team – not part of the problem!”

“As a consultancy we’re careful to put the focus on quality in every aspect of a client project, at every point of the process. It means we’re able to help clients get approvals quickly on their applications,” Will explains. “We bring a well-rounded approach and take a holistic view to consider everyone in the process, from the person on site to the end user. Some consultancies may get a drainage engineer and highway engineer, and splice the two together. With Calibro, the person who does the drainage also does the highway levels, as these things affect each other – it’s not about where one job ends and another begins. This also helps us head off any issues before they arise.”

This quality-driven approach – along with the large projects we’re involved in across the country – means Calibro is gaining more and more traction and a bigger reputation in the industry: “I feel as though the Calibro name is cropping up a lot more, and we’re getting noticed by competitors. You could say we’re punching above our weight”, Will comments.

Investing in our teams

“Investing in and looking after your own people is critical”, Will explains. “I’ve always thought that, when working in a pressurised, busy environment, it’s so important to be aware of people’s needs.”

Will spends part of his week mentoring the growing Infrastructure & Drainage team. “As well as coming to me for support, the team’s also able to work independently, which is a really useful quality. It’ll be good to get back to interacting in the Calibro office, and be able to free up more time for mentoring in the future. It’s so important to get the right mentoring early on in your career.”

The first year and launching a new brand

When Calibro’s leadership team was put together just over a year ago, they agreed a set of principles that would guide how the business is run, then collaborated to set a new brand in motion. Will explains: “The new brand brings our principles and approach together; it defines our values and communicates a consistent message about what we offer clients – and our own people. We’re all excited about where it’s going.”

It’s been an exceptional but an enjoyable first year as head of department for Will: “It’s a learning curve and it’s brought challenges, of course, but that’s part of the enjoyment. In a big organisation you can often be just a number. Here at Calibro, you feel empowered; and empowerment is something we really focus on across the team. It’s great to have your voice heard, and be able to look at the long term. It’s important that people feel part of the company, and not just an employee of the company.”

If Calibro was a person…

Will describes the culture at Calibro as relaxed, positive and helpful. And in terms of the business’ personality type, Will thinks we’re “the ‘go-to’, the one you ask for advice, who has a good base of knowledge and well-formed opinions, who has the answers you need.”

That’s a pretty good answer right there.