Family Business Confidential: All about the people
Hebert Construction is all about its employees
Yes, Hebert Construction in Lewiston, Maine, is a fourth-generation family business. Yes, the company specializes in building multi-unit mixed-use housing and healthcare projects. And, yes, stellar benefits and a great culture have earned Hebert a reputation across Maine as a great place to work.
But really, the company is all about its employees.
COO Simon Hebert, who represents the first of the fourth generation of Heberts to run the company, says many of the firm’s employees have been there longer than he has, necessitating respect.
“We’re an open kind of shop, so even if someone isn’t a family member, if they invested most of their adult life into the company and they show up every day to carry out our family’s mission, we treat them as if they have ownership,” he says. “We always err on the side of the employees, as they’re the ones that put us in a position to succeed.”
All told, Hebert Construction has roughly 65 employees and a strong network of subcontractors. This squadron enables the outfit to supplement housing and healthcare projects with commercial office space, high-rise construction, industrial infrastructure projects and schools.
The company is also currently rehabilitating an old mill building into apartments and is building a brand-new police station in Lewiston, just a few blocks from the home office.
One hundred percent of Hebert’s jobs are in central and southern Maine.
Currently, three family members are part of the day-to-day business — Simon Hebert; Simon’s cousin Tim Hebert, who serves as CEO; and Simon’s cousin Mike Richard, who is moving into a project engineer role. Michael Hebert, Simon’s dad, also serves as president.
Though Tim is based out of the company’s office in Portland, Maine, he and Simon speak daily about how current projects are going and possible new work on the horizon. The duo also get together every Thursday or Friday to recap key issues the company tackled that week and see how they might tweak the company’s strategy to avoid repeating missteps down the road.
According to Simon, this type of formative assessment empowers Hebert Construction to stay ahead of potential problems and enables the company to focus on the long-term.
“It’s more important to us to protect our integrity and reputation and stability as opposed to increasing our market share within the industry locally or growing our business,” he says. “We’re in this for the long haul. That’s how we’ve been able to stick around.”