Lima 2019: Putting our people first

5 min read

In mid-2017, Mace won a government contract to join a UK delivery team tasked with building the venues for the Lima 2019 Pan American and Parapan American Games. The contract required dedicated resource based in Lima and, with that, Mace’s Lima 2019 team was born.

Our in-country lead, Kate Flint, has been at the helm from the outset. In this blog – with the help of the people in post – she explains how three roles, created specifically for the project, have been critical to the team’s success.  

When we were awarded the Lima 2019 contract, South America was a relatively untested geography for Mace, and so there was an element of the unknown.

From a project delivery perspective, we knew that our experience on other major programmes across the world gave us the necessary skills to navigate the new challenges we’d face. But, as an organisation committed to engaging, developing and inspiring our people, ensuring the Lima team was given the best chance to flourish was just as important.

To ensure a smooth transition for every single person on the team – the majority of whom moved to Peru from other countries – we implemented three key support roles. These roles are geared towards reducing the pressures that can arise from moving to a new country and working on a time-pressured, high-stakes project.

They’ve had an immediate positive impact, with the team benefitting from support on all manner of things, including visas, vaccinations, accommodation, flights and social activities. However, although the roles themselves signalled a fresh approach to supporting the welfare of the team, they would be nothing without the dedicated individuals in post...

I’m aware that not every project is able to receive this level of support, and it’s perhaps not always necessary. But, in Lima, these three roles have undoubtedly improved our ability to deliver our objectives, under considerable time pressures, and while maintaining the welfare of every individual.

If nothing else, we are helping to drive the debate around welfare in both the UK and Peruvian construction sectors by promoting our best practice approach and generating discussion around ensuring a happy and healthy workforce. It’s a powerful legacy that can drive genuine positive change. 

Emma Wrath, Health and Wellbeing Manager

A big part of my role is proactively promoting wellbeing initiatives and encouraging people to flag any issues or ideas; it’s all about driving a clear and consistent wellbeing agenda, with a particular emphasis on mental wellbeing. By providing a single source of advice and practical support for health and wellbeing matters across the team, I allow my colleagues to focus solely on their role and be as productive as possible. 

I also spend a lot of time working with the supply chain, helping our contractors develop their own positive approach to health and wellbeing, and leaving a positive legacy in the Peruvian construction sector.

I’m responsible for making sure the team is properly supported from start to finish. Mobilisation was a particularly important time for me, with a whole team moving to a new country and needing to hit the ground running with timescales being so tight. It was crucial to set the precedent from the outset and give everyone the confidence that they would get the support they needed to thrive in their roles. I’m pleased to say that the support has continued in the same vein, and we’ve embedded Mace’s good practices and behaviours to show that an office anywhere in the world can still work to the Mace core values.    

Kelvey Flint, Logistics Manager

It’s my job to make sure things run smoothly from a logistics perspective so that the delivery team can focus on building the venues without having to worry about day-to-day issues like travelling across a busy and poorly connected city for a meeting, or dealing with IT problems. I’ve also been the consistent point of contact for all Mace colleagues visiting from the UK. By ensuring their visit is as easy and well planned as possible, they don’t have to worry about anything other than the reason they’ve come to Lima. I think the cumulative impact of the role has been huge, with the amount of time and effort saved across the team resulting in a more productive output for the project.  

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