Building a great leadership team and engaging staff at JB Cameron

Creating a positive work culture

JB Cameron is a family owned company that’s been operating for 125 years in the trade and retail areas of plumbing, welding, industrial and steel. They have been serving regional Victorians for over five generations and their main location is in Ballarat with stores in Bendigo, Stawell and Castlemaine.

The company was established by John Brown Cameron in 1895 to service the mining industry. In 1931 the focus of the business shifted to incorporate plumbing and industrial hardware products. The company has become one of Ballarat’s largest family owned and operated businesses.


In 2015, Stephen Griffin joined JB Cameron as the Chief Executive Officer and made significant changes in the business over the next two years. He increased profitability, by reducing costs and improving stock management and distribution. He also changed the structure and ensured the right leaders and staff were in place. His charter was to transition JB Cameron from a family run business to a more robust and efficient operation.

In 2017- 2020, Stephen’s focus changed direction to improving staff engagement and leadership in the company. The key goals were to:

  • create a more positive work culture
  • improve staff engagement
  • set clear values
  • ensure strong leadership and teamwork and shift behaviour to be more accountable


JB Cameron worked with a Governance Intelligence Partner to complete three Governance Intelligence Staff Engagement Express Audits over the last three years. Initially they rolled out the first Staff Engagement Audit to identify issues and gaps. The Partner ran workshops led by the trusted Governance Intelligence Advisor to identify improvements that could be made, and strategies and actions were set.

Each following Staff Engagement enabled the tracking of the improvements and identifying of areas of positive change in the organisation. “The key was making sure the values and the culture were aligned across the business. They also revealed that the leadership was improving and consistent with the industry benchmark” said Stephen.

Stephen Griffin, CEO JB Cameron


The audits and workshops had a significant outcome for JB Cameron and resulted in the following actions:

  • Set up regular one on one meetings for staff with management to improve communication
  • Ensured 13 Managers completed a leadership course to improve overall management of staff and clarified roles and accountability
  • Established a catch up with all staff together each month to discuss key goals, initiatives, and updates
  • Refreshed the company brand and opened new stores

Despite the downturn in certain industry sectors, JB Cameron’s results were still buoyant. This was due to the discipline and focus brought by the Governance Intelligence audits on important matters of great teamwork and engagement.

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Or contact Damien Smith for a discussion on +61 418 325 781 or email 

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