Advancing Our Journey Toward Greater Inclusion
Historically, the mining industry’s workforce has been male-dominated, especially among leadership ranks. With operations all over the world and recognizing the importance of attracting more diverse talent, Newmont launched business resource groups (BRGs) in 2014 to help foster the exchange of ideas and create a more diverse and inclusive culture.
BRGs can be effective advocates for change and often identify and provide solutions to important business matters. Common activities include enhancing employee engagement; promoting professional development; sponsoring program, policy, system and process changes; and representing Newmont in the community at recruiting and/or philanthropic events aligned with the goals of the BRG.
To ensure success, we assessed the level of employee interest and enthusiasm as well as existing informal groups. Based on the findings, we formalized the BRG structure in Australia and launched new BRGs at the corporate headquarters in Denver. To date, our BRGs represent the interests of women, veterans, multicultural and millennial generation employees.
Throughout 2014, the BRGs’ contributions toward our goal of building a more inclusive workplace include:
- Launched a pilot mentoring program in Australia focused on the development of women;
- Created a learning series at our headquarters dedicated to increasing awareness about the areas and cultures where Newmont operates at our headquarters; and
- Hosted an event honoring those who served in the United States Armed Forces and partnered with veteran support organizations on volunteer and fundraising opportunities.
Lessons learned from the initial BRGs will inform improvements as we expand BRGs to additional regions.
Engaging Employees in Uncertain Times
As a result of copper concentrate export restrictions at the Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia, the operation was forced to ramp down operations in June 2014, placing around 80 percent of the mine’s 4,000 employees on paid leave.
During the demobilization, leaders worked to minimize the impact to employees as much as possible by maintaining base pay for non-staff and reduced salaries for staff, providing educational assistance and continuing health insurance.
Site leadership used a number of communications tools – including discussions with union representatives, group meetings with leadership and one-on-one sessions with people managers – to to engage, inform and encourage employees to ask questions and share opinions during a time of many uncertainties.
Once exports resumed and operations progressively restarted in mid-September – three months later – employees were remobilized in stages so they could attend refresher safety training to ensure the thousands of employees and contractors resumed work in a safe and efficient manner.
Leadership Coaching Drives Results
Our goal is to create a culture of zero harm and a workplace committed to eliminating fatalities and preventing injuries and occupational illnesses. Achieving and sustaining this cultural transformation requires leaders to visibly demonstrate that nothing is more important to our success than safety.
In 2014, we launched a formal Safety Leadership Coaching program at seven sites including the Carlin portal (underground) mines in Nevada. The program covers six important topics – demonstrating visible felt leadership; communicating effectively; identifying hazards; managing risks; exhibiting operational discipline; and encouraging vital behaviors.
After completion of the 6-month program, frontline workers at the portal mines rated their supervisors’ ability to interact from a safety leadership standpoint around 40 percent higher than prior to the program.
More importantly, the total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) at the portal mines fell dramatically – from 2.55 incidents per 200,000 hours worked in 2013 to 0.82 in 2014 – and at the end of the year the mines reached a new record for the longest number of days with zero recordable injuries, supporting the fact that safety coaches make a significant difference.
In addition to plans to hold leadership coaching programs at all our remaining sites by the end of 2015, we continue to share our approach and learnings with industry peers to strengthen safety practices and policies across the industry.