Working in over 35 countries, this mining and metals organisation uses some of the most advanced exploration technology in the world and has a workforce of over 45,000. With 16 mines throughout Australia, dispersed management and increasing operational pressure, finding time to develop leadership skills is challenging.
The company understood that without top-shelf, fully developed leaders, operational excellence is near impossible to achieve. Interpersonal conflicts, mental health issues, managerial complaints and safety breaches present themselves exponentially in environments where leadership capability is lacking – absolutely no one wanted that. So, that’s where we came in.
Our client was seeking to partner with a consultancy that could place experienced leadership facilitators and coaches out on sites to work hand-in-hand with their leaders. So that’s exactly what we did. We packed our bags and headed out to where the plains were vast and the dirt was plentiful.
As a multi-site, multi-national organisation, building leadership consistency was perceived to be just as important, if not more important than having system and process consistency. The objective was to build a set of skills through short, sharp sessions. These group sessions were followed up with individual, on-the-job coaching to build on existing leadership strengths and minimise any gaps. Whilst the application of the skills varied at the different levels of management, the core competencies remained the same.
These competencies were introduced one at a time in 3–4-hour training sessions then embedded by spending 1-1 time with each of the leaders, on-site, in the days and weeks to follow. Only one competency was introduced at a time to prevent overwhelm and to allow leaders to practice each skill before adding more to their ‘tool-kit’. The competencies included:
- Speaking up
- Thinking ahead
- Driving accountability
- Offering and asking for feedback
- Mental health awareness
- Coaching for performance
Where possible, videos, music and story were used to help people understand the importance of these skills and how they could benefit from embodying them.
At the conclusion of each site visit, leaders are surveyed to ascertain what is working well, what could be improved upon and their overall satisfaction with the process. This information continues to be used to evolve and improve the leadership development process. The average satisfaction rating recorded at the conclusion of each site visit to date is 97.4%.
Interchange was selected as the preferred partner due to the unique way in which we merge organisational psychology principles with creative engagement. Each of the leadership competencies were bought to life through our passionate and experienced team who move around the country (COVID willing these days) to support our clients and their leaders.