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Bringing Back the Human Factor to Mining

There’s nothing like somebody putting the spotlight on you to help crystalise your own thoughts. You can hear it happen to me in the latest episode of the Full Production podcast. Actually, it’s a conversation I first had with my good mate Brett Robbo on his fantastic podcast, ‘Your Life of Impact’. Brett was able to bring out insights into my own thinking and how I approach mining and business that I couldn’t have done on my own.

The conversation touched on a lot of stuff like aligning your values with how you live your life and making an impact for good in the mining industry, business and life in general. But a lot of it came back to the idea of bringing the human element back to mining. Here are the key bits that stuck with me. Think of it as a bit of a mini-manifesto for mining’s future.

People Are People Not Numbers

For so many in the mining game, it still seems to be a numbers game rather than people game. Working on-site, I often felt like a number. If we’re going to progress as an industry and attract top talent for the long-term, we have to change the paradigm. We have to find a way to humanise all workers and see them as individuals with aspirations both on and off-site.

Take a Different Approach

I had a long hard look at myself when I started my own business, FACE Contracting. I wanted to create a team and a culture where people aren’t just a number, but a person. This focus goes through the whole process of how I bring people into my company as team members and contractors. Part of FACE’s interview process is a 30-minute conversation. This is where I have a sit down with prospective team members and figure out what’s happened in their life and what they are about. I spend the time to understand them and their intended career path and show a genuine interest and care in them as individuals. This allows me to find the best people for my clients and find the best projects for them as individuals.

Put Yourself In The Picture

For my team and me, this also goes to really understand what kind of work environment we’re putting a person into. Before I put anyone on site I want to know what kind of business he or she is going into. I want to know the shift bosses. I want to know the superintendent. I want to stay at the camp and have a beer. I want to interact and see a shift change. The better I can see it, the better I can sell it. Or maybe not, if the person and the role just seem to be a bad fit.

When you think about it, the only thing you take out of life is the relationships. This has become a bit of a mantra of mine. Ask any old fella and I bet you get a similar answer. And that’s why I think it’s essential for us to bring back the human factor in mining.

Listen to my entire interview with Brett here.