Black Rock Mine Communication Projects

Effective engagement results in well-informed, happy workforce

Black Rock Mine Operations (BRMO) wanted to update their mine’s monthly performance incentive scheme so that it is easy to understand, includes all employees (largely shift workers), and motivates employees so that they could personally appreciate the benefits. However, the company’s mining workforce is vast and arranging to engage with employees before shifts start would be a lengthy and logistically-challenging process.

Consequently, in June 2018, BRMO appointed Zutari to help update the mine’s incentive scheme. This included facilitating the updating of the existing scheme in collaboration with the mine’s management team, the unions, and a sample of workers, as well as communicating the new incentive scheme to employees.

A challenging additional requirement was engaging with staff face-to-face, as there was almost no access to the internet or other social media. Recognising the difficulties this posed, the client’s continuous improvement and HR personnel helped to arrange that mine teams were available for engagement sessions, and that our project teams could be transported and accommodated underground.

“Ideally an incentive scheme should be clear, fun, inspiring and understood by everyone, but this is far from easy to achieve at a large mining operation with multiple locations. Through our innovative techniques and a commitment to the client’s vision, we were able to communicate a new scheme that will benefit the mine’s employees for years to come,” says Christine Breet, Zutari Associate – Communication and Stakeholder Engagement.

Respecting the workers’ time and the nature of their work, and bringing clear engagement agendas to meetings were crucial to the success of the project.

Through our innovative techniques and a commitment to the client’s vision, we were able to communicate a new scheme that will benefit the mine’s employees for years to come
The updated incentive scheme was a great example of where engagement with employees yields the desired results. Our incentive scheme-related queries have dropped to virtually zero.

Some key aspects of our approach were:

  • Holding workshops with the mine’s leaders, the unions and a sample of employees to facilitate co-design throughout the updating of the incentive scheme
  • Designing visual messages of the proposed new scheme together with a game, and pilot testing the communication strategy among stakeholders
  • Having engagement sessions each team at the mine’s three complexes (Gloria, Nchwaning II, and Nchwaning III), together with the Black Rock support services offices, and with workers underground
  • Packaging and transporting printed material to remote locations to ensure the messages were successfully communicated

“The updated incentive scheme was a great example of where engagement with employees yields the desired results. Our incentive scheme-related queries have dropped to virtually zero. The way that we involved employees and ensured they understood the changes to the policy, as well as the way their bonuses are calculated, resulted in an informed, happy workforce,” says Yogesh Ramjattan, BRMO Manager – Business Improvement.

*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020.
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