Leading with Courage and Cultural Sensitivity
In the mining industry, front line supervisors have a critical role to play in a complex work environment. Not only are they responsible for ensuring daily production targets are met, they must also lead large crews of people to work safely together as a team to meet those targets.
In Nunavut, that responsibility is even more demanding because of the remote location, the Arctic environment and the culturally diverse workforce. With the massive hiring program now underway in the North, the Nunavut Management team strongly supported the development of supervisors to be better leaders and team builders for the future.
In 2017, the team designed and tested the Nunavut Leadership Development Program, which was originally developed and implemented at the LaRonde mine in the Abitibi, and is now being rolled out across other Agnico Eagle sites.
It is a five-day leadership program that supervisors can complete within a two year timeframe. The modules cover five key areas of supervision – cultural awareness immersion, communicate to perform, coach to excel, mobilize in action and lead with courage.
The cultural immersion module/session includes a day trip to an Inuit community to learn about the various cultural aspects they must keep in mind in order to excel at their day-to-day leadership and supervision tasks.
According to Pierre Guimont, Corporate Director of Training and Development, “We wanted to develop a highly customized program to reflect the multicultural reality of Nunavut. First, we conducted a needs analysis and met with focus groups to develop the themes of the modules. Then, we reviewed the program’s content in partnership with the Nunavut Literacy Council to ensure it addressed multi-cultural aspects. We also wanted to ensure Agnico Eagle’s guiding principles and values were reflected in each of the program modules.”
Nunavut’s management team were trained first – acting as a pilot group to test the program and enhance their own coaching skills. Once they endorsed it, internal coaches were identified and given the training, so they can eventually deliver the modules to others. To date, 12 internal coaches have been trained at Meadowbank and a similar number will be trained at Meliadine.
Close to 100 employees have now taken part in the cultural immersion session and Module 1, with the remaining three modules to be delivered over the next 18 months. Training at Meliadine will get underway during the second quarter of 2018.
The Leadership Development Program has been fully delivered at our LaRonde mine and the selection of internal trainers is now underway at Goldex. A pilot program is also planned for Pinos Altos mine in Mexico later this year.