A new coaching initiative is being implemented in an effort to strengthen the outcomes of supervisor training, enhancing responsible behaviour that promotes safe production.
The Murray & Roberts Training Academy (MRTA) programme uses experienced coaches who are qualified at mine overseer level to provide coaching to its on-site leadership.
According to Murray & Roberts Cementation education, training and development executive Tony Pretorius, the aim is to raise the impact of the training investment, to deliver optimal team performance. The intervention builds on the success of the company’s Licence to Supervise Programme which targets miners, artisans, shift bosses and engineering foremen.
“By deploying specialised coaches who understand the concepts of neuroscience and safety leadership – as well as technical skills in mining – we can ensure our supervisors effectively apply in the workplace what they are taught on our courses,” says Pretorius. “While the Licence to Supervise Programme is run over four weeks, the coaching is an ongoing process.”
He notes that behaviour is not always changed overnight, and sometimes requires an extended period of corrective and developmental coaching. The coaches participating in the scheme are well qualified and highly experienced at mine overseer level, and are licensed to supervise trainers. The process of coaching reinforces key areas of supervisor responsibility such as leadership as well as risk management in the fields of safety, health and environment.
“It often takes time to secure the application of soft skills in the workplace,” he says. “The learning journey is intended to progress our supervisors from compliance to resilience, to support our corporate vision as a leading mining engineering contractor.”
The coaching is currently focused on Murray & Roberts Cementation supervisors, but can be offered to external clients. The Licence to Supervise Programme has been initiated by and applied within Murray & Roberts Cementation, but will be rolled out across the group’s other platforms where required. There are 800 to 1 000 supervisors working in the business at any one time, says Pretorius, highlighting their key role as facilitators of safety and productivity.
“By instilling a positive approach to safe production – among operators and other staff – supervisors are critical to successful projects; our coaching will further enhance their development and performance.”