Black Rock Communication Projects, South Africa

“An incentive scheme that is clear, fun, inspiring and understood by all is not easy to achieve at a large mining operation with multiple locations. Design to Innovate techniques and a commitment to the client’s vision helped us communicate a new scheme that will benefit the mine’s employees for years to come.” – Christine Breet, Aurecon Manager, Communication and Stakeholder Engagement

In June 2018, Black Rock Mine Operations (Pty) Ltd appointed Aurecon to help them update their mine’s Monthly Performance Incentive Scheme. They wanted it to be easy to understand, involve all employees, and inspire employees so that they could personally see the benefits. Aurecon was tasked with facilitating the updating of the existing scheme with the management team at the mine, unions and a sample of workers, as well as communicating the new incentive scheme to employees.

Black Rock Mine Operations’ workforce is vast and arranging such a large number of sessions before shifts start was a lengthy, and logistically challenging process. Another requirement was that the engagements with staff had to be face-to-face as there is limited to no access to the intranet or other social media. Support from the client’s Continuous Improvement and HR personnel helped to ensure that teams were available for sessions, and that Aurecon’s teams could be transported and accommodated underground.

Design to Innovate workshops were held with the mine’s leaders, unions and a sample of employees to facilitate co-design throughout the updating of the Incentive Scheme. Aurecon designed visual messages of the proposed new scheme together with a game, and pilot-tested the communication strategy among stakeholders. Sessions were held with 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. Printed material was packaged and transported to remote locations to ensure the messages were successfully communicated. Respecting workers’ time and the nature of their work, bringing clear engagement agenda to meetings with them was crucial to the success of the project.

“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, Black Rock Mine Operations Project Director. 

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