Mining executives are the backbone of the mining industry. They are change leaders and have a responsibility to ensure efficient utilization of resources that will result in sustainable growth. It's their job to inspire and motivate their team to achieve outstanding results.
Whether you are a CEO, supervisor, or a department manager of a mining company, you need to be effective in managing many things. This article will examine seven critical skills that are necessary for a mining executive today.
One of the critical qualities required of a mining executive today is flexibility. According to a report by IBM titled, Envisioning the Future of Mining:
“Mining companies will have to lose the rigid and ironclad business models and practices of old and become fluid, flexible and agile enterprises poised to pounce on the opportunity.”
What this means is that the mining executives should be flexible in their approach to managing resources and team. They need to get rid of rigid and outdated practices, and adopt a flexible approach in order to remain focused and flexible to the needs of the time. This is necessary to make the best use of the opportunities when they arise to ensure maximum benefit for a company.
2. Corporate Governance
A study based in Australia had found that most mining companies rank low when it comes to corporate governance as compared to other industries. Only 39 percent of the companies surveyed had met corporate governance standards.
Mining executives need to know how to drive change and improvement by conforming to governance standards. They need to adopt strategies to build enterprise agility in order to comply with governance standards. This can include increased collaboration among departments, supply chain partners, and customers.
As a mining executive, you need to ensure collaboration and communication across different mines and sites. The aim should be to work on issues in a coordinated manner in order to improve productivity and relations. Also, you should focus on addressing common issues and improving the relationship with stakeholders.
3. Staff Motivation
A mining executive must also have the quality of motivating and inspiring the team.
But how can you motivate employees to be more productive and efficient? How can you create an environment that encourages everyone to do their best? How can you help staff to reach their full potential?
As a mining professional in a leadership position, you can motivate your team members by projecting a positive attitude, thereby inspiring them to remain committed to projects. Each member has different skills and expertise. Your task as a mining executive is to ensure that each team member works to the best of his or her ability.
An executive must display the right attitude to bring the best from employees. Team members can sense confidence level regarding their performance. If you show hesitation in providing feedback, it can demotivate the staff due to which productivity will be adversely affected.
To motivate employees, you need to give praise generously. This is necessary to encourage the employees to perform up to expectations.
On the other hand, criticizing an employee in front of other employees will result in embarrassment that will demotivate the staff. If you want to discipline workers, you should do so in private to preserve their work ego. This will keep employees motivated to improve performance and productivity at work.
4. Efficient Management of Assets
Another critical trait of a mining executive is efficient asset management.
Mining executives need to re-evaluate their approach to asset management. They should understand the asset management life cycle and different asset classes. It's important to understand how each asset class provides value to the company differently.
Good asset management practices include a focus on both short-term performance and long-term sustainability. As an executive, you need to strike a balance between operational costs and investment, risk and returns.
As a mining executive, you should monitor all assets and know their location, condition, and other important metrics. You need to examine and assess a broad range of mining assets including inventory, land, fields, information technology, infrastructure, real estate, and others.
Lastly, there is a need to implement a centralized asset management program. You should make use of sophisticated asset management programs for efficient usage, maintenance, deployment, and disposal of company assets.
5. Concern for the Environment
A concern for the environment is a highly relevant quality for mining executives today. They need to take a proactive stance in order to comply with local and international rules regarding environmental pollution.
Mining executives should take steps to make substantial changes in the processes to minimize damage to the environment. It's important to implement new programs and technologies that result in less fuel and water usage thereby minimizing the carbon footprint on the environment. Going green will not only help a mining company to avoid stiff fines, but it will also serve as an effective marketing ploy.
Executives should consider initiating corporate social responsibility programs (CSR) into different business processes. Also, it's important to utilize processes and analytical tools to manage energy consumables.
6. Communication skills
An industry which is run by thousands of people requires mining executives to have exceptional communication skills. Verbal communication is an important factor by which executives can express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings to the teammates.
Moreover, there are situations where you have to give presentations to influential personalities, most probably to potential investors. A persuasive speech skill will help you convince them to invest in your vision.
7. Production Scheduling Skills
The mining life cycle is a complex process, containing different steps and stages. One of the major stages is the phase of the actual production.
In order to operate successfully, certain production plans need to be devised on a regular basis. While devising a plan, your must make sure that it yields high-profit value. There is no doubt that a mining executive with good scheduling skills will do wonders in the field.