Developing Our People
17 Aug 2020
Our people are our most important resource. By investing in their development, we are able to prepare for Doe Run’s future. Over the last couple of years, we’ve put an expanded focus on developing and rolling out new training initiatives to help our employees grow in their careers.
“Mining is facing a workforce shift as a large group of employees prepare to retire. To fill that gap, we are hiring employees who are new to Doe Run and, in some cases, the industry,” said Dianne Whitaker, human resources director. “As we replace employees with decades of experience, we’re considering how we can train to fill knowledge and skills gaps, as well as develop leadership capabilities.”
One way Doe Run is doing this is through the Leadership Bootcamp development program. Informed by employee focus groups, the program was designed to better prepare supervisors and managers for their roles. Our bootcamp consists of three four-hour sessions:
- Our Business: Aligning around our mission, values, goals and objectives.
- Our People: Building skills to improve communication, coach and develop employees.
- Our Compliance: Understanding company policies related to safety, inclusivity, anti-harassment, employment practices and wages, and more.
Several Doe Run executives and site leaders, as well as the HR, safety and environmental teams, have teamed up to lead these training sessions. Participants are given homework to help put their learning into practice. In its first year, more than 350 supervisors, managers and emerging leaders across our operations participated in Leadership Bootcamp. Now, all new employees in these positions begin bootcamp within their first 90 days at Doe Run.
“Participants report feeling more confident in their roles and have a better understanding of our policies and strategic decisions,” said Dianne. “Most also reported saving at least two hours per week because they have the tools they need to do their jobs better. More importantly, we’re seeing the impact trickle down to other employees. Supervisors are improving coaching techniques to help employees be successful today and develop skills for the future.”
In the coming years, Doe Run will develop advanced levels of leadership training to further enhance employees’ skills and prepare them for senior level leadership opportunities.
Addressing Skills Gaps
In addition to leadership training, Doe Run offers employees other ways to grow. For example, we often give current employees the opportunity to move to other departments, which helps them to expand their experience and grow in their careers. We’re also focusing more on hiring people with strong potential, and then training them for specific jobs.
“Many of our jobs require technical skills and industry knowledge. In some cases, there simply aren’t candidates with the right combination of both to support our needs,” said Dianne. “If we can’t find those skills, then we must teach them, starting with our own team members, and then hire people who show great aptitude combined with a willingness to learn.”
One example of how we do this is through a new standardized electrician training program. The three-level program was designed internally through a collaboration across our division and learning experts. The goal of the program is to build employee skills in electrical troubleshooting and problem-solving by providing on-the-job technical training and educational curriculum developed by a third-party provider. As a part of the training, electrical engineers dedicate time to mentoring trainees. Four new electricians participated in the pilot version of this program in 2019, and we hope to train more electricians in the coming years.