Mining People Matters

Steve Heather

Steve Heather, Managing Director and Co-founder of Mining People International (MPi).

Here’s how mining employees describe GREAT bosses

The latest MPi Polling and Media Centre poll asked mining industry employees "what do you think are the qualities of a great mining boss?"

Discover how mining employees describe great bosses.

With many mining commentators quoted in the media predicting a mining skills shortage, it is more important than ever to:

  1. Think creatively about how less experienced people could be trained to do some of the mining jobs of the future, and
  2. Focus your management and supervisory training to ensure your frontline supervisors are building quality relationships, providing effective leadership and, hopefully, therefore, ensuring employee retention rates are as high as they can be.

With this in mind, the latest MPi Polling and Media Centre poll sought to gauge employees’ views on how well their bosses are doing by asking:

“What do you think are the qualities of a great mining boss?”

We gave voters eight options and asked them to score as many qualities as they wished ranking each from:

The most important quality — 1

The least important quality — 8

Rather than weighting the answers to create some ‘blended’ comparison, we have found the analysis of some polls, particularly where a degree of subjectivity is involved, is far more revealing when we look at the responses after grouping them according to their extremes.

With that in mind we present two sets of analyses:

What qualities do mining industry employees rate the highest in a boss?

One: The percentage of votes for which each quality received the HIGHEST rating:
Demonstrates integrity – they are honest and transparent 53.45%
Excellent two-way communication skills 25.86%
Confident and positive 5.17%
Empathetic and compassionate 5.17%
Relationship building 3.45%
Delegates effectively 3.45%
Highly organized 1.72%
Adaptable and flexible 1.72%

There is a huge gap between the rating for the top two qualities of a good boss and the rest. Almost 80% of respondents sent an emphatic message as to what they rate highly: a supervisor’s personal integrity and their ability to communicate both ways.

READ MORE: How the mining industry can cut performance review dread

What qualities do mining industry employees rate the least in a boss?

Two: The percentage of votes for which each quality received the LOWEST rating:
Empathetic and compassionate 25.86%
Highly organized 18.97%
Delegates effectively 18.97%
Confident and positive 13.79%
Relationship building 6.90%
Adaptable and flexible 6.90%
Demonstrates integrity – they are honest and transparent 5.17%
Excellent two-way communication skills 3.45%

Looking at the things rated lowly was just as fascinating.

Maybe employees are saying if I can trust you and understand you and if you listen to me:

  • I don’t need you to be overly empathetic (I can deal with direct feedback)
  • I don’t need you to be highly organised (I can make up for that and I can organise myself)
  • I don’t need you to be overly confident and positive (I can handle hearing it as it is).

Fascinating stuff.

Here’s what mining employees said in the comments section

As always, we gave respondents the option to leave anonymous comments. 

To be honest, the responses were a bit boring and went like this:

Honesty, Trust, Trust, Trust, Trust, Honesty, Trust, Trust, Trust, Honesty, Trust.

You get the drift.

Remember, this poll was part one of a two-part series, with part two being run next month and asking: “Why did you leave your last mining job?”

We trust this has provided practical insights into what employees value in a supervisor or manager, and what drives them away!

READ MORE: Don’t let the bastards get you down

What to do next?

Could your organisation benefit from any of the following:

  1. Third-party commissioned research:

    If you are looking for deep insights into the mining markets and would like MPi to conduct some targeted industry research on your behalf, then please email us.

  2. Targeted mining industry human resource consulting and remuneration services:

    Mining People has more than 24 years’ specialist experience helping mining companies with their HR services. Find out more about our HR consulting services here or get in touch today.

  3. Recruitment, Executive Search and Labour Hire services:

    Contact one of our discipline experts today.

Steve Heather signature
Steve Heather – BAppSc (Mining Engineering) WASM, FRCSA

Managing Director & Principal Executive Search - Mining People International (MPi)

Fellow/National Board Member – Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association Aust. & N.Z. (RCSA)

Steve.heather@miningpeople.com.au