A Supervisory Training System for the Mining
Industry that "Works"
TAKE CHARGE BACKGROUND
Several years ago we became involved in
an in-depth project to measure the effectiveness of
management/supervisory training programs in mining
and mining-related companies. The project involved
thirty-five companies and seventy-two operations
(mines and plants) whose management teams had
recently completed extensive management development
programs. The objectives of the project were
twofold: 1. To determine the actual impact
that training programs had on productivity, safety
and costs, and 2. To develop methods to
improve the effectiveness of future management
We were surprised and disappointed to find that,
for the most part, supervisory development programs
had little or no lasting impact on productivity,
safety and costs. They may improve employee
relations and communications in the short term, but
their impact on the bottom line is minimal.
Shortly after that, another revealing study
determined the actual "bottom line" difference
between a "above average" supervisor and an "below average"
supervisor in the mining industry. This effort
focused on the supervisory practices and performance
results of over 500 front-line supervisors and the
conclusions were eye opening. The difference between
a good supervisor and an average supervisor in a
typical mining operation was found to be more than
$1,000,000 per year for the company's bottom line.
In today's mining industry, it is increasingly
apparent that a new approach is needed in order to
dramatically impact performance. It is also very
obvious that our front-line supervisors have to be
the key players in this new approach. From this
background -- Take Charge was developed.
HOW IS TAKE CHARGE DIFFERENT?
TAKE CHARGE is a dramatic departure from
traditional supervisory training efforts. Unlike
other programs, Take Charge emphasizes results
rather than the classroom process. In other words,
the Take Charge skills and tools translate
themselves into measurable performance improvement
in an amazingly short period of time.
After each compact skills unit is presented to
your management team, they are required to go back
to their jobs and apply these skills.
Through our performance measurement tools, the
degree of success that each supervisor achieves is
identified and evaluated. Those supervisors having
difficulty will receive required coaching and
counseling. Your supervisors are collectively and
individually held accountable to improve their
performance. Monthly follow-up sessions are an
integral part of Take Charge. These consist of group
meetings and one-on-one on-the-job follow up with
individual supervisors. As you can see, unlike most
supervisory training programs, Take Charge doesn't
end when the classroom training ends -- IT STARTS.
WHY DOES TAKE CHARGE WORK?
Take Charge is the only supervisory training
program that guarantees measurable results in the
form of productivity gains, cost reductions and
improved safety. Here's why Take Charge "works":
First of all, it is not a generic program with
hypothetical cases and examples -- it is tailored
and focused on the needs of your operation and your
Your supervisors are equipped with effective
skills and tools -- especially in the big payback
areas such as Planning, Delegating, Disciplining,
Motivation, Accountability, Problem Identification,
Decision-making and Communication.
Each supervisor commits to specific performance
gains in his or her area of responsibility. Your
supervisors are held individually and collectively
accountable for the performance gains to which they
Take Charge develops indicators that recognize
and measure the performance of your individual
supervisors and your management team as a whole.
Monthly follow-up training/progress meetings provide
the vehicle to keep your supervisory training
program highly energized. These meetings become your
monthly management "report card" because each
supervisor reports on his or her performance and
progress during the past month, compared to their
Take Charge "works" because it mobilizes your
entire management team to address performance
problems (productivity, safety, cost, etc.) and
holds them accountable for achieving established and
agreed upon objectives.
An additional advantage is the opportunity to
benchmark the performance of your mining operations
to other similar mines throughout the United States
and Canada. Not only can we benchmark many types of
performance, but we also have a built a large
database of management practices throughout the
industry. These practices obviously have a direct
effect on performance.
TAKE CHARGE SUPERVISORY DEVELOPMENT AS AN
In the past, industry has turned to equipment
modernization and size to gain the productivity
improvements required to remain competitive. It is
our opinion that many companies are rapidly reaching
a point where technological improvements can no
longer be counted on to provide future performance
gains. We must look elsewhere.
The biggest opportunity we see for future
productivity gains is in the improvement of the
performance of our people -- both management and
When it is determined that new or different
equipment should be purchased, we normally go
through a process of justification. In other words,
what will be the productivity gain or return on our
investment. With this in mind, we think an
investment in TAKE CHARGE SUPERVISION should be and
can be justified in the same way as a capital
expenditure. We would like to help you in this
OUTLINE OF TAKE CHARGE