AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
South Africa's government has established the Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter of 2002-2003 to "deracialize" the country's economy. The aim: to "encourage black economic empowerment and transformation at the tiers of ownership, management, skills development, employment equity, procurement, and rural development." To that end, AngloGold, a South African gold mining company second largest in the world, contacted U.S. retention firm TalentKeepers because the mining company wanted to move away from its autocratic process of telling the workforce what to do and work towards a more pro-education and retention process.
TalentKeepers implemented an e-learning solution that AngloGold's workforce with no computer experience is using to assess and improve skills, and develop as leaders. The solution, which focuses not just on leadership development but also on employee retention, centers around four main stages: 1) launch, 2) awareness building, 3) retention competency development, and 4) sustaining momentum.
The TalentKeepers program is helping AngloGold's larger effort to bring adult education to its historically disadvantaged workforce.
Dick Finnegan, chief client services officer of U.S. employee retention firm TalentKeepers, arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, after a 22-hour flight, knowing that the next morning he would be making his first-ever visit to a gold mine three kilometers (about 1.9 miles) deep into the earth. "I didn't know what to expect, but I was read), to suit up in my hazard gear and grab my trusty flashlight," Finnegan says.
What Finnegan saw when he stepped off the mine elevator the next morning was "an underground city" of corporate and training offices, ubiquitous kiosks housing training manuals, and an elaborate system of tracks leading to the areas where ore is blasted from the hard rock.
AngloGold, second in the world by production to the American gold mining company Newmont, was about to add an important element to its employee development program, in which TalentKeepers would play a big part.
How a South African mining company and a U.S. retention firm found each other is serendipitous. AngloGold has a resource center and library at its headquarters, and its manager, Belinda Roux, saw the article "Focus on Talent" by Craig Taylor, TalentKeepers's senior vice president of marketing, in the December 2002 issue of T+D. She took the magazine and walked it up to Gustav van Veijeren, manager, human resources development, at AngloGold, Van Veijeren contacted TalentKeepers, and the collaboration was forged.
"It was opportunistic," says van Veijeren. "We were looking around for initiatives to expand the training and development of our first-line supervisors. We engaged with TalentKeepers.
"We already had been committed to first-line supervisory training programs, in which we train people on business Skills and performance management. For that reason, we found that the TalentKeepers approach complemented our hard management-type training, in which we've been investing for a year or two. In the next couple of months, we'll drive to get more data and then take a look at what we've gained from the pilot process and see if we want to implement it on a wider basis. This is so new, so radical, in our environment that there are a number of skeptics around. So, we're looking for some hard …