CASE STUDY THREE : The care fac­tor

Paradise - - Strictly Business | Human Resources -

In dif­fi­cult eco­nomic times, com­pa­nies of­ten seek to ra­tio­nalise their staff num­bers to re­main prof­itable. One ex­am­ple of this was Ok Tedi, which in 2015 and 2016 ex­pe­ri­enced se­vere in­ter­rup­tions to its op­er­a­tions be­cause of drought and ac­ci­dents.

In 2016, then newly ap­pointed chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Gra­ham and his man­age­ment team met with ev­ery em­ployee to dis­cuss the com­pany’s vi­sion, val­ues, goals ob­jec­tives and ex­pec­ta­tions.

Gra­ham said the aim at the time was to get staff to un­der­stand that the com­pany cared for them but they had to un­der­stand what needed to be done and that non-per­for­mance would not be tol­er­ated.

The mes­sage was that the com­pany ex­pects “ev­ery em­ployee to give their best ev­ery day”.

Staff num­bers were cut and op­er­a­tional per­for­mance greatly im­proved.

Speak­ing in London re­cently, Gra­ham said the mine has gone from be­ing one of the most costly in the world, and on “death row”, to be­ing one of the most ef­fi­cient.

“We have been able to lower our costs, get them down to the best quar­tile of cop­per pro­duc­ers around the world.” Gra­ham said re­sources ad­ja­cent to the ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions are now be­ing ex­plored, and the com­pany is rein­vest­ing in the mine.

Such ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion is now be­ing un­der­taken by a num­ber of com­pa­nies in PNG.

The ANZ has sold its PNG re­tail, com­mer­cial and SME busi­nesses to Kina Se­cu­ri­ties; the CPL Group has sold Par­adise Cin­e­mas to RH Group’s Vi­sion City; Steamships Trad­ing Com­pany has sold Laga In­dus­tries to man­u­fac­turer Par­adise Com­pany, which pro­duces Par­adise Foods, Par­adise Bev­er­ages and Queen Emma Choco­lates.

The ac­quir­ing firms are also faced with a hu­man re­sources chal­lenge. Kina, for ex­am­ple, will have to ab­sorb the ANZ op­er­a­tions it has bought into its ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions.

Par­adise Foods will also be faced with a man­age­ment chal­lenge. An­thony Smare, chair­man of the board of the Par­adise Com­pany be­lieves, how­ever, that the man­u­fac­tur­ing sites and staff will be un­af­fected, say­ing both com­pa­nies (Par­adise and Laga) have “first class sys­tems and pro­ce­dures with strong man­age­ment frame­works” in place. “It re­ally is busi­ness as usual for all staff as own­er­ship changes to Par­adise.”

Peter Gra­ham … ex­pects the best from ev­ery em­ployee ev­ery day.

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