In 2022, Minsur officially presented its corporate purpose to the Mining Division. It is part of the Evolution project, which we launched to address our industry’s current challenges and global demands. To better understand where it comes from and where it leads to, we talked to Alvaro Escalante, Minsur’s Manager of Human Resources.
What is the Evolution project and where does the idea come from?
We are very proud of what we have achieved so far. Safety, excellency, performance, and especially foolproof delivery. Our word is our commitment and we have been working hard to reach our aim to become a “perpetual mining machine” and the “mining champion in Peru”.
We know that there is still a long way to go to achieve our aims, but we are eager to learn on the route. Thus, we started a process we call Evolution, a journey where we seek to continue doing what led us to success, while incorporating new elements that will help us live up to the demands of a world that brings new challenges and changes at high-speed.
That is how we started the search for a purpose thar would drive us all, for the glue that would hold our differences and similarities together towards a common goal. We were not looking for “a” purpose, but for “OUR” purpose.
How long was the process?
It was an 8-month journey that was completed in April this year, when we presented it to the entire company. It was a participative experience: we listened to more than 350 people, including unions, non-unionized staff, customers and communities. For that, we conducted interviews; we reached over 320 people through online surveys and nearly 900 people through other activities.
To sum up, we heard the voices of over 1500 collaborators of Minsur’s family. Moreover, it is worth pointing out that 61% of them were technicians and operators. We also listened to our communities and customers in this process, and we discovered very interesting things.
For our employees, we are much more than a company; we are their home, their family, and an opportunity for personal and professional growth. And for our customers, we are much more than a mineral supplier; we represent innovation, respect and excellence.
For the communities where we operate, on the other hand, we are an active presence, wellbeing and progress. And for the environment we are a company that cares about maintaining a sustainable environment that lasts and is habitable for generations to come.
In short, we discovered that our purpose was emphasizing that what we value the most is our people, our families and their wellbeing. And it is also our communities and environment. In other words, life itself is what we value the most. And we will only be able to evolve if our purpose is at the core of our decisions.
Why didn’t you have a purpose before?
We have always had a mission, a vision and certain values from which our strategic plan was born. But the purpose was not a priority under that scheme. Our corporate strategy had an aim, but not a higher purpose. However, Breca Group had a purpose, and as a company we thought we should go in that direction.
But when lean management (LINGO) was implemented, we started getting interested in these approaches that lead us to question ourselves in depth. For instance, we were the best in terms of safety, and we knew why: because it is a fundamental aspect of our operations, to which we devote our heart, soul and life. However, having clear for what purposes it is essential to have these high safety standards was just as important. When people -instead of production- are your core concern, you start finding these new meanings.
What was the pandemic’s influence on this?
The pandemic was a game changer. It made us realize how vulnerable we are in terms of health and safety. And we spent those two years making decisions that perhaps were not the soundest economically speaking, but they were the best to take care of our people. Furthermore, at the end of 2020 we heavily felt the loss of people from our team. This led to a general reflection, from which we started to put more emphasis on our people-first approach.
What comes next, now that you have this purpose?
We had two definite challenges. The first one was taking our 200-page assessment and translate it into one sentence. We already have the phrase: We improve life, transforming minerals into wellbeing. After our purpose quest, we ended up acknowledging that all that we do has a great impact in the lives of those surrounding us.
A cultural change comes next. And that is where Evolution comes in. The first step has been reviewing the corporate strategy vis-à-vis this purpose. We want our new culture to preserve all good things it already had, while incorporating the things that are missing: focus on people, empathy, empowerment. We will take our culture to that level, so that it supports the strategy that will lead us in the following years.