With deep-level mineworkers exposed to hazardous environments on a daily basis, companies need to improve their communication and planning to reduce the number of fatalities in the industry, says employee engagement company Wyzetalk CEO Gys Kappers.
“Enhancing stakeholders’ engagement through more frequent communication will go a long way towards improving health and safety measures, and will add significant value to managing relationships with employees.”
Wyzetalk has, therefore, patented a mobile solution, the Wyzetalk app which combines unstructured supplementary service data, mobi and app technology that creates a communications platform – enabling businesses to communicate effectively and efficiently with all their stakeholders.
The patented technology platform and solution, locally developed in 2012, is a fully managed service with an easy administration console for setting up and gathering real-time analytics.
Platinum producer Impala Platinum, in Rustenburg, and gold producer AngloGold Ashanti, in South Africa, are using Wyzetalk for their employee engagement strategies. Wyzetalk saw an improvement in safety, morale and overall trust among the employees of these companies and an improvement in production in other companies where the Wyzetalk platform is being used.
“Engagement has definitely improved among those who frequently respond to campaigns, surveys or general and specific information that is shared through the Wyzetalk platform.”
Kappers explains that applications of the Wyzetalk app include productivity and safety dashboards, community news, housing initiatives, health and safety campaigns, important lifestyle content, as well as rewards through airtime and vouchers.
“The benefit that we present allows for bringing all stakeholders together and connect the initiatives that are important to driving the values and priorities of a mine.
“Wyzetalk believes that an informed workforce who has more reason to be engaged in their work is likely to adhere more closely to processes and procedures, and be more alert, careful and aware of unsafe behaviours that could lead to accidents – some with devastating consequences.”
The results of achieving safer working conditions in deep mines are a collective effort comprising thoughtful content, training, testing knowledge and engagement over time, says Kappers.
“When employees feel valued and heard, they are more likely to read the section on their company’s mobile hub about the right procedures to follow, what their rights are in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act, and who to contact in case of an emergency.”
Wyzetalk can further assist mining companies in distributing information, such as general news, shift changes, health campaigns, training information, crisis communication and production dashboards, stakeholder engagement, as well as community and social investment information. “It is all highly dependent on the mine’s priorities and communications framework,” he adds.
Kappers indicates that the information published on the mobile app is integrated with a company’s systems to make it easy and seamless to keep employee records updated and access information on a specific employee when required.
“We believe that, to be successful, the content we’re publishing and promoting to employees has to be relevant to them, in a language they understand, considerate of their literacy level, and relevant to the role they perform.”
Kappers concludes that, as mining companies continue to be pressured by the uncertainty that looms over the global economy and other factors, such as the influence of market economies, the industry needs to build workforce relations to improve working conditions and productivity.