Quarry Southern Africa May 2019 - Page 25

FEATURES Springbok Quarry. the traditional power and authority of the established foreman. This situation has all too often led to a personal dilemma where the foreman is never certain on which side of the management shop-floor fence he sits. “Companies frequently compound this situation by further undermining his authority through departmental specialism, shop stewards and the attitudes of senior management,” the paper states. “Every company has its own view of where a supervisor fits into an organisation — and various job titles may apply. The term ‘supervisor’ is used to describe chargehands, foremen and supervisors, all with varying degrees of authority and responsibility. The primary source of recruitment for supervisors is still the quarry floor, but all too often the person is selected because of their technical skills rather than potential as a manager. Training for the job is usually minimal and improvement in terms and conditions of employment following a promotion can only be described as a gesture. Some supervisors still clock in www.quarryonline.co.za  and out and yet despite these factors, most middle and senior managers would insist that the supervisor is most definitely part of the management team.” The burning question is, do supervisors see themselves as part of management? The paper states that research at the start of training courses reveals that 40% of supervisors do see themselves as part of management while 50% do not. Perhaps more realistically, 10% said they did “sometimes”. Efficiency in terms of industrial relations, machine and labour costs, materials usage, quality and quantity of product are all determined on the quarry floor. Therefore, the industry clearly needs managers at this level who are allowed to lead, to motivate, and to take whatever actions are necessary within well-defined limits in the knowledge and confidence that they will be supported be senior management. “Established foremen in the industry must be given the learning opportunity both on and off the job to match up new challenges. Further, the industry should take a leaf from the retail trades where trainees en route to management positions not only spend time on the shop floor but also experience first-hand the expectations and frustrations of first-line supervision. Many recruits may never make the grade of floor manager, but along the way the companies concerned provide themselves with a stock of competent first-line supervisors.” Aspasa’s view is that for the surface mining industry to survive, it needs to develop its supervisors to ensure they can grow into management. “There are many supervisors who, because they have not had a chance, have consequently not developed. In the meantime, other employees with degrees are promoted above them. Aspasa has now developed and made available courses for supervisors.” Learning needs analysis Often, in the training requirements of individual quarries, it becomes apparent to training professionals that supervisory personnel are a key force. Notwithstanding this, a lack of confidence appears to exist on both sides of the QUARRY SA | MAY/JUNE 2019_23