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Integrated Annual Report 2019
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Managing and growing our people


Our successful 2019 financial year is a credit to the skills, commitment and enthusiasm of our 17,656 people. But we also recognise that our business requires a steady supply of the right skills, especially where scarce skills are required. Consequently, we have further enhanced our talent management practices so we can move beyond tactical succession plans towards more strategic workforce planning, and build a strong, diverse and inclusive pipeline of talent.

As at the end of 2019, contract workers across our regions accounted for 68% of our total workforce. This necessitates close contractor management and ensuring that contractors align with Gold Fields’ values, policies and procedures, particularly those relating to safety, human rights and environmental management.

The 38% reduction of the South Deep workforce, following the section 189 retrenchments during 2018, also changed the profile of the workforce. The operation now has a leaner team in line with the requirements of a mechanised mine. Furthermore, as we build the required skills set for a mechanised mine, there has been a marked improvement in productivity per employee over the past year to 477 tonnes mined/employee from 289 tonnes/employee in 2018.

Focus on host community employment has also changed the profile of our workforce. Host community members now comprise 55% of our workforce (2018: 56%), which aligns with our strategy of creating value for the communities in the regions where we operate. More information on host community employment.

Workforce by Group and region (end-December)1

  Total workforce Employees   Contractors   Proportion of
  2019 2019   2018   2019   2018   2019  
Americas 3,407 545   373   2,862   1,949   100%  
Australia 2,923 1,657   1,577   1,2661   1,599   98%  
South Africa 3,984 2,310   2,472   1,674   2,171   84%  
West Africa 7,244 1,046   1,079   6,198   6,291   97%  
Corporate 98 97   100   1   0   93%  
Total 17,656 5,655   5,601   12,001   12,010      
1 The source of this information is the Group-wide human resources information system. Host community employment data excludes our corporate and regional offices as well as projects

Key Human Resources (HR) metrics (end-December)

Category 2019   2018 2017 2016 2015  
Total workforce 17,656   17,611 18,594 18,091 16,850  
Historically Disadvantaged Persons (HDPs) employees (%)1 59   72 71 72 71  
HDP employees – senior management (%)1 52   432 57 55 48  
Minimum wage ratio3 1.97   2.40 2.43 1.97 1.50  
Female employees (%) 20   19 16 15 14  
Ratio of basic salary men to women 1.25   1.25 1.25 1.31 1.09  
Employee wages and benefits (US$m) 395   442 506 482 435  
Average training spend per employee (US$) 1,912   2,469 2,258 1,896 1,370  
Employee turnover (%) 16   354 6 12 8  
1 Excluding foreign nationals, but including white females. Percentages are of South African workforce only
2 Lower ratio due to South Deep restructuring
3 Entry level wage compared to local minimum wage. Excluding Ghana, as the region only employs management level employees with the transition to contractor mining. Ratio for 2019 is 4.66 if Ghana is included
4 High turnover due to South Deep restructuring and transition to contractor mining at Tarkwa

Attracting, retaining and developing employees

As the mining industry continues to evolve, it is critical that we position ourselves to attract, retain and develop the right skills. We continue to evolve our current workforce to meet the future needs of an increasingly mechanised, modernising and automated mining industry. During 2019, training spend across the Group amounted to US$11m (2018: US$14m), while average spend per employee was US$1,912 (2018: US$2,469), with the decline due to the use of online and more targeted training. While we track spend per employee, we have increasingly shifted our focus to delivering more impactful and efficient training as opposed to focusing only on training spend.

A new leadership competency framework was developed, focusing on leadership’s ability to create an inclusive and enabling culture, demonstrating leadership excellence and building a credible brand. This competency model will form the foundation of our talent attraction and development strategy in future.

A review of recruitment standards resulted in more stringent recruitment standards being applied during the year. The recruitment process now relies on improved data and analytics and alignment with the competencies our business requires. Furthermore, we implemented improved systems to track the time it takes to fill critical roles. As a result of these initiatives critical role turnover for the Group was reduced to 4% against a target of 5%.

In our drive to innovate we continue to introduce modernised, digital human resources platforms. These include the introduction of employee self-service, enhanced mobile systems for engagement and performance management, further entrenchment of e-learning throughout the business and the introduction of big data analytics to track people-related metrics.

We also focused on:

  • Improving business processes, operational efficiencies and productivity through the use of technology and real-time data
  • Attracting the next generation of workers to our business and, in line with this, tracking the age profile of our workforce
  • Embedding modern working practices such as flexible work options
  • Implementing interactive HR systems that are integrated across regions and allow employees and managers to access data that helps drive better people-related business decisions

Improving workforce productivity

Our operations require high levels of skills and productivity. With the increase in contractor numbers in 2019, we included contractors together with our employees in our productivity measurement of oz/TEC (total employees costed). During 2019 productivity was 102oz/TEC and we have instituted a strong focus on improving the performance of both employees and contractors.

We also rolled out a frontline leadership productivity initiative at South Deep to develop leadership capacity among supervisors. Most of the mine’s supervisors have been trained in this programme which sets out a new way of working that will drive productivity. A set of management tools are being used to standardise the way teams work, allowing supervisors to clearly articulate goals, assign tasks and track progress in their teams.

Performance management is fundamental to Gold Fields, driving improved productivity and ensuring we have the right people, in the right roles, doing the right things. During 2019, we further improved our approach to compiling the Group Balanced Scorecard (BSC), aligning individual performance metrics more closely with Group goals. Employee performance informs annual increases and long-term incentive bonuses. We continue to build a performance culture by training line managers and management employees in how to assess and improve their team members’ performance.

Workforce diversity and transformation

The moral motive and business case for diversity is soundly established within Gold Fields. This includes addressing workplace discrimination, capitalising on diverse perspectives and attracting candidates from under-represented backgrounds and host communities. During 2019, the Board approved a Group diversity policy and strategy, which set out the principles behind achieving a more diverse and inclusive workforce. While gender diversity is a key focus area, it is important to note that our definition of diversity extends beyond gender alone. We also focus on age, disability and vulnerable groups, and have developed metrics to track these. These metrics will be piloted during 2020.

Several leading-practice initiatives to drive Gold Fields’ diversity agenda were rolled out in 2019. These initiatives include the following:

  • Non-discrimination practices and merit-based decision making
  • Targeted recruitment to increase diversity
  • Diversity networking groups
  • Unconscious bias training
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • ‘Values packs’ to reinforce diversity and inclusion, aligned to the Value of Respect
  • Leadership coaching and training
  • Diversity performance evaluations
  • Increase in recruitment of female employees to 24% and tracking the number of female employees hired versus those who left during the year
  • Improving the representation of HPDs at South Deep. At the end of 2019, 50% of our management team and 59% of the total workforce were HPDs (2018: 53% and 72% respectively)
  • Reduction of Ghana expatriate employees to 3.1% of the total workforce, against the regulated 4%

We also intensified efforts to increase the number of host community members in our workforce. Across the Group, 55% of employees hailed from our host communities. More information on host community employment.

Across our global workforce, 20% of Gold Fields’ employees are women (2018: 19%) – as recently as 2016, this number was only 15%. Women also hold 20% of management positions (2018: 18%). Just over half of our female employees work in core mining activities. For the second year running, Gold Fields was included in the Bloomberg Gender- Equality Index (GEI), one of only 325 companies globally to have achieved this. Gaps identified in the GEI include creating an inclusive culture, more detail and analysis of potential gender pay gaps, and creating a more supportive work environment for women. Going forward, we will continue to focus on improving in these areas within our business.

The next generation of diversity and inclusion initiatives to be embedded into company processes and culture include diversity mentorships, diversity coaching and ‘walk-arounds’ by leaders to reduce the perceived threat to job security, identifying diversity champions and ongoing education to over-represented groups.

Organised labour

We remain committed to engaging with our workforce on all material issues that impact them. We uphold employees’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, and ensure that contractors also abide by these standards.

The move to contractor mining has precipitated a decrease in the number of direct employees represented by organised labour, with the exception of South Deep where representation remains at 89%. In Ghana, union representation is 0%, with contractor membership estimated at 6%, while in Peru 25% of the direct workforce and 32% of the contractor workforce belong to unions. In Australia, it is estimated that union representation among employees is below 5%.

Our relationship with organised labour at South Deep improved following a violent, 45-day strike in late 2018. A new committee was formed at the South Deep branch of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), and there is now a greater level of co-operation between leadership and management. Of the South Deep workforce, 60% is represented by NUM, while 29% are members of UASA. While the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has made attempts to recruit South Deep employees, representation is too low for it to have a recognition agreement at the mine.

Enhancing organisational culture, entrenching values and building trust

Our new leadership competency framework requires that our leadership team develop and entrench an inclusive and enabling culture. We continue to drive a culture that is based on living the Gold Fields values. To this end, we included a values metric in the Group BSC for Exco and employees at our corporate office, which contributes to overall performance ratings and thereby affects annual bonus and long-term incentive rewards. Comprising 10% of performance measurement in the BSC, the assessment relies on a 360-degree feedback from a section of employees. This will be rolled out to the rest of the Group in 2020.

Employee engagement remains high on the HR agenda. During 2019, employee climate surveys were carried out in South Deep and Ghana, the other regions having completed these during 2018. This was followed by more intensive feedback sessions driven by management, focusing on issues that were rated poorly by the workforce in the survey. Across the Group 60% of employees participated in the survey and we have been able to identify key areas for improvement; these include personal growth and development, reward and recognition, as well as communication. Actions to address these continue to be rolled out and are tracked.