Our goal is to be among the top three employers of choice in Saudi Arabia. We are not only developing a skilled and trained workforce for the Saudi mining industry, but also focusing on building leadership capabilities.

As the mining industry leader in Saudi Arabia, we are pleased to report that our success in developing human capital in diverse disciplines within the Group and our collaborative achievement in building new vocational institutes to educate and train a national mining workforce are perfectly aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program (NTP).

We are pursuing an ambitious goal to be recognized as one of the top three employers of choice in Saudi Arabia. We are working hard to establish a performance-oriented culture within the company based on a strategy that is built on five key focus areas:

• Attracting and retaining talent
• Evaluating and recognizing performance
• Growing and developing leaders and capabilities
• Engaging and connecting with employees
• Strengthening people’s capabilities.

In line with this strategy, we continue to implement several programs within the company that are aimed at leadership development, capability building, performance management and organizational development. We continually review and update our policies related to compensation packages, work culture, home ownership, savings plan, medical insurance and employee recognition.

Over the past eight years of growth and expansion, we have overcome a number of challenges in locating and hiring experienced people for our projects as well as developing, training and retaining staff. About 90 percent of our staff are located in remote regions of Saudi Arabia where our operations are based.

As part of our operational excellence initiative, Ma’aden launched the Consolidated Shared Services (CSS) program in 2015. We have made considerable progress in unifying the support functions of Group companies under the CSS umbrella, resulting in a 40 percent decrease in workforce requirements and 30 percent cost savings.

However, it must be noted that our consolidation move did not result in retrenchments of staff. It helped us reduce the number of new recruitments for our new projects and reassign our staff depending on various project requirements.

In the initial stage, we consolidated the shared services of Group companies that are owned 100 percent by Ma’aden. As of early 2016, we completed the consolidation of shared services for the headquarters, MGBM, MIC and IMC covering the administration, accounting, procurement and Human Resource (HR) functions.

This was followed by the consolidation of the Information Technology and Communications (ITC) resources.

In the third phase, we consolidated the resources of our phosphate and aluminium subsidiaries in Ras Al Khair, resulting in considerable savings and reduction of head count.

We have made considerable progress in unifying
the support functions of Group companies under
the CSS umbrella, resulting in a 40 percent
decrease in workforce requirements and
30 percent cost savings.

Strategic initiatives
In implementing the five-point strategy described earlier, we launched new initiatives and organized several programs in 2016 to promote leadership development, performance management, organizational development and capability building. The most important of these are:

Succession planning: Held a two-day off-site event to discuss and develop succession plans for senior positions. Leadership development plans were tailored on the basis of comprehensive analysis of individual needs, including coaching and mentoring.
Talent Review Sub-Committee: The Corporate Talent Review Sub-Committee was reconstituted and its functioning was realigned with that of other sub-committees to enable effective succession plans for key positions.

360° leadership assessments: A new 360° assessment tool to guide and strengthen the leadership development program was developed with support from ITC.
Manager certification program: A certification program covering 10 internationally recognized managerial competencies was introduced as another leadership development initiative.
MBA and EMBA programs: Selected senior leaders were invited to enrol in reputable MBA and EMBA programs at selected universities.
Future Leaders Development Program: Thirty-two young Ma’aden potential leaders are enrolled in this program, which aims to develop action learning and problem solving skills.
Senior Leaders Development Program (SLDP): The flagship SLDP, which has 30 participants, was strengthened further by making it more relevant to Ma’aden’s specific needs.
Performance management program: A Ma’aden-wide performance management program was launched to promote a performance-based culture and  bring about the behavioral changes to support that culture.
Career progression: A new career progression framework was developed for all Ma’aden job families.
Organizational development: A new organizational structure was designed, and developed to align Ma’aden’s diverse operations.
Employee engagement: Findings from the 2015 engagement survey were analyzed and shared with all Ma’aden organizations and subsequently action plans were developed for implementation to enhance employee engagement.
HR policies: A number of HR policies were reviewed and updated to enhance employee benefits including home ownership, savings plan, medical insurance and service recognition.
Competency-based development plan: A competency-based assessment and Individual Development Plan (IDP) for leaders was developed. Awareness sessions were held across Ma’aden subsidiaries and sites to educate assessors about competency profiles and assessment mechanism.
Competency and career path integration: Different frameworks related to career progression – talent, competency, career development – were integrated to ensure total alignment of the different paths and criteria.
Ma’aden Toastmasters Club: Launched three Toastmasters Clubs in Ras Al Khair, Ma’aden headquarters and Saudi Mining Polytechnic (SMP).

As Saudi Arabia’s northern region holds great potential to expand the mining sector – which is slated to grow stronger under the Saudi Vision 2030– the institute will serve to develop a local workforce to meet the emerging needs of the industry. It will be a major catalyst in delivering economic development in the north by providing local people with the education and skillsets required for the domestic mining industry, eventually leading to stable jobs and careers.

Our vision is that the institute will offer advanced technical education and training for students through a curriculum that is specially designed for the mining industry. By engaging effectively with other national stakeholders such as TVTC, Ma’aden is fulfilling its responsibilities as Saudi Arabia’s mining champion. The polytechnic in Arar and the institute in Wa’ad Al Shamal will help make the Saudi mining industry more efficient and cost-effective by creating a qualified and trained local workforce.

Ma’aden has already initiated a comprehensive review of SMP, identifying areas for improvement. This was followed by a quality assurance action plan that enhanced the quality of SMP’s vocational programs. We have also introduced an international benchmark to ensure the language proficiency of the students.

Three management executives from Ma’aden Phosphate Company (MPC) — Saud Al Otaibi (Director, Production Planning), Majed Al Sullaimani (Director, Field Maintenance) and Motalq Al Harbi, (Manager, Procurement and Supply Management) — completed the Ma’aden Leadership Development Programme (LDP) from the University of Leicester in the UK in 2016. They are part of the first batch of promising young executives under the LDP initiative.