SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER ON A MINESITE:
A job about creating a culture, influencing people to take a direction
Munya scored his job (ten being the most enjoyable job you can imagine).
by Daniela Andrei
Munya has a career spanning over 17 years in mining engineering and project management. He has held several roles across different levels within the mining and contracting industry in Australia and overseas. At the time of the interview, Munya was the Senior Project Manager overseeing two large mining construction projects in South Australia, but since then, he was appointed General Manager for Operations for all the company’s operations in South Australia.
The Social Aspects of Work
A great deal of our discussion with Munya during our time at the mine site revolved around the social aspects of work, because T.R. sees that one of his main responsibilities from a leadership position is to create a particular type of culture in which employees can thrive. He notes that, even though the actual jobs across the mine-site might look isolated at first sight, when you take in consideration how each piece of work feeds into and needs to be coordinated with others, it becomes teamwork – in work design terms interdependent. Interacting with people all the time can become challenging, especially when the cultural background is different, and T.R. talks about the efforts he is making to ensure that he maintains an open mind while interacting with his subordinates and trying to take their perspective. These efforts might signal increased levels of emotional labour in this job.
“Dealing with people is hard. It is such a diverse workforce. I want people to do things because they want to, not because they have to… It is a team-based environment – it’s lonely, but once you look at how all of this is coordinated, it becomes teamwork.”
“I need to be open and honest, I don’t get to lie to them. If you allow people to have an input, and if you’re genuine about everything as well, that will allow you to gain commitment from the team.”