At Teck, we know our company is only as good as our people. We work hard to provide leadership, training, skills development and mentoring to keep them engaged, now and in the future. Here’s a quick look at some of our people whose experiences with Teck are a testament to the fact that we’re on the right track:
Shehzad Bharmal, our General Manager of Operations Development in Santiago, has been with Teck for 20 years. He’s had a diverse, interesting career at Teck, with a wide variety of job opportunities to challenge him. For Shehzad, it comes down to the people he works with. “Relationships and trust are very important factors in having an effective and enjoyable work environment,” he says. “Here, when you seek help, you can expect that people will do their best to help you. I’ve had very good mentors who have guided me and were always looking for opportunities to expand my capabilities. That’s been important for growing my career.”
Fritz Westlake joined Teck last year as the Community Relations Officer at Red Dog Operations. Fritz has also worked with Teck as a summer intern, where he gained exposure to the mine and to the geology, blasting and environment departments. Today Fritz works with communities in the NANA Region of Alaska, where Red Dog is located and where he also grew up. “I enjoy working with my people and giving back to the same community who helped bring me up. Having the opportunity to be a role model for young people in the community, and to be trained in interesting areas such as community dialogue, are what make me excited to come to work every day,” says Fritz.
Mark Brown started at Teck in 1980 as a summer student as part of the Engineers-In-Training (EIT) program. Thirty years later, he’s General Manager of the Pend Oreille Mine, responsible for all aspects of the operation. “The EIT training gave me the ability to experience a wide scope of different engineering and management tasks in a short period of time,” says Mark. “It gave me the grounding to address challenges that came later on in my career.”
“I go to work every day because it’s fun,” says Jennifer Defreyne, who has worked at Teck since 1998 and is now the Director of CESL Limited, which focuses on hydrometallurgical technologies. “We have a fantastic group of people and we’re very tight and work well together as a team. I think it started with our previous leader who had those values, and it just disseminated through our whole facility.”
In addition to our EIT program, our Building Strength with People program supports individual career development and objectives planning by promoting conversations between employees and their supervisors and by providing a web-based tool that tracks results and progress towards objectives. By working closely with our employees to identify goals and objectives that optimize personal career development while creating value for the company, we are striving to build an organization where our company and each employee can realize their potential.
Our vision is to ensure that our people understand and have the opportunity to become involved in our journey towards a sustainable future, both in the work that they do at Teck and in the communities where they live. We are proud to see people like Jennifer, Fritz, Mark and Shehzad help us make it that way.
This case study was originally published in our 2010 Sustainability Report.