The Ghana Chamber of Mines has launched a mental health policy guideline to promote the psychological well-being of employees of member companies of the Chamber.
The policy guidelines seek to encourage members of the Chamber to adopt best practices in employee mental health promotion to ensure that workers within the mining space are of sound mind and able to achieve their full potential.
Launching the policy at the 5th Human Resources Conference in Obuasi, CEO of the Chamber, Dr Sulemanu Koney urged employers and member companies to consistently ensure the mental well-being of employees.
Dr Koney emphasized that the Chamber was keen on ensuring that employees were mentally stable, and urged all Human Resources managers to ensure the full implementation of the policy within their respective companies.
He added that it was important for HR professionals to support the physical and mental wellbeing of employees while encouraging continuous professional development, and contribution to societal advancement.
He further stated, “Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) principles are taking centre stage globally in corporate performance considerations, and as industry players, particularly, Human Resources professionals cannot underestimate the critical role of social and governance issues in our respective organisations”.
Dr Koney explained that “globally, the success of many organisations is being measured on ESG principles, hence Human Resources professionals need to play a critical role in achieving the social and ESG goals of their respective organisations.”
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Jinapor, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the Conference, stated that the “health and safety of your workforce, their benefits and human rights guarantees, as well as the impact you make on local communities, are critical to the success of your organisations.
Research has shown that when employees are compensated fairly, assured of job security, and given social welfare benefits, among others, they tend to give out their best to achieve the organisational objectives.”
Mr Jinapor further explained that the mining industry was associated with many risks, so motivation and fair treatment were important for the workforce, who form the backbone of organisations’ success, adding that “this can only be achieved when Human Resource Departments work closely with workers’ unions to build consensus and strive towards organisational objectives together.”
In addition to fair treatment and better remuneration, is a need for diversity and inclusion, especially for persons with disability, he said.
The Minister stated that the sustainability of the mining industry in Ghana, and making Ghana the mining hub of Africa, did not lie in just training people but in building local capacity, to respond to the mining needs of the entire continent.
He, therefore, urged the HR professionals to take the localisation programme very seriously and ensure strict compliance to build adequate capacity across the value chain.
Touching on the issue of illegal mining, the Minister called on the Chamber to play a more active role in the fight because it was a key component of the ESG principles which the industry could not overlook.
He assured that Government was taking all the necessary measures to come to stop the menace. “But the Chamber must play a more active role in this fight. Apart from its negative environmental impacts, illegal mining, also, affects your operations and indeed, your employees. The occasional clashes between illegal miners and your employees will be minimised if we join hands together to deal with illegal mining and develop our host mining communities.”
The two-day biennial conference, under the theme: “Transforming People Management for a Sustainable Mining Industry in Ghana,” was co-sponsored by AngloGold Ashanti. It attracted HR professionals from the mining industry, academia and regulators.