What are employees’ holistic needs? We can break these down into three health categories: physical, social and mental. Physically, people need healthy food, sufficient sleep and exercise.
Every business wants to attract the best and brightest staff and retain them. Employee turnover costs can have a major impact on your bottom line. Depending on the size of your business, the total costs of replacing an employee vary from 30-150% of their salary1. So, once you hire the right person for the job and spend the time training them up so they’re operating at peak productivity, the last thing you need is to lose them.
The highest quality candidates will always choose employers that offer the best culture and conditions: positive, supportive workplace, excellent services and facilities. One key way to improve your village’s reputation and foster a sense of community is through food and social engagement, with services delivered by caring, qualified staff.
A 2018 report found FIFO workers rated quality, choice and freshness of the food provided at a mining camp as highly important2. The meals on offer play a part in their job satisfaction and can be a deciding factor in whether or not to stay in the role.
Diet also has an enormous impact on your site’s productivity, health and safety. If employees eat too much or consume the wrong foods during their workday, their productivity and attendance is seriously impaired. Consuming a higher-quality diet has been shown to reduce absenteeism by 50%3.
While unproductive or absent employees are a financial drain, more concerning is the fact that tired and distracted employees pose a huge safety risk. Low blood sugar levels result in lowered willpower and a reduced ability to stay on task and do the job well. Dangerously, for those working with heavy equipment, the wrong diet can seriously impact circadian rhythms, ultimately causing workers to feel fatigued at work.
Health and lifestyle statistics show that the mining workforce has a higher incidence of obesity and depression than the national average2. If choosing to work for your remote mining site is making an employee put on too much weight and feel depressed, productivity drops, absenteeism climbs, and eventually, you’ll have to replace that staff member.
50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase. More importantly, 92% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered a role with a company with an excellent reputation4. That means, if you can cultivate and maintain a good reputation, you’re more likely to attract high quality candidates and retain them.
Since quality, choice and freshness of the food provided at a mining camp is so vital to your employees, remote mining site food service providers must ensure the highest standard is made available at every meal. Food providers should work closely with a dietician and chef to build menus which offer the nutrition and variety mine site workers need to function at their peak. Make it easy for employees to choose healthy options at point of service. Combined with a healthy eating education program, this can actually help employees to improve their health and well being while in your employ.
Keep it fresh by taking advantage of seasonal produce, which will be at its peak quality, while providing value for money at the same time. Additionally, continually review and improve menus in line with each individual camp’s needs. This can be achieved via a combination of consultation with the site operators and regular feedback surveys of site residents.
Providing healthy, nutritionally balanced meals doesn’t just help remote mining companies to attract and retain employees; it’s the fuel that powers your workforce, helping them get the most out of every day.
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Sources: 1. Harrison HR (2018); 2. Centre for Transformative Work Design, Curtin University. (2018); 3. Fitzgerald, S., Kirby, A., Murphy, A., & Geaney, F. (2016); 4. Laine, T. (2018).