Having worked at DMC for more than 8 years, I’ve definitely seen some changes in the company and the people who work there. The changes are very noticeable in retrospect, so much so that it sometimes seems like a different company now than what it was.
A lot of my peers and friends started around the same time as me, and have noticed the same growth and shift in company values. Having started as young engineers or miners, and now more established and senior, we have a front row seat to see how the company has changed for the better.
When I started, there was a much different attitude in the DMC offices. I noticed that people were more closed off, harder to reach, and not always forthcoming about what they were doing or what they thought of your work. It wasn’t very encouraging to new guys on the scene.
There was a turning point where a lot of the younger people, myself included, were given more opportunities to take on greater responsibilities. Suddenly we found that leadership had faith in us to deliver, and I think a lot of us ran with it to the point where we are now.
As we grew in the company and secured more senior roles, many of my peers became my friends as well. Now and then we reflect on how things have changed. Without exception we all feel like we’re in a better place now, not just because we’re more established, but there’s simply more trust in the group.
These days DMC is a different company entirely than when I started. There is much more communication, more openness, and more transparency. We always know who we’re working with, and we know how the work should proceed. There’s a consistent, clear, and open culture now, and it’s made our jobs much easier.
Clients have also gained trust in the company. In Sudbury, where we’ve seen the biggest advances in our reputation, we’ve built solid relationships with major players like Vale and Glencore.
Our winning bids are often due to the confidence clients have in our performance. You can wine and dine clients as much as you want, but they won’t work with you if you can’t operate in the field.
The other week, I was in a meeting with senior management discussing a bid. After the meeting, a new hire told me he had something to say but didn’t want to speak up. I reminded him he wasn’t hired to keep quiet. We have an open culture where you won’t get shut down for bringing up an idea or identifying an issue, even if you’re a new guy in a meeting with leaders.
Meetings have become more enjoyable. The weekly calls in the estimation group used to be very structured and stern. These days, we cover what’s necessary but also discuss the elements of the job, speak our minds, and have a conversation. It’s a cliché, but it’s true that work feels more like a family now, and after 2020 that has been more important than ever for morale.
None of the changes I’ve seen have come through checklists, memos, or onboarding. It’s a genuine culture shift that started with management and spread to all the other levels of the company. Senior leaders have faith in us, don’t hide in their positions, and as a result we know that they will hear us out, or even just say hello and chat for a second in the hall.
The effect of these changes is undeniable: people are happier, more empowered to speak up and share challenges and solutions. There’s more clarity between departments and individuals, and more focus on our objectives. We’re winning more work and drawing lots of new talent. Trust and relationships are building our reputation and our ranks.
I’ve had a front row seat to the evolution of DMC. There is definitely a new energy as we move forward. When I talk with my peers, or with my team, there’s a sense that we’re all in it together. Most importantly, the culture shift has given everyone the clarity and space to bring ideas to the table and know they can contribute.