Inclusive workplace cultures enable us to grow, thrive and succeed in our careers. But these types of cultures don’t just spring from anywhere. They’re built on several important factors. In particular: inclusive leadership.
Adam Hauswirth, Operations Manager – Rock Tools, has been with Sandvik for more than 15 years. And inclusion is the foundation of his leadership style.
In his role, he’s responsible for supporting and leading a successful team in all aspects of Sandvik’s On-Site Rock Tools Contracts and Operations.
“My favourite part of my role is helping employees develop,” said Adam, “From entry-level roles, to sales, technical and management positions. Mentoring and supporting people in their career progression is so fulfilling.”
Here’s Adam’s take on why inclusive leadership is so important to him and how it can help you succeed in your career.
Inclusive leadership celebrates diversity from non-traditional career paths
At the start of his career journey, Adam completed his trade as a butcher, working mostly in small, family-run businesses.
“Gaining a role at a huge multi-national company was a huge step! I loved working in smaller companies that invested in their people’s progression – and seeing Sandvik did this too filled me with excitement. My passion for this remains with me to this day. The fact I joined with no experience in mining spoke volumes. All aspects of diversity are celebrated in our team.”
Seeing people join Sandvik from a variety of career pathways is why he believes anyone can pivot into a role and succeed at Sandvik.
“Our team has people from so many different backgrounds, each with their own strengths – butchers, brewers, bankers, warehousing, retail, construction, manufacturing, sales, and administration… to name a few! I’ve loved seeing them flourish in their roles.”
Adam says Sandvik focuses on recruiting people with the right skills for the right role.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re coming from a ‘non-traditional’ career path. There are so many learning and development opportunities. Our high job satisfaction and people’s longevity in the company is a testament to the support we offer each individual.”
Inclusive leaders invest in mentoring and training opportunities for their team
Inclusive leadership means making learning and development a priority. Sandvik’s ethos is that people are its future leaders. Which is why the company believes in offering these opportunities, to benefit employees’ personally and the company as a whole.
“Our development opportunities are second to none. We offer mentoring to all employees because our vision is to help people achieve their full potential. Without the investment and training opportunities I’ve received at Sandvik, I don’t think I would’ve been able to achieve my current position.”
Adam encourages people to expand their skillset and choose their own pathway to progress in the company – and beyond.
Inclusive leadership builds a supportive company culture
Adam knew from the get-go that he’d chosen the right company to work for because of Sandvik’s culture.
“My team in Western Australia feel like friends and family. We’re a tight knit group and everyone is happy to help each other, share knowledge, and provide our customers with the best service. It’s a wonderful, supportive culture.”
Sandvik’s core values (innovation, customer focus, fair play, and passion to win) guide people in their work, and this has a flow-on effect that shines through in its culture.
“We believe in people. This stems from the top of our company and cascades through every level. We assess skills gaps and recruit to fill these gaps. This not only helps the company, but individuals too. Everyone has their own strengths. Everyone wants to share, support, and upskill, and this keeps our culture strong.”
Sandvik was recognized by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality.
Check out their other great benefits and policies.
Inclusive leadership creates psychological safety
For Adam, leadership is the power to generate excitement and belief in a company’s larger, overall strategy – everyone has an important part to play. And creating a psychologically safe environment is a key part of this.
“What does psychological safety mean? Well, as a leader, I try to be approachable, supportive and a source of motivation for all team members. It means showing individuals their ideas, thoughts and opinions are valued. By believing in people, you can gain their buy-in, and that ultimately creates a company that’s more efficient and agile.”
Over the years, he’s modelled his leadership style on other great senior leaders in the business.
“One of our senior leaders is extraordinarily selfless – they have an incredible skill of seeing people’s raw abilities. They give every employee time, support, and direction to facilitate their development. I’ve modelled their style to suit my own ways of working and support each team member in a way that best suits them. I owe this person so much gratitude in helping me develop, both personally and professionally.”
Inclusive leaders are advancing the women agenda
When it comes to getting more women into the mining and resource sector – there are definitely some myths that need to be busted!
“The myth that it’s a ‘male industry’ is not correct. It’s an ‘everybody’ industry. There’s been a significant shift away from male-centric recruitment. It proves many companies in our industry understand diversity in skills and ways of thinking makes for better workplaces, operations, and company culture.
“Also, I want nothing more than for my daughter to receive all the opportunities that have been afforded to my wife and myself throughout the years, as she forges her own path.”
Adam is proud to see the industry becoming so diverse he also loves that there are more and more stories being shared in the news and on social media.
“People who have the right skills and attributes is what creates success. Early in my leadership journey, I knew that to foster diversity, we had to assess strengths and weaknesses, and fill the gaps. We develop leaders regardless of gender, age, experience, or background. This makes companies – and society as a whole – strong!”
In today’s volatile world, strong leadership is invaluable. But outdated ways of thinking that suggest ‘strong’ can’t also mean empathetic, supportive, and open to the experiences of others are being dismantled. Adam believes inclusive leadership benefits everyone.
“The world is your oyster. If you have the right skills and are enthusiastic about a role, I encourage you, regardless of your background, to jump in feet first!”