People Performance

People Performance

Our Approach

To deliver our strategy Northern Star has a clear plan to attract, retain and support the best talent. We are clear on our joint and individual responsibility to deliver, improve and make Northern Star a place we are all proud and excited to work for.

Our culture is unique, and a part of the reason people choose to work for us is to be part of that culture, contribute to it and benefit from it. Our Purpose and STARR Core Values are well understood, and they guide our leaders and all our employees to create a consistent culture.

We have continued our support for employees throughout their employment lifecycle with Northern Star. This includes flexible working arrangements, individualised development plans, paying for and encouraging the use of gold sector leading parental leave, and supporting our employees’ charitable pursuits with donation matching and volunteer leave.

In addition, we know from the results of our culture surveys that our response to climate change, our social performance, and our environmental compliance matter a great deal to our employees, so we are focusing on informing and connecting our people more strongly to these areas.

Our Workforce

Most of our workforce are permanent full-time workers. Across our operations the majority of our employees at all operations are employed on a permanent full-time basis, with a very small number on a fixed term basis or casual contracts.  Our age demographic remains similar to previous years and our rate of residential employment has been maintained with high levels in our Pogo operations in Alaska and in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Further information on Northern Star’s workforce metrics is available in our Annual Sustainability Reports and our Performance Data Tables.

Employee Attraction, Retention & Engagement

Retaining our people is a key driver for our success. In a competitive and challenging labour market, we have expanded cultural, developmental and financial benefits to retain and attract employees through increased job satisfaction. Actions we have taken to achieve our goal of retaining and engaging our current workforce and attracting new people include:

  • Our STARR Core Values are consistent at all our sites and actively used to support decision making and set behavioural expectations.
  • Maintained focus on internal and external training opportunities.
  • Internally supported professional development.
  •  Launching our five-year strategy with our senior leadership team from all our sites

We have also implemented:

  • Paid parental leave for Australian and Alaskan Operations for primary and secondary carers.
  • Pay reviews against market rates, to align and adjust pay rates across the merged organisation.
  • All employees included in performance linked incentives, and an innovative salary opportunity where eligible employees receive a quarterly payment which links to the gold price.
  • Continued share offers to eligible employees, inviting employees to become owners in our Company
  • Continued our share match plan, allowing eligible employees to invest in Northern Star shares and hold them for three years, following which Northern Star will transfer the same number of shares to the employee for free.
  • Providing access to a salary sacrifice scheme for all our Australian Employees.
  • Streamlining our Employee Assistance Program to make it easy for our employees and their families to getting the support they need.

We are committed to filling the pipeline of mining talent via:

  • Engagement with universities – through vacation and graduate programs and local involvement in university development days in Australia, including recruitment of graduates from UK and US universities.
  • Hiring vacation students, undergraduates, graduates, apprentices and trainees.  All our graduates undertake a detailed programme to ensure they have broad experience in different sites and leave the programme fully competent to take on their next role. The trainees are in a variety of frontline operational roles, providing an increased mining talent pool and an opportunity for people to build new careers in mining.
  • Supporting the Gold Industry Group – Gold Facilitators program – getting our people out to schools to share their love of mining, gold and Northern Star.
  • Funding University scholarships - including funding twelve 5-year university degrees annually (including Indigenous mentoring and networks) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Western Australia through MADALAH.

With a continued focus on culture, development and providing a working environment that lives the STARR Core Values, Northern Star continues to build our strength as a preferred employer.

STARR Actions Program

Our Company culture is underpinned by the behaviours and decisions of our workforce, guided and supported by the Company’s STARR Core Values. Our Core Values form the basis for everything we do at Northern Star.

We include reference to our STARR Core Values in all of our people processes, including our recruiting, inductions, performance development, communications, surveys and training. We encourage employees to embrace and use our STARR Core Values in every task they complete.

Our STARR Actions Framework and STARR Actions Program, built in consultation with our people who helped define how our STARR Core Values “look and sound” at work. The STARR Actions Framework provides a clear expectation and a pathway to succeed at Northern Star.

The STARR Actions program is about increasing positive reinforcement from leaders and peers, through quickly and consistently giving feedback and recognition to people when they are doing the right thing.  The program helps to:

  • Connect with our STARR Core Values
  • Create a common language.
  • Increase visibility on expected standards of behaviour in a positive manner.
  • Provide opportunities for fast feedback.
  • Recognise our people.
  • Show them how to grow their leadership skills to succeed at Northern Star.

We operate a zero-tolerance policy on any form of harassment, bullying, discrimination or similar misconduct in the workplace. We hold our contractors and suppliers accountable to the same standard on our sites, and promptly investigate any alleged incidents in accordance with our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and our Whistleblower Policy.

Diversity & Inclusion

Northern Star has implemented programs to increase awareness, support minority Groups and focus on challenging the status quo. Some highlights include:

  • Major sponsors of AusIMM and WIMWA Women in Mining Leadership Conferences.
  • Customised Cultural Awareness employee training program that acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work
  • TeamINC – Our inclusive teams program with representatives from all the sites
  • Sponsoring the Pride Professional Mentoring Program for LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies, as well as the Kalgoorlie Boulder Pride Fesitval
  • Paid parental leave for Australian and Alaskan Operations for primary and secondary carers
  • Ensuring female representation on our Board

Female participation in key roles within Northern Star 

Further information on Northern Star’s diversity and inclusion achievements is available in our Annual Sustainability Reports.

Growing Opportunities in Mining

Northern Star prides itself on investing in our people and the future of the mining industry. We have created a number of entry pathways into our business, on permanent contracts, which can accommodate people from a diverse range of educational and industry backgrounds.

Northern Star is committed to building and maintaining long term and mutually beneficial relationships with like-minded organisations to provide opportunities for Aboriginal people. We engage with schools, tertiary institutions and organisations that support Indigenous students, and agencies including Clontarf, MADALAH and Shooting Stars.

Our apprenticeship opportunities offer a program that is a combination of structured learning in a classroom and practical experience. Disciplines currently supported include fixed plant boilermaker, fixed plant fitter, fixed plant electrician, heavy duty fitter, light vehicle fitter, auto electrician and underground electrician.

We also provide entry-level training programs in the processing, engineering and open pit mining teams. These programs support candidates who have minimal mining experience and increases the available talent pool in these critical roles. The program provides clear pathways for a career in mining.

Northern Star also provides opportunities for exposure and education of high school age students of different ages and demographics by organising immersive site trips to meet our employees and experience our operations firsthand.

We will continue to explore other trainee opportunities across various disciplines to support internal and external growth of the Company and industry.

Further information on Northern Star’s creation of opportunities in mining is available in our Annual Sustainability Reports.

Reaching Potential

Northern Star recognises that each employee is driven by their own motivations, goals and aspirations and that the best outcome for them and the Company is to help develop our employees to reach their potential in a sustainable way.

There are multiple career paths inside Northern Star which employees can follow including people management roles and specialist / technical leadership roles. Our approach to people development includes: our annual performance evaluation which 100% of our employees are included in; internal and external leadership and professional development training; events and conferences; cross site and function projects; and targeted on the job experiences.

Every employee has the opportunity to develop to their best potential.

Employee Wellbeing

Northern Star is committed to supporting our people’s safety and wellbeing at all times.

Utilisation of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is actively encouraged, with briefings completed at all new sites. In addition to standard counselling sessions, employees can access coaching, face to face and online psychoeducation programs and dietetics. We have also continued to grow the utilisation of GoldSTARR, our employee reward and recognition, health and wellbeing hub.

Northern Star is recognised as a Skilled Workplace in the Mental Health First Aid Workplace Recognition Program. By supporting our people to undertake this training we help them to provide timely interventions at home and at work to support good mental health with everyone they connect with. The training equips them to provide immediate assistance and encourage their colleagues, family and friends to seek professional mental health assistance as needed.

In support of our people's mental health and wellness, we also supported the Push Up Challenge, R u Ok Day and World Mental Health Day through challenges and communications across the business. These events are fun but with a serious message around supporting our people and reminding them of our support for their good mental and physical wellness.

Further information on Northern Star’s employee wellbeing initiatives are available in our Annual Sustainability Reports.