Nov 4th, 2021


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We have six guiding principles that define how we need to behave as a business every day to become the business we want to be.

For Schlam, these principles are lines in the sand that will not be crossed. They determine our behaviours and are qualities that we search for when hiring new people to join the Schlam team.

In this article, we put our walk in their shoes principle under the microscope.

To uncover the real problems, we listen, we empathise, and we learn.

Visit our IDEOLOGY PAGE for more information on Schlam's principles.


Empathy, defined by entrepreneur Joey Pomerenke as “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions; and the ability to share someone else’s feelings,” isn’t always the first thing people think about when they consider business skills. But it is becoming increasingly important in the workplace.

Companies that don't look at things from the perspective of their customers and competitors' risk being disrupted right out of their industries like what Netflix did to Blockbuster and the way Blackberry and Nokia were blown out of the water by Apple and Samsung.

For us here at Schlam – in particular in our products division - that means listening to our client’s genuine concerns and coming up with innovative solutions to tackle them.

In the workplace

Inside the company, empathy helps with management and collaboration by helping to understand the other person’s perspective.

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can make it easier to find a compromise between two points of view. Similarly, thinking about how other people might like to be treated at work can make them more productive.

As Tony Robbins says, “We all differ in how we perceive the world, and it’s this difference that must guide our communications with others as we seek to understand their perspectives.”

This same truth applies to workplace communications, and we must treat everyone we come into contact with on the job with dignity and respect. As we build this framework of understanding into our business interactions, we begin to value the transformative impact of empathy in business.

This is one of the reasons why we offer our fly-in, fly-out workforce a range of rosters. We recognise our team as a collective of individuals who are all in different stages of their life. Being as flexible as we can to the needs of our employees is a small way to demonstrate how much we value them and what they do to the company.


We recently collaborated with Komatsu and BMA's Goonyella Riverside to deliver a brand-new Komatsu 930E-5 haul truck that stands out from the rest. It features a Hercules that's been painted turquoise in celebration of BHP's LGBT+ ally community, Jasper.

Jasper is BHP's LGBT+ ally network that focuses on strengthening our inclusion culture by providing advice on mitigating bias and ensuring that LGBT+ people are respected, valued and free from discrimination.

Diana Sanchez, Superintendent Mods & Ops Projects from the BMA Asset Engineering team, identified an opportunity to work with the suppliers, Komatsu and Schlam, to implement the initiative. Diana believes that symbols like this send a powerful message to our employees:

“The Jasper truck might look different, but it does the same job as all the other trucks in the pit; it carries the same amount of dirt. Just because it is different doesn't mean that it is any less important," said Diana.

The Jasper tray at Goonyella is a symbol of inclusion that serves to raise the profile of the LGBT+ community and add to the culture where all our employees feel safe being themselves at work.

The group's name was inspired by the unique mineral rock, jasper – an opaque and fine-grained variety of quartz known for its unique multi-coloured patterns - reflecting the rich diversity of the LGBT+ community.

Visit our IDEOLOGY PAGE for more information on Schlam's principles.


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