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The maintenance team is conducting training to improve the ability to use the tool. [PHOTO: BKP-BTR]

Merdeka’s Values as Identity

Merdeka has established Greatness as the company’s core value. These values ​​will guide Merdeka to become a leading company.

The forest behind the MIA (Mine Infrastructure Area) office was still shrouded in a thinning mist while the sun was shyly radiating its heat at six o’clock that morning. A group of employees stood in a circle in the workshop area for a toolbox meeting led by Yakub Pangihutan, Supervisor of the Maintenance Department.

There is something different about the toolbox meeting over the past month. Previously, the meeting material only focused on work safety. That morning, Jacob repeated some of the values ​​to his team. He said the material he delivered was the company’s core values.

Merdeka Group has proclaimed the company’s core values: Greatness (Growth, Respect, Accountability, Excellence, and Safety). The company believes that growth only be achieved by respecting each other, working responsibly, achieving superior results, and all of this is done by prioritizing safety. Merdeka began socializing its core values ​​on December 26, 2020, through an online town hall.

Then, on January 21, 2021, Merdeka sent a video summary of the company’s vision, mission, and values ​​via e-mail and uploaded it on the company’s intranet network. “We hope that this initial socialization program will familiarize us with the Vision, Mission, and Core Values ​​of the Company, and together make Greatness as a guide in activities outside and within the company,” said Deni Indra Kelana from HRD MCG, who is intensely involved in designing values.

A company, institution, and individuals always need or live the values ​​that guide their actions. Based on those values, priorities are set and decisions are made. The measure of success inevitably depends on what kind of values ​​are held.

Freedom requires values ​​that are clearly stated because they are the principles that unite, and govern how everything works and interacts—including in society. In other words, core values ​​will guide all Merdeka people to behave and act professionally. As a relatively young company, but with many major activities—starting from operating a mine to going public—it’s time for Merdeka to have a firmer identity. Employees come from many workplaces carrying different cultures. Without shared core values, “collisions” can happen even if everyone has good intentions.

Merdeka has been designing Greatness since 2019. Previously, Merdeka used a vision (a global leader in the Indonesian mining and metals industry) and a mission (to be the developer partner of choice in the mining and metals industry; to be at the forefront of safety, environmental conservation, and CSR; to produce superior value and returns for investors through prudent investment and effective project development; as well as being at the forefront of efficiency and innovation) which was established in 2012 at the same time as its establishment. Vision is the dream or goal of a company, the mission is the way to achieve it, while values ​​that build culture are the main supporters of the vision and mission.

Greatness values ​​are a more thorough dig of the vision and mission. The consideration is that currently there are more operations and more employees, so some things need to be stated more firmly.

Safety is the most easily understood value because this one is obligatory. Overall, the Merdeka Group has operated without LTI (Lost Time Injury) throughout 2019 and recorded a safety record of up to 20 million hours. Unfortunately, this score failed to be maintained in 2020 due to a minor accident. However, for a new mining company, Merdeka’s record is impressive enough that it can be said that safety is inherent in all personnel.

“Safety is everything at work. Everything will be in vain if we don’t work with safety,” said Jeffry Mounty, which was confirmed by his colleague Ilyas Musa. Both are local sons who joined the Pani Project in 2019 when the drilling project started. Feni Imasari, one of the admins in the BSI Maintenance Department, also feels a high concern for safety. He mentioned that various tools at PT BSI such as Golden Rules, JSEA, OK-KAN, TAHAN, Takon-7, and employee compliance played a major role in achieving a good record of 20 million workers without accidents.

What about the other values? In 2020, Merdeka’s growth is quite healthy despite the incident of the leaching operation at PT BSI and the not yet optimal operation of Wetar. So, in the future, what kind of growth does Merdeka want: Is it enough just to be a little better than yesterday or more than that? Of course, Merdeka expects serious growth – this is shown, among other things, by expanding the business and holding a series of training for employees so that they can grow even more.

A person who develops will eventually become a superior person who presents and is always determined to be the best. Samuel Lumele, a medical officer at Pani who is from Toraja, stated that employees must always work smart. “Employees must continuously improve their knowledge and knowledge, must have more abilities,” said Samuel.

Accountability can be seen, among others, in how Merdeka has run its business so far. There are clear guidelines that prohibit fraudulent practices—and these apply to partners and stakeholders as well.

Respect is something that grows organically; a person can be respected by others if he deserves it and he shows respect for others. According to James Oral Tombokan, who comes from Bolaang Mongondow and joined Pani in early 2020 as an assistant geologist, mutual respect for fellow employees is a must. “Without it, teamwork will not work,” said James.

Merdeka’s respect for stakeholders has been very visible during the COVID-19 pandemic in the past year. Respect, in this case respect for humanity, is what encourages Merdeka to distribute aid in various regions and play an active role in preventing the spread of a dangerous virus.

The values contained in Greatness are not too foreign to Merdeka employees. Campaigns about these values ​​have been carried out through various channels as already mentioned—even including the installation of banners at the main gate of each site. Feni from PT BSI, for example, knows Greatness from reading the booklet; while Lucky Wardhani, Enviro Department staff at PT BSI, found out through video. Nonetheless, the two of them, and many other employees hoped for further socialization.

That hope is reasonable. Employees who have a better understanding of company goals will work harder to achieve them. They become more aware of what is expected of them. And, engaged employees are a company’s most valuable asset.

Merdeka understands that making values ​​into a culture that is lived is not a day or two jobs. To make it happen, there needs to be a role model in every line—and those who occupy important positions in management must walk the talk or set an example.

Merdeka is also very aware that values ​​can develop according to the demands of the times. Ideally, a company’s core values ​​come from two directions: top-down and bottom-up. But, for now, Greatness is a solid formulation that answers Merdeka’s need to become a leading company.

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