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Advancing with a one-company mindset and united front

About New Gold

New Gold Inc is an intermediate gold mining company with two core gold-producing assets in Canada: the Rainy River mine in Ontario and the New Afton mine in British Columbia. They see themselves as a Canada-first company, focused on responsible and profitable mining, and are committed to respectful partnerships with Indigenous Nations.

Strategic inflection points

New Gold was facing multiple strategic inflection points: talent attraction and retention, a shift to a hybrid work model, and a need to strengthen their leadership culture.

Primary challenges

One of the main challenges for New Gold right now, as for many organizations, is finding and retaining the right talent. There’s an ongoing labor shortage in Canada, which is driven both by post-pandemic fluctuations in the labor market and by longer-term demographic shifts. This is particularly challenging for mining companies because operations are often located in remote areas. They are geographically constrained, which means they have to source and retain talent in the smaller cities near their mining operations.

They’ve had to get creative to find ways to make their workplaces as flexible as they can within the constraints of a very physical business. As a mining company, they’re also competing in the post-pandemic labor market, where many companies have shifted to fully remote work.

With two main mining locations, New Gold operates in a decentralized model. Over the last several years and more recently with new leadership, they have a mandate to create a one-New Gold mindset across the company so that leaders in both locations are exhibiting the same behaviors and reinforcing the same values. This also means leveraging talent across the organization to maximize resources.

Leadership Goals

"Retention is not an HR problem. It’s a leadership and business problem."
Sharon Giraudel
Head of Human Resources


New Gold developed a 4-factor retention model that focuses on purpose, environment, recognition, and compensation. 

“Leadership effectiveness is critical in all of those areas,” says Sharon Giraudel, New Gold’s Head of Human Resources. 

With that in mind, New Gold began its culture journey by adopting a company-specific Leadership Contract. 

Every leader in the company is required to attend training on this contract and sign it as a commitment to becoming and being an accountable leader.

200+ leaders

signed the New Gold Leadership Contract

New Gold’s Leadership Contract operationalizes the company’s existing values and ties those values to specific behaviors.

Leading with a one- company mindset

Lead by example with the Courage to Care mindset – look out for eachother, stop work if it’s unsafe, never compromise on safety.

Embracing diversity

Leaders are expected to work inclusively, listen actively, and demonstrate respect and integrity.

Empowering employees

Leaders are expected to provide coaching and feedback to their teams, in order to develop their capabilities.

How they did it


They developed a company specific Leadership Contract

Over 200 leaders have now been through the Leadership Contract training and signed the New Gold Leadership Contract.


They embedded their Leadership Contract into organizational practices

They have incorporated the Leadership Contract into performance reviews, so that leaders can self-reflect on specific behaviors


They aligned their recruitment profile with their Leadership Contract

New Gold created a recruitment profile aligned with their leadership expectations to support them in the hiring process.


For continued development, they cascaded values and behaviors across the organization

Their next goal is to spread the values and behaviors outlined in the Leadership Contract to non-leader positions.

"Leadership is not something where you take a course and it’s over. It’s something that you constantly have to work on."
Sharon Giraudel
Head of Human Resources

New Gold has seen a visible difference in their leaders.

“You can really feel the shift in the participants in terms of saying, wow, my role is important, I can impact somebody’s confidence and their mental health,” Sharon Giraudel says. “It’s a very powerful way to have leaders walk away understanding the importance of their role.”

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