Don’t keep it all in-house
Making sure you have the right expertise to deliver an energy project is paramount to its success. Fortunately, this expertise doesn’t always have to come from inside your own organisation. A consultancy, like RPS, can provide people through secondments and short-term assignments with the expertise needed, for a day, a week or a month. In addition, these advisors can review work, mentor junior staff and deliver solutions to project challenges using their years of relevant technical and geographic experience. The advice from a neutral third-party provides confidence in decision-making as risk from limited experience is mitigated.
Keep your best people – career development is important
During the past two years, training budgets in oil and gas companies have generally been reduced to save costs. However, highly motivated staff are often lifelong learners, and they want to develop their skills. In a survey of over 16,000 energy professionals by Airswift, 41% of oil and gas respondents say they are looking for increased training and mentorship. Still, only 29% reported an increase in training from their employers. A robust and individualised training plan shows employees they are valued, and companies are invested in their career progression. An external provider, such as RPS and our learning and development team, can assess employee competency levels and develop training plans that match both the needs of the organisation and the employee.
Be flexible when possible
A more flexible approach to when and where work occurs can encourage new employees to join and current employees to stay. A 2021 survey from Ernst and Young found that more than half (54%) of employees surveyed would consider leaving their jobs if they are not afforded some sort of flexibility in their work. For example, one trend in the energy industry that took off rapidly during the pandemic was the transition to remote work . But in some fields of work this isn’t always possible, however, at RPS, we’ve been pushing the envelope and encouraging the use of remote monitoring in various disciplines. For example, during an offshore geotechnical testing and soil sampling survey, RPS performed quality assurance monitoring remotely, which kept this offshore wind project on track. Reducing the amount of time an employee is offshore or in a remote location can facilitate a better work-life balance. In addition, remote work can decrease the health, safety and environmental risk on projects by reducing the number of people required in the field.
Get new employees up to speed quickly
When new employees are hired, getting them up and running at pace can be a challenging task. Current employees are often too busy or not experienced enough to train new employees who want to contribute as soon as possible. Digital learning can speed up the onboarding process through effectively designed training programs that allow employees to onboard through on-demand training. Because RPS training is designed in collaboration with the organisation, it can incorporate its best practices, workflows, and the latest information. And it can link to other learning and development programs to track employee competencies and certification throughout their career.
Make work meaningful
Many potential energy sector employees are hesitant to work for or remain working for oil and gas companies. In the same Airswift survey of over 16,000 energy professionals, 79% of oil and gas respondents said they would consider switching to another sector in the next three years, with the transition to renewables being the most popular step. Skills in areas such as geoscience, engineering, chemistry and reservoir modelling are needed in both oil and gas but also geothermal, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. Fostering an environment where employees can work on various types of energy projects may require additional training but can also be key to recruiting and retaining new employees in an increasingly constrained resource talent pool.