This article explores how the next generation of oil and gas employees will change the face of the industry.
This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author.
During the downturn of the 1980s and 1990s, the oil and gas industry suffered from a drastically low influx of talent. As a result, the sector is now left with two dominant age demographics: Baby Boomers and Gen Y, also known as millennials. As many Boomers prepare to retire, the industry is set to retain a workforce that so far lacks the experience and skill set to lead large-scale initiatives on their own. This experience gap poses a threat to the industry and its competitive edge in an ever changing, and often volatile, global marketplace.
To overcome this experience gap, oil and gas companies must ramp up their efforts in recruitment, training and retention. Additionally, they must begin to understand the values and goals of Gen Y along with what makes them unique and highly instrumental additions to the sector.
Understanding Gen Y in the Workplace
Attracting Gen Y to the Oil & Gas Industry
The oil and gas industry is a heavily tech-focused industry, and it should be touted as such as this resonates highly to this demographic. The industry must also begin promoting itself as the future of America’s energy solutions along with being financially stable and environmentally conscious. It is important to note that Gen Yers are not content to simply fill a role at an organization, they are adamant about making a difference through both their career choices and the organization to which they choose to devote their time.
Training & Knowledge Sharing
In order to get this generation up to speed before their Boomer counterparts retire, oil and gas companies must be diligent about implementing training workshops and programs. Smart oil and gas companies will create knowledge sharing initiatives that include input and direction from senior and experienced employees. Gen Yers will respond well to these initiatives, as the demographic is notoriously more concerned with advancement, additional responsibilities and leadership roles than with the monetary compensation that may go along with career advancement. This generation is ambitious, tech-savvy and committed. According to a recent Deloitte survey, Gen Yers within the oil and gas sector plan to stay with their organizations for more than five years, much higher than Gen Yers in most all other sectors.
Gen Y Retention & Values
In order for Gen Y to be productive and content in a workplace environment, they need to feel that they are a part of a work culture that understands their values and goals. Gen Y workers expect to work in a tech-savvy, paperless environment that is collaborative rather competitive. They desire a flexible work schedule with remote options and work-life integration. It is vital that oil and gas companies begin to engage and tailor their workplaces to attract and retain this generation in order to unlock their potential, which will bring forth ideas for innovation, sustainability and social consciousness. The future of the industry's ability to compete on a global scale depends on it.
Richard Slack, President and Chief Executive Officer, of Oildex Inc., a service of Transzap, is responsible for the strategic direction, operations and growth of the company.
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