Building a connected workforce: Move into operations to present challenges for oil and gas operatorsDOWNLOAD
7 April 2014: With tens of thousands of people set to join Australia’s resources operations in coming years, larger headcounts across both employees and contractors mean new logistical challenges in training and sustaining an effective workforce.
Speaking ahead of the APPEA 2014 conference and exhibition in Perth, Deloitte National Oil and Gas Leader, Mike Lynn, said that as organisation structures become more complex, it was becoming more difficult to maintain cohesive cultures, and to form the connections across teams to needed to solve problems.
“Deloitte Access Economics predicts almost 40,000 new operations workers will be needed by 2018, and this wave of recruitment will create a significant induction and on-boarding challenges for oil and gas operators,” he said.
“Regulatory driven training is, of course, non-negotiable, so increasing the focus, reach and repeatability of training is increasingly important.
“Ongoing training delivery and time to competency will present headaches, and online learning is playing a greater role in training program scale and efficiency, providing the opportunity to reduce the costs of delivery and allowing the deployment of content on a greater scale.
“Mobile learning also opens up opportunities to deliver training on the go and on demand.”
Mr Lynn said that for oil and gas operators, a digital approach should also be an important adjunct to the physical world for driving innovation, collaboration and building staff engagement.
“Digital technologies will play a critical role in designing the next generation, connected workforce in the oil and gas sectors,” he said.
“Large operations across multiple locations make employee collaboration and engagement harder to build and maintain, and getting the engagement wrong can lead to increased turnover and relying on remuneration to compete for talent.
“Collaborating on problems and ideas is essential for productivity and, across dispersed teams, can unlock latent talent, knowledge and innovation.
“Connectivity can clearly enhance collaboration and, therefore, productivity. And collaborative employees are also generally more satisfied employees.
“Deloitte Access Economics has found that satisfied employees collaborate 28 per cent of the working week with colleagues in the same location, country or internationally, while those not satisfied with their employer collaborate only 12 per cent of the time.”
But connecting a workforce is not simply a matter of handing out tablets to people and opening up access to social networks.
“It’s not all about technology,” Mr Lynn said.
“While technology is central, it forms only one part of the solution for creating a connected and collaborative environment. Workplace culture and management structure can be more significant inhibitors than the technology itself.
“Internal social networks have a role here – particular where leadership team involvement can encourage knowledge sharing, collaboration and drive engagement.
“Ultimately, an understanding of the productivity benefits as well as the less tangible impacts on engagement and collaboration need to be part of a strategic approach.”
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