Millennial Challenges and Opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry
Nobody can disagree with the fact that millennials have and will continue to drive significant impact on economies and the underlying industries. At 83.1 million strong according to the US Census Bureau, it is no surprise they will have significant influence on products and services companies offer. Equally important, they will have significant influence on hiring decisions and employment. The oil and gas industry is no exception.
“The large numbers of oil, gas, and petrochemical business employees expected to retire in the next few years along with anticipated industry growth has reinforced the need to attract younger workers” (Oil & Gas Journal). Statistics show that the oil and gas industry will have a 1.4% annual rise in employment in 2020. “The industry will look to the Millennial Generation to fill roles and support expansion” (Oil & Gas Journal). The millennial generation, is a generation that adapts to change, much easier than the generation before them. The oil and gas industry is an industry that isn’t the most popular among the millennials right out of college. That generation will give the oil and gas industry the facelift it needs. They have fresh ideas, a broader outlook on ideas, and can give the industry more opportunities to grow. Constant feedback, positive work environment, opportunities to succeed, and flexible work schedules, are all attributes that catch the attention of millennials.
Who doesn’t like to be recognized for doing a good job on a presentation or a project at work? “Millennials and Generation Z are particularly used to sharing every aspect on their lives on social media, where they receive approval, praise and constant feedback on their activity. It’s important for managers in the workplace to provide constant feedback, especially in the early stages of their career, when they’re keen to establish and prove themselves” (HR Zone). Constant feedback not only boosts the confidence in the employee but it also gives recognition to the company. In turn, hiring employees for that specific company, could be made easier. “When employees receive positive feedback and appreciation, they start to find more meaning in their jobs, which can increase their engagement at work and result in increased productivity” (The Balance Careers). Not only in the workplace, but in life, people want to feel appreciated and included. Feeling valued and needed, your employees will want to do their best for the company. “When you give positive feedback, you’re giving employees clarity about what you want and expect, which makes their jobs easier. Additionally, when employees feel appreciated and find meaning in their work, they tend to stay at their jobs, which reduces turnover and saves money for the organization” (The Balance Careers). When employees have incentives, productivity and efficiency is going to rise. Millennials want to work in an environment that is uplifting and positive.
Companies need to provide millennials with a positive work environment. What will catch the attention of millennials? What will get them to WANT to come to work every day? “Providing lunchtime exercise classes, healthy canteen options, and providing entry to sporting and activity related events could all help attract employees” (HR Zone). Having a break during the day to go work out or grab some lunch with coworkers, gives the break all employees need. They can clear their heads and have some time for themselves. “An employee’s motivation to work is heavily influenced by his or her environment. You want your employees to respect you – not fear you. Creating a positive work environment will yield far better results for your employees and your company” (Articles-BPlans). Millennials aren’t used to the 9 to 5 aspect that comes with a day job. Having the positive work environment and options to escape during the day, will heighten the popularity of the company.
We have to remember that millennials who just graduated from college, their schedules were very flexible. Working 40 to 80 hours a week doesn’t necessarily appeal to someone who maybe had 3-6 hours of school work a day. “To attract and retain these younger employees, companies could introduce flexible working schemes, consider offering sabbaticals to longstanding employees, and encourage regular workload reviews to ensure work doesn’t regularly take over their weekends or evenings” ((HR Zone). Instead of having to take vacation or personal days, flexible work schedules could help the company as a whole. “When it comes to flexible schedules, you might think that it’s just your employees who will reap the rewards. Not so. From increased productivity to fewer missed days and significant savings to a more loyal workforce, employers benefit greatly from adopting flexible schedules in the work place” (Flex Jobs – Employer Blog). Having a flexible work schedule, it can also reduce the stress levels in the employees. There are only so many hours in the day and with 8-10 hours spent in the office, not all of life’s demands can be accomplished. With having more time, reduced stress, and flexibility; it also would allow the employee more opportunity to succeed within the company.
“Make sure you allow your employees time for themselves – to become what and who they want to become. This is key to employee engagement and retention” (The Balance Careers). Millennials strive to be better in every aspect of their life. They want to be the best at what they do. Allowing opportunities to succeed and move up in the company, will catch the eye of a millennial. “Sometimes, you can provide formal mentoring with an assigned mentor and sometimes you can provide mentoring through a program. Either way works, and what is best depends on your company’s needs and the individual employee’s personality” (The Balance Careers). Mentoring can come in various forms, such has employee evaluations done by the manager. Hearing what you have done positively and what you can work on, is only going to better that employee. Setting goals, hitting milestones, and communication are three aspects in which you have the opportunity to succeed.
They are a force to be recon with and ever reaching. Millennials are a group that doesn’t want to miss out on certain opportunities and neither should the oil and gas industry. Millennial’s strive to be the best versions of themselves. Social media, positive feedback, work environments, and schedules are going to play pivotal roles with hiring and retaining millennials. Oil and gas companies who successfully engage millennials will not only drive positive customer and financial impact, they will position themselves to evolve the organization to an ever-changing industry.