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Oil And Gas Management: Agility is the key to workforce advantage

Plunging oil prices have set off a series of unsustainable cost-cutting measures.


Energy companies need to create much more agile, digitally-enabled organizations, ones that remain competitive despite the vagaries of market cycles. Yet according to Accenture research, only 22 percent of energy executives say their organizations are able to shift resources very easily to address emerging or critical needs.

Now is the time for energy companies to invest in the workforce of the future. Winners will be those that shake off the complacency of years of high prices and get serious about gaining more agile ways of working—particularly when it comes to workforce management.

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Key Findings

No one knows whether oil prices will rise or fall, but we can predict a volatile future. Executives need to manage accordingly by:

  • Simplifying their operating model: Streamline decision-making at the edge of the organization, with less emphasis on hierarchy. Empower the workforce to make decisions based on sound judgement, supported with analytics, simple and agile processes, and digital tools.

  • Retaining the right workers: Companies need to focus on critical workforces and prevent the loss of knowledge needed to support future growth.

  • Focusing on the contingent workforce: Contingent labor can comprise up to 80 percent of the workforce. While these flexible talent pools are a great way to keep costs down, energy companies have come to rely on them for critical roles.

  • Identifying new digital capabilities: Provide front-line field workers with analytics and collaboration tools to support a new breed of multi-skilled, connected employees who can acquire just-in-time capabilities.


Smart investments to gain workforce advantage include:

  • Establishing intelligent operating models: Include flexible, self-organized project teams enabled by digital platforms for greater emphasis on agility.

  • Managing critical talent with intent: Clearly define your critical talent, establish retention and talent development programs, and don’t stop hiring new graduates into key talent segments.

  • Getting control of the contingent workforce: Most companies don’t know how big the contingent labor pool is or even what it’s doing. Bring together functions and front-line management to gain that insight.

  • Extending digital capabilities: Consider a more aggressive automation strategy to augment brains and brawn of the workforce.

oil and gas management