Leveraging workforce data for business advantage
As the data revolution continues, many companies are now waking up to the possibility that leveraging data on their own workforce could unlock greater employee potential and thus greater returns for their business. Those companies doing this best however, do not just focus on benefits for the company but also for the employee, creating a powerful win-win.
According to a report by Accenture “Decoding Organizational DNA,” most oil and gas companies are not yet effectively leveraging workplace data. By not doing so, they are missing opportunities for their employees to become more motivated, engaged and productive, and, as a result, chances to create value.
The trust imperative
Digital advances and the employment of new technologies are creating huge amounts of workplace data for every company, oil and gas companies included. Many energy executives are reporting that while the amount of data they collect on work, the workforce and the workplace has significantly increased in the last three years, only around half are leveraging it for business advantage1 fearing the loss of employee trust if they do so. They have reason—more than 60 percent of their employees are worried that their data will be misused.
Oil and gas companies are not only battling to keep the trust of their customers, stakeholder’s and investors but also that of their employees.
How trust impacts revenue growth
Over the past decade, oil and gas industry workers have seen a big change in how they work. With sensors everywhere, the expansion of the Internet Of Things (IoT) and advances in analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and visualization, this generation of oil and gas industry workers are the most observed and tracked in history. No matter that the technologies are primarily being used to improve health and safety practices and operational efficiency. For an oil and gas industry worker, being closely monitored as they move around the platform, rig or plant, the experience is a loss of privacy and individuality.
Accenture believes that building workforce trust can become a path to innovation and growth. Energy leaders agree2 (84 percent) They see that a more effective use of new technologies and workplace data are important to grow their business.3 Accenture’s research (figure 1) looked at how changes in trust could impact a company’s revenue growth. This is the “premium” on growth that follows employees trusting their company to ask their consent around data use, jointly manage and secure their data (i.e., following a responsible data strategy). This realization of the full potential of their workforce and resulting increase in performance and productivity can unlock trapped value. In the Energy sector, the value not realized or “trapped” is estimated by Accenture to be $346 billion.
The Data Trust Dividend: The Impact of Workforce Trust on Financial Performance
Get ready to supercharge performance
So how do companies start building trust with their employees and show they can be trusted to securely collect and use their data? Responsible leadership is key—leaders have a duty of care to their workforce to enable them to better work with technology and be redeployed rather than replaced. Allowing workers to control their own data is also important. Also, leaders and workers and need to start working together to create and develop policies that relate to technology and data use. Such co-creation can be effective and is hardly ever done.4
Value in the Digital Industrial Revolution is not only being driven by digital and machines but by combining their potential with people. Most oil and gas industry workers are indicating that they would be willing to let employers use technologies to collect their data to improve their performance, well being and personal benefit—they "just" need to trust them to do it correctly. It’s a big ask, but once trust is established, technology can really start to super charge oil company performance.
1 When asked “To what extent is your organization using new technologies and sources of workplace data to achieve business goals?” 54% of energy executives answered to a significant or large extent
2 When asked “please indicate the extent to which you agree that effective use of new technologies and sources of workplace data will be important to your organization’s ability to do the following?” 84% of energy executive answered “grow the business”
3 Oil company leaders expect the greatest improvements from workforce data analysis to come from increased productivity, role placements and better organizational agility.
4 Only 30% of energy companies stated that they co-create company policies with leadership to better manage the risks and challenges associated with new technologies and sources of workplace data.