Headlines abound covering the need to transition to clean energy. Very few, though, cover a key business issue for O&G companies as they seek to transform: their workforce. Yet, addressing the workforce issue is essential for success. We have observed that most business transformations fail because of the inability to execute the change with people.
New workforce skills are essential to help O&G companies with more than just the energy transition. As O&G companies shift away from legacy technology and into the modern digital infrastructures necessary to remain competitive, they will need a workforce that brings digital savvy to all aspects of their operations. Add to that society’s demand for environmental accountability, a growing scarcity of talent and investor apathy. The result is an energy industry tasked with an agenda for business transformation—change that requires a highly skilled, engaged workforce.
We see a shortage of skilled talent across industries, but O&G has been particularly hard hit for two reasons. First, it’s a highly skilled and niche workforce filled with specialized engineers filling complex roles in geophysics, petrochemistry, petroleum geology, drilling, reservoir simulation and artificial lift systems and more.
Second, the energy industry competes for the digital talent it will require with industries like high tech—industries that workforces view as more exciting options. As younger generations continue to make up a large portion of the workforce, they also look for companies who are actively addressing environmental, social and governance issues. Energy companies will need to show shared values with this generation and those to come to attract and retain a qualified workforce.