April 28, 2022 – Sixty percent of employees who work in the oil and gas industry admit that they don’t feel in control. Plus, 46 percent confess there are times they’ve felt like running away. These findings are from O.C. Tanner’s 2022 Global Culture Report, which analyzed the perspectives of over 38,000 employees and leaders from 21 countries around the world, including almost 200 from within the oil and gas industry.
With such a large number of employees feeling out of control, together with high levels of mood swings, this indicates that workplace stress within the oil and gas industry is reaching epidemic proportions. In fact, of the 35 industry sectors analyzed, employees from the oil and gas sector are the third most stressed (behind chemical industry and banking employees), with 43 percent of oil and gas workers feeling miserable for no reason and the same number experiencing frequent ‘ups and downs’ in their mood.
“Oil and gas workers are clearly struggling, displaying extremely high levels of stress. And this stress might well turn into burnout, in which workers feel utterly exhausted and overwhelmed”, says Robert Ordever European MD of workplace culture expert, O.C. Tanner. “Tackling the causes of stress and burnout must be urgently addressed to avoid broken company cultures.”
O.C. Tanner highlights the link between a negative company culture and increased incidents of burnout, with organizations that lack purpose, are slow to recognize achievements, have poor social connections and don’t practice modern leadership more likely to experience high levels of burnout. In fact, burnout increases by 664 percent when employees have weak connections to their colleagues.
Ordever says, “Leaders must become mentors and lead with compassion, finding ways to connect their people to organizational purpose, their accomplishments and each other, thereby strengthening workplace culture and employee wellbeing. There’s a direct link between organizations that have a strangulation hold over their people and high levels of burnout – by controlling workers and not giving them opportunities to thrive, stress becomes inevitable.”
O.C. Tanner’s report reveals that when employees feel less connected to their workplace, culture and purpose, burnout increases by 11 times. And it’s not just levels of burnout that are impacted, the likelihood of great work falls by 90 percent and employees are six times’ more likely to leave the organization within three years.
Ordever adds, “These findings need to be a wake-up call to organizations that are experiencing high levels of stress and burnout. Leaders can’t stand by and ignore the facts. Failure to repair broken cultures will simply see burnout and staff turnover levels escalate. And so finding ways to bring employees together, while nurturing a compassionate and recognition-led culture with an inspirational purpose at its heart, must take priority.”
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.