Three SPE Talent Council Surveys and a Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) survey provide valuable insights into how to enhance employee retention. The “big crew change” has altered the workforce in both visible and invisible ways. While it is obvious that more women are working in the petroleum industry, the transition from a workforce largely composed of “dominant earners” to a workforce with many dual career couples has also occurred.
Most women are part of a dual career couple, so better management of dual career couples will enhance retention and advancement of women. Meanwhile, women and dual career couples are under-represented in executive management, most of which continues to be comprised of people who are the “dominant earner” in their family.
The surveys suggest that the lifestyle differences between dominant earners and dual career workers introduce misunderstandings about career dedication and work ethic that can lead to attrition. The members of this new workforce are career-focused, hard-workers, but the new lifestyle means that they are living with different constraints. Modifications to career planning that better balance specific opportunities with flexibility and leverage the 24/7 technology-enabled work-styles can build and retain a more diverse, highly motivated workforce.