Five generations of employees working together under the same roof. First time in history. The oil and gas industry is experiencing the “Great Crew Change”. The traditionalist, the senior most professionals are leaving. Taking years of experience with them, the Baby Boomers are looking forward to their retirement plans. Slowly moving up in the hierarchy are the Generation X. But the majority of the people on the ground are the oil and gas millennials.
By 2035, close to 1.9 million job opportunities are projected in the oil and gas industry. There is a vast opportunity for the industry to attract, retain, and develop lifelong careers for oil and gas millennials.
The Digital Oil and Gas sector of modern times has created a room for talent and innovation. For better performance, the industry must recognize the potential of the right people in the right way. Today, the industry is positioned well to address its challenges with the help of oil and gas millennials as they bring unique elements forward.
Meet the Millennials
The millennial generation, also commonly known as Gen-Y, includes births from 1982 – 2000. However, there is no precise date as to when Generation Y began. There is a general consensus that the members of this generation were born sometime during the 80s and 2000s.
What makes the Millennials unique?
The time and space a generation is born in defines most of their behaviour. We have enough evidence of this in historical literature. As the name suggests, millennials grew up during the Millennium period. Rapid and significant changes define this phase and further, they have shaped the millennials. This generation reflects a unique set of priorities and expectations that differ from the previous generations.
The few aspects that set them apart are:
- They are curious to understand a project before investing their time in it. Thoughts like “why should I invest my time in the task” and “how it fits into the bigger picture” drive most of the millennials.
- Millennials are the ‘Digital Natives’ of the world. They did not watch the digital revolution and the world learning to adapt to it, they were part of it.
- With the quickening pace of globalization, the millennials have been exposed to much greater diversity. This makes them more tolerant and all-embracing.
- Millennials simply demand work-life balance while Generation X constantly hoped for it.
- They ask questions and do not hesitate in challenging the authority. They feel something, they express it.
Why Oil and Gas Millennials will change the industry?
Millennials have an unmatched characteristic of unwavering self-confidence, a better understanding, and usage of technology. In the complex oil and gas industry, these traits will enable them to position themselves better. They are empowered to understand and conquer future challenges. Currently, Millennials account for nearly one-third of the oil and gas industry’s workforce.
Let’s look at the top 5 reasons why the millennials will change the oil and gas industry:
Digitally Conversant Talent
Rightly referred to as Digital Natives of the world, millennials are much more technologically savvy than previous generations. They have been part of the “internet revolution” and “digitalization of things”. They are better equipped to support the ongoing digital revolution across the oil and gas industry. A 2015 article in the Huffington Post pointed out correctly that younger generations are applying technology to increase productivity and efficiency in manners that “herald an unprecedented chapter in the history of civilization.”
The oil and gas industry is witnessing the rise of Big Data, artificial intelligence, automation, and Internet of Things. The industry stakeholders have begun to analyze how this groundbreaking, and sometimes disruptive, technologies will play a role in enhancing performance and securing a long-term future for the industry. The future oil and gas sector will represent a very different industry from today. Increased digitization is pushing the boundaries, driving greater innovation, and improving productivity in the field.
Now, when the time has arrived to implement these digital strategies, millennials possess the technical know-how. Oil and gas companies today are pursuing talent that can help them improve operational efficiency and retain profitability.
Breaking the traditional outlook
Conventional methods and business models define the oil and gas industry to a large extent. With the changing times and dynamics at play, the industry is now recognizing the need for modernization. New thinking is needed for a re-examination of the industry’s approach to conventional development. Millennials bring along with them fresh ideas and perspectives.
Any radical change in the fundamental architecture is not expected. But there is immense scope in the way projects can be managed. From planning to the end of the supply chain, millennials can offer many creative solutions for the existing problems. It’s time to give the millennials in oil and gas more latitude. It will be interesting to observe them bringing more drive and energy in the system.
Concerned about the Climate
The Annual Deloitte 2019 Millennial Survey reveals that among the top twenty challenges confronting the society, the one that most concerns the millennials is “climate change” or “protection of the environment”.
We are aware that the oil and gas industry is infamous for its harmful impact on the environment. Though the oil and gas companies are making some serious efforts, a lot needs to be done to address the emerging concerns around global climate change. Presently, protecting the environment is an integral part of corporate social responsibility in oil and gas industry.
With the arrival of oil and gas millennials, efforts to mitigate climate change and environmental degradation may experience a spike. Since the millennials are very much concerned about this issue, they would contribute a lot to a positive change within the industry.
Supporting the argument, a report by KPMG highlights that “this generation is unique in its social consciousness, and nowadays 63% of millennials expect their employers to contribute to a social cause”. This strengthens the case for oil and gas companies to cultivate a reputation for social responsibility, which involves environment protection.
Pushing Cultural Transformation
A report by Deloitte entitled “The millennial majority is transforming your culture” draws attention to some interesting aspects. Despite the fact that the millennials are not content with their current status quo, they talk about changes that would reflect progress in creation of an inclusive, purpose-driven workplace culture. The modern oil and gas industry can further the dialogue and take some concrete steps in the right direction.
According to the research, here are some cultural elements that the oil and gas millennials can bring in the industry:
- Oil and gas companies can become more socially conscious if purpose-driven work is prioritized.
- The industry can work on complex problems with the invention of new ways of doing business.
- The oil and gas millennials will be empowered with flexibility in their career path. Working on different aspects of the business, millennials will help the companies strengthen their business goals, strategies.
- Oil and gas millennials are slowly breaking “This is the way we have always done it” mentality in the industry. With an innovative mindset, they are introducing new solutions to the same old problems.
By sharing some valuable insights, millennials have created the roadmap for what the future workplace culture in oil and gas companies can look like. Industry leaders can use this information to bring about positive cultural transformation in the workplace. Clearly, oil and gas millennials are aiming for higher growth, more innovative solutions, commitment, and a stronger connection with each other and the customers.
Preparing for the Great Crew Change
The older generation is approaching the age of retirement and the oil and gas millennials are expected to step up and take charge. The Great Crew Change is finally taking place and the industry needs to tap on to the potential of the new age professionals. Energy Dais can help the oil and gas companies attract the best talent across the industry.
Oil and Gas Millennials are poised to redefine the industry. Their unique experiences and capabilities will change the ways oil and gas companies conduct business, forcing them to examine their growth strategies for decades to come.
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Dais.)