Energy industry talent development stategies

Energy_industry_stategiesFinancial rewards are the traditional way of keeping the workforce happy. However other incentives can be just as effective - Image credit to

 Financial rewards are the traditional way of keeping the workforce happy. However other incentives can be just as effective

First came “crew change” - the effect of skilled workers reaching retirement age simultaneously in the Gulf. Then it was immigration reforms tightening the labour market in the North Sea. HR administrators in West Africa's own offshore zones always seem to have something to worry about despite the positive effects of Local Content legislation.

Retaining existing employees is just as important as recruiting top quality in the first place. So Incentive Management has moved up the agenda as the $100 barrier for Bonny Light has been once again passed.

Incentives vs rewards

Back in the days when $75 was an OPEC objective – just two years ago – recession gave energy bosses a good reason to forget about employee incentives like flexible working hours, a better accommodation package and more annual leave. HR professionals distinguish 'incentives' to perform better from 'rewards' that are triggered by actual output, such as meeting drilling targets. Incentives drive better performance in the future. They reward discretionary effort which affects the business's bottom line, minimising physical and financial risks, keeping budgets under control and building team spirit. Nowhere is this more important than on a rig where it's the weakest link in the chain, even the time and temperature at which dinner is served, that sets the pace.

Such 'recognition incentives' are effectively self-funding with the organisation getting something back immediately on delivery, unlike the traditional bonuses which can be so long in the offing that recipients forget what they were awarded for in the first place.

Conversely cancelling any details of an established incentives plan can have an immediately negative effect on output, completely out of proportion to the theoretical savings made. This is especially true in an active oil province like the Gulf of Guinea where many employees have experienced conditions around the globe. And aren't hesitant about talking about them.


Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W:

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