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Identifying what employees think using oil and gas job reviews

An image of two oil and gas job workers facing away from each other, overlayed with fading refineries in front of a green background.

While economic fluctuations have impacted businesses and employees across many sectors, oil and gas producers have had a profitable year. These companies’ financial security makes oil and gas jobs increasingly attractive to jobseekers.

To secure the best talent from this influx, companies need to hone their attraction and retention strategies. Prospective applicants will be doing their homework, and have access to more information about potential employers than ever before — meaning you need to know what your employees are saying about you.

One vital source of information is employee reviews. These ratings and accompanying descriptions offer a window into a what an organization is really like. Not only are they informative to prospective employees, companies should use them to identify feedback into where they can improve. Often, they can provide more honest employee feedback than eNPS surveys – as workers are more assured that reviews are anonymous.

To demonstrate the valuable insights companies can get from employee reviews, Relative Insight looked at Glassdoor reviews of four big names in the sector: BP, Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron. After uploading the reviews to the Relative Insight platform, we employees’ views of each company against one another. This enabled us to quantify the topics, words, phrases, grammar and emotions most prevalent in employee feedback for oil and gas jobs at each business within minutes.

This method of text analysis uncovered key areas which all four organizations should put at the heart of their talent attraction and retention strategies. To understand employee feedback faster and at scale, check out which of Relative Insight’s packages works for you.

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Shell employees talk about salary 8.5x more

People working for Shell were quick to praise the company’s salary and benefits offering. They were 8.5x more likely to talk about salaries and benefits overall. This included phrases like ‘generous salary’, ‘hefty bonus’ and ‘additional benefits’ — all of which appeared infinitely more in Shell reviews.

The company offers a generous salary and good additional benefits.

Diversity was the one clear area that employees thought Shell could improve on. They were 8.9x more likely to talk about this element when compared with other oil and gas job reviews. As well as noting the lack of diversity, some reviewers also suggested that the company’s culture excluded certain groups.

There’s a superficial culture, not diverse at all, turning into late 80s investment bank culture…

To attract and retain staff, Shell’s HR team should promote the salary, bonuses and benefits on offer at the organization. It must also evaluate the effectiveness of its diversity, equity and inclusion strategies with the aim of creating better diversity within the business — and build a culture that is more inclusive.

Relationships overindex 9.3x more at Chevron

At Chevron, the friendships co-workers build with each other is key to creating an enjoyable working environment. They were 9.3x more likely to reference words relating to ‘relationships’ than reviewers at other companies. This included words like ‘colleagues’ and ‘friends’. Employees were also infinitely more likely to use the word ‘meet’, highlighting that Chevron is a great place to meet people.

It’s a cool environment and you share it with friendly, highly competent colleagues.

The main drawback which emerged from employee reviews was the demands they are required to meet. The topic of ‘excess’ featured infinitely more within their reviews, particularly the words ‘overload’ and ‘overloaded’. The word ‘workload’ was also 6.2x more likely to feature in Chevron reviews – suggesting that employees are stretched by the amount of things they’re asked to do.

Workload can be a little bit high, on occasions can really feel overloaded with things to do.

Compared with other oil and gas jobs, positions at Chevron come with a workforce who like and value each other. The company’s talent attraction staff should focus on this within their messaging. Chevron’s people analytics team should highlight workload issues to key stakeholders — and work with them to mitigate for these as much as possible to aid retention.

ExxonMobil’s safe environment overindexes 7.4x more

ExxonMobil’s commitment to safety was appreciated by employees. They discussed ‘safety’ 7.4x more, praising the company for its focus on this aspect. Workers also used the phrases ‘good safety practices’, ‘safety is number one’ and ‘safety culture second to none’ infinitely more, highlighting that the focus on this element resonates with employees.

It’s great that safety is number one at the company.

However, there was also clear consensus on where the company can improve. Reviewers were infinitely more likely to describe ExxonMobil’s working environment as ‘old-fashioned’ or ‘old’ when compared with other oil and gas job reviews.. While employees accepted that the business was trying to ‘modernize’, using this word infinitely more, reviews suggest more needs to be done to achieve this.

They’re trying to modernize but also very much tied to an old-fashioned working culture many people left in the pandemic.

The HR team and senior stakeholders need to press on with their modernization efforts, given it was the aspect of the business which drew the most complaints from employees. However, it needs to do so without compromising its prioritization of safety, which workers view as a huge positive.

BP employees talk about managers 10.2x more

Interestingly, by analyzing verbatims it was clear that BP employees were broadly positive about working for the company. However, there was no single topic which overindexed in comparison to other organizations’ oil and gas job reviews.

The two areas that were more likely to appear were around managers and processes. The former had both positive and negative feedback. BP employees talked about ‘managers’ 10.2x more. Some reviewers used words like ‘understanding’ (14.9x) to describe their bosses, while others were more negative, using words like ‘selfish’ (6.3x) to highlight their dissatisfaction.

The managers are egoistic, selfish, and lack leadership skills.

The team I worked with was very supportive during difficult periods for me personally. The manager was very understanding of all employees. They were very understanding whenever I needed time off.

Employees agreed that the size and complexity of the company has led to convoluted processes. Reviewers talked about ‘processes’ throughout the business 12.8x more, while also using the word ‘lot’ 5.1x more to highlight the number of processes. BP workers reference these in numerous departments, including HR (in relation to promotions/career progression), finance and technology.

Due to processes, things can be a lot slower than you’d like.

Mixed feedback around managers means BP should identify its good managers and enlist them to train managers who receive negative feedback from their teams. It should also look to streamline processes – particularly around promotions and career development, as this will be a drag on retention.

Honing talent attraction and retention strategies for oil and gas jobs

While Glassdoor reviews are a great information source for people analytics teams to understand what employees are saying about a company, their sheer scale – particularly for big brands with tens of thousands of employees – makes it difficult to discern trends and themes.

Using Relative Insight’s reviews analysis software has identified key insights that can be incorporated into attraction and retention strategies for oil and gas jobs at four big brands. Encompassing hundreds of thousands of words, the tool analyzed this text data within minutes, allowing us to quickly identify and quantify key areas that these companies’ HR and people analytics teams must look to change or emphasize.

Need to make sense of employee feedback to create pinpoint talent strategies? Relative Insight is here to help — find out more about our analysis packages now.

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