Oil prices rise, but what have we learned?

Karran Bonner, MD at Brightside (Training & Coaching Experts) examines the lessons we need to learn from this period and how the recent decline can make organisations stronger.

No one can argue it has been a challenging year for the city of Aberdeen due to the decline in oil prices but let’s learn from this and create new opportunities.


Poor communication has been a recurring theme across companies throughout this period. Communication and clarity of message needs to be honest and straightforward in challenging times. I have been privy to discussions around leadership not having simple answers as to how redundancies were being made. I have been forwarded emails containing incomplete information and also seen key members of an organisation being omitted from communication completely. What can we learn from this? Communication is key. Simple, honest and straightforward communication goes a long way to enhancing the engagement of your team and building trust. Employees understand in challenging times that redundancy may be an option, this has been a typical scenario across the UK since 2008. What people aren’t equipped to deal with is being left in the dark with little or no information. Being left out of the picture means that the rumour mill runs riot and this will be detrimental to the long-term future of the organisation.

The Skills Gap

You will be aware of the skills gap that exists between the old guard and new talent that is being promoted through the ranks. Organisations now need to invest in their people to equip them with the knowledge and soft skills they require to be productive. Ongoing development is crucial to help to retain talent and keep staff motivated. Oil & Gas has been renowned for a high staff turnover and this is contributing to the skills gap. It is estimated that an organisation begins to recoup their investment in a new employee at the end of year two. In an industry where the majority of employees are changing roles every 18 months this fact alone can be crippling. How can you truly develop a skilled workforce when it is so transitory. It is important for the Oil & Gas industry to now create development plans and support a long term approach to staff. To truly create a well trained and able workforce the training strategy needs to be created as early as possible on the employee journey.

I urge the industry to reflect on these two fundamental factors: Communication and The Skills Gap. Now is the time to address these head on to make for a more positive, engaged and skillful workforce who will help the industry thrive again.

Please contact Karran directly to discuss this further: info@brightsideinspiration.com