50% of the workforce in Oil and Gas will be retiring in the next 7 years.

And for every 2 people retiring from the Oil and Gas Industry there is only 1 new person joining. Thankfully recent polls seem to suggest that the vast majority of the leadership in the industry realize that capability development is a business strategy. As many also realize that till now they are not managing and measuring this process as well as they could.

Its not hard to understand why. The challenges are substantial. Succession planning gaps can stretch to 20 years in some positions and for many organisations balancing shifts, budgets and the needs of the business conflicts with developing people.

For many organisations the big challenge is where and how to begin.

One of the real changes comes with the young workforce themselves. Millennials do not do things the way Baby Boomers and Generation X did. They have different expectations in terms of their careers and the way they are developed. long classroom sessions are being phased out in terms of smaller punctuated sessions blended with plenty of interactivity.

And if technology is not playing a significant part in the learning in your operation at the moment, all of that will change.

Creating coaches and mentors out of our more experiences members of the team is also now crucial. There is no operation that can simply let 20-30 years of experience walk into retirement without trying to impart some of that wisdom before they leave. Just because these people have the knowledge does not of course mean they can easily communicate it. We should never underestimate the impact experienced coaches and mentors can make. As people begin to develop through their career, traditional training makes way in part at least to developing experience. This needs guidance if its going to work.

One of the biggest areas of change is the requirement to measure the impact of all of this investment. Many organisations are now starting to look more closely at Direct and Indirect Impacts in order to calibrate methods and budgets. No longer can training department attempt to prove their worth with some ‘Happy Sheets’ showing post course feedback as a method of measurement.

Oil and Gas has long since been accused of lagging behind at times. Well it would appear that time has now caught up and if we know anything about about the industry it has never been short of innovation when times get tough. That innovation is certainly needed now.

“The downturn forced organizations to make fairly dramatic changes to their workforces and talent programs. More revisions must be planned to catch the upswing,” Jim Matthewman