Poor balance between work and life combined with little recognition exacerbate exhaustion
Fifty percent of oil and gas workers are finding their work exhausting with 39 percent feeling emotionally frustrated. These are the findings from O.C. Tanner’s 2023 Global Culture Report which collected and analyzed the perspectives of over 36,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and business executives from 20 countries around the world, including 186 from the oil and gas industry.
The report suggests a number of reasons why oil and gas workers are suffering both physically and emotionally, with a poor balance between their working lives and personal lives more likely to result in exhaustion and potential burnout. In fact, when an employee doesn’t have the balance right, they are 89 percent more likely to suffer burnout. An organizational culture that doesn’t prioritize staff recognition will also increase the odds of poor mental health, with employees who feel appreciated for their efforts and results, 80 percent less likely to suffer burnout.
“Employees feeling exhausted with their day-to-day work is symptomatic of a workplace that needs urgent attention” says Robert Ordever, European Managing Director of workplace culture expert, O.C. Tanner. “Leaders need to take an honest look at their culture to see whether their people have a good work-life balance, are regularly recognized, and feel part of a supportive and purpose-driven community. If these elements are lacking then employee mental health will invariably suffer, and the business will experience high levels of absence and staff turnover.”
If employees are to obtain a healthy balance between their work and personal lives, the report recommends that leaders give their people a say in how they work, as well as what work they do. Organizations must also establish pragmatic practices and expectations that support balance, while ensuring employees have opportunities to take time away from work without feeling any pressure, guilt, or obligation to work during their time off. Ensuring senior leaders communicate and demonstrate the importance of balance is also key, thereby making it a normal, natural part of everyday culture.
The culture must also be one of support and appreciation, in which frequently and authentically recognizing employees’ efforts, achievements and career milestones becomes commonplace.
Ordever adds, “For employees to feel energised and fulfilled by their work, they must know that their efforts and results are appreciated by both leaders and peers. This means nurturing a culture of integrated recognition in which acts of appreciation are given, witnessed and received every single day.”
The O.C. Tanner Institute collected and analyzed the perspectives of over 36,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and business executives from 20 countries around the world. The results demonstrate that employees crave community, leaders require urgent attention, personal fulfilment is a new benchmark, generalists provide exactly what organisations need now (if allowed), and symbols can increase the power of recognition dramatically.
The O.C. Tanner Institute uses multiple research methods to support the Global Culture Report, including interviews, focus groups, cross-sectional surveys, and a longitudinal survey.
Qualitative findings came from 10 focus groups and 81 interviews among employees and leaders of larger organizations. The groups and interviews were held throughout 2021 and 2022, each representing various types of employers, including both private and public entities.
Quantitative findings came from online survey interviews administered to employees across Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The total sample size was 36,441 workers at companies with 500+ employees. The O.C. Tanner Institute collected and analyzed all survey data. This sample is sufficient to generate meaningful conclusions about the cultures of organizations in the included countries. However, because the study does not include population data, results are subject to statistical errors customarily associated with sample-based information.
About O.C. Tanner
O.C. Tanner is the global leader in software and services that improve workplace culture through meaningful employee experiences. Its Culture Cloud is a suite of apps and solutions, including recognition, service awards, wellbeing, leadership, and celebrations that help people thrive at work. O.C. Tanner provides these and other services for thousands of the most respected companies in the world. For more information visit www.octanner.com/uk
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.