How to Change Jobs Within the Engineering Industry

Retaining top talent continues to be a challenge across all industries, with PWC’s CEO Survey 2023 advising that keeping workers happy and engaged will be a “mission-critical priority”.

Last year, our Subsurface Oil and Gas Salary and Employment Survey showed 58.7% of professionals surveyed had contemplated leaving the industry in the previous 12 months. The reasons included a lack of employment opportunities, instability of work and a desire to work in a different industry.

The survey also asked professionals if they would consider accepting a new job in the next six months and an overwhelming 90% said yes. The most important factors when considering a new job opportunity were remuneration, company culture, work/life balance and career progression.

These findings are all supported by a different PWC study that suggests employee retention can be improved through offering flexibility, fair pay, fulfilling work and an opportunity to be one’s authentic best self at work.

So how do organisations operating in the oil and gas, mining, engineering and construction industries put together an employee retention strategy that reduces attrition and keeps hold of their best talent?

Hire for the Long Term

It may sound obvious, but investing time upfront in your recruitment strategy can improve employee retention. It’s a case of accurately identifying the right person for the job and onboarding them in a way that nurturing and efficient.

To enhance the initial recruitment process, you can follow a range of simple steps such as reducing the time to hire, keeping candidates informed at each step of the way and creating interview questions that ensure you best understand which applicant can deliver on the job.

The time between making a job offer and your new starter walking through your doors is also critical. You should maintain consistent contact throughout their notice period, invite them to any social events taking place and help them feel like part of the team. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of them reneging on the offer, but it will also help them integrate more seamlessly when they do start.

A well-planned and implemented onboarding process shows new starters they are valued and demonstrates how you will treat them over the course of their career. It’s important you are able to show applicants at each step of the process they have made the right decision to join your organisation.

Prioritise Career Progression and Development

If you want top talent to stay, you should map out a clear career journey for them. By giving them goals to work towards, and structured support to reach those goals, you will increase loyalty as well as retention rates.

Career progression plans go hand-in-hand with training and development, by identifying motivations and aspirations as well as areas for improvement and growth. You can implement regular meetings on a quarterly or annual basis to check in and see if extra support or training is needed.

Don’t forget informal opportunities as well, such as mentoring, shadowing and cross-collaboration with other teams. This kind of on-the-job development shows employees where how they can grow within your business and also expose them to different teams or silos where they might acquire new skills or be challenged in a different way. The ultimate plan is to help them grow into new roles within your business rather than applying somewhere else.

Understand Individual Motivations

When putting together an employee retention strategy, it can be easy to jump to themes around flexibility and development. While these are certainly intrinsic to any successful plan, it’s essential that employers remember to not only apply broad brush strokes.

The reasons each of your team members comes to work every day is different. Some could be motivated by money, while others thrive on getting stuck into a good challenge. Some are juggling commitments at home and the workplace, whereas others would love to be parachuted into site far away from their base.

Listening to and understanding your employees’ reasons for coming to work each day should not only inform their career development plans but also their remuneration packages.

Tailor Benefits and Perks

It’s no surprise the right benefits and perks can make a big impact when devising your employee retention strategy. For many people, it’s the key way an organisation shows how much they value your time, contribution and wellbeing. For others, it’s the number one reason they clock in each day.

Following on from the point above, it’s critical for organisations to understand what motivates their employees before designing a benefits package. Benefits packages should also link directly to the organisation’s Employee Value Proposition, core values and culture. Often, this is the reason applicants will have chosen to work with your organisation, and there’s nothing worse than finding out these values aren’t practiced on the job.

If you’re an organisation committed to employee health and wellbeing, you can offer perks such as gym memberships and private health insurance. If you have a strong focus on the environment and sustainability, you can consider incentives around carpooling, remote working and electric cars.

In terms of remote and hybrid working, our Salary and Employment Survey findings showed nearly 85% of employees want to continue working from home in some form and just under 20% would consider looking for alternative employment if working from home arrangements were cancelled.

Provide Purpose

The desire for fulifilling work has been a trend since the pandemic, when professionals across all industries started to evaluate their work “purpose”. Defining what achievement and success looks like will be different for each employee ­ some will be looking for a sense of social good whereas others will simply want to see how their day-to-day actions contribute to the big picture.

Consider sharing good news stories across your organisation or profiling the work of individual employees who are creating change. Another way to achieve this is to help employees feel part of the company’s strategic goals and business objectives. By linking individual roles and responsibilities to the overarching business, team members will feel more motivated to help achieve organisation-wide outcomes.

Support with Your Employee Retention Strategy

Our team at Patch Personnel are specialists in oil and gas, mining, engineering and construction recruitment. We talk to candidates every day who are looking for new opportunities, so have a solid understanding of what employees are looking for an how organisation’s can retain their top talent. If you’d like to speak to one of our team about help with your employee retention strategy, please contact us today.

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