I write about millennials all the time. I do this mostly because I am one, and I have a lot of friends who are as well.
Given my background, I can tell you that millennials are a handful in so many ways. We’re a generation that demands more, loves our gadgets, and cares deeply about social issues around the world. We believe social media can help just about any situation, and we’re champions of the power of the internet and technology.
Given that we’re a “different” kind of generation, how will we affect the oil and gas industry when the older folks retire?
The fact is millennials will make up the majority of the US workforce by 2020. Because we’re so fluent in all things digital, we will bring our own expectations of technology, collaboration, and work-life balance to the industry.
We will most likely demand more meaningful work and social responsibility, which could prove detrimental to the agendas of oil and gas companies all over the world. Social responsibility, for us, means taking better care of the environment while also providing sufficient oil and gas for the world.
Where social responsibility and efficient oil supply meet is where we want to be.
We want to make more of an impact on the companies we’re working for. We see the levels and the hierarchy of the office, but we expect more. In a lot of ways, we want direct lines of communication to everyone–even the CEO. We believe collaboration is important, and that these corporate levels obstruct progress.
Millennials live to work–not the other way around. We expect our jobs to marry perfectly with our purpose and personal life. Because of this, we aren’t so worried about pay–we’re more worried about benefits. Lower pay rates could become a thing in the years to come.
On the other side, we do want more responsibility in our work, and we expect it on the outset. Oil and gas companies will have to come to terms with this fact, among all the others.
So, how can the oil and gas industry cope with us millennials?
They can do it by opening up to collaboration, focusing on benefits instead of pay, giving us a little room to express our opinions, and finding that gray area where social responsibility meets the duties of their job. I’m sure, in time, all oil and gas companies in the industry will roll with the punches, and create organizations that millennials will thrive in.