I know of no one who likes to go to work, accomplish tasks to the best of his or her ability, leave work feeling as if their employer doesn’t appreciate their efforts, and return the next day knowing a pay raise is unlikely. Unfortunately, results released this month by Change Recruitment, a recruitment provider based in Scotland, showed that is the case for some oil and gas professionals. More than a quarter, or 26%, of the oil and gas workers who took the survey said they felt unappreciated by their organization. A whopping two-thirds of the respondents, or 73%, believed they would be better paid if they worked for a different organization. And more than half, or 54%, felt they would land better benefits if they jumped ship. Survey results also showed that almost half, 48%, had not received an inflationary pay raise in the past two years; and only 10% said there were structures in place within their organizations to make sure that pay keeps up with inflation. “The figures highlighted that frustrations are starting to show as three quarters (75%) confess to job hunting, with almost half (44%) of those looking for a move, doing so in order to take a step up,” according to the news release revealing the survey results. These statistics should be a warning sign for oil and gas companies not only in the UK, but elsewhere. Why? In some areas, skilled workers are already scarce. And with the graying of the workforce threatening to push experienced workers into retirement, companies should do all they can to not only recruit workers and provide on-the-job training, but also do what they can to keep their employees on staff. The industry’s workforce continues to be a topic of concern in the US as well. Earlier this year, Clover Global Solutions – a Houston-based firm that specializes in recruitment and consulting – said that half of the oil and gas industry workforce is between the ages of 50 and 60, while only 15% are in their 20s to mid-30s. The average age in the industry is 48; however, some companies say the average age of their workforce is in the mid-50s. The expected surge in the number of retirees will not just hit the oil and gas industry. It will impact other industries as well. And that creates opportunities, leaving the door open to anyone who wants to jump ship, go where they are more appreciated, and perhaps get more money. Those opportunities could come within and outside the industry. This lack of job satisfaction in the areas of pay and appreciation could have negative impacts on company projects and ultimately, their bottom lines, especially if other opportunities arise for unsatisfied employees. Employers should consider spreading the wealth when their companies perform well, giving employees more incentives for jobs well done, and making an effort to boost morale. Something as simple as a fun activity or contest, free food, or shutting down early (without cutting pay, of course) could work wonders on some job sites. And to the employees, know your worth and continue striving for improvement. “The failure of pay raises to keep pace with inflation ultimately amounts to a backwards step in earnings for employees. It is really disappointing to see that only one in 10 organizations have the appropriate structures in place to assess pay,” said Laura Drysdale, Change Recruitment’s international managing director. “However, if remuneration is the only gripe an employee has, then I would advise them to speak to their current employer and put their case forward for a pay raise before embarking on a search for a new job,” she added. “It is important that workers know what their market value is so that they know they are getting a fair deal.” Research for the survey was conducted in September, generating 800 responses from UK oil and gas professionals listed in Change Recruitment’s candidate database, the agency reported. Contact the author, Velda Addison, at vaddison@hartenergy.com.