It’s all a bit bleak for the North Sea Oil and Gas industry if the news over the past few months is anything to go by. The barrel price has dropped and continues to fluctuate, redundancies are still being announced almost weekly, shift patterns are changing, maintenance concerns are raised, profits are down and budgets are slashed causing dramatic cost saving measures across departments, assets and teams.
Alongside these articles and headlines, inefficiency is consistently attributed as the cause for such widespread problems across the industry and consequently, efficiency should be what we strive for.
It can sting to be told we are working inefficiently. It’s a phrase we associate with not working hard enough and often those carrying out the work get the blame. This is rarely an accurate reflection of the problem and can lead to a vicious cycle resulting in low morale, motivation and productivity.
So could our problems be solved by working more efficiently? Referencing the Oxford Dictionary definition ‘achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense’ – in an industry so notoriously plagued by reports of both operational and cost inefficiency – it seems like a sensible place to start.
But where do you actually start? Efficiency often comes back to communication.
Effective communication of processes, procedures, expectations and objectives can go a long way. These are often engrained within the roots of organisations but seldom considered and applied consistently to routine tasks or operations.
- What is the business trying to achieve?
- What is the strategy to achieve this and why?
- Where do I fit in?
Could you confidently answer these questions? Are you satisfied that everyone in your team could answer them too? Would their responses be consistent?
Something as simple as a team not working towards the same goal can lead to inefficiencies.
But what if this goal has been poorly communicated? What if practicalities make it unattainable but those setting the objectives have no idea? What if I think you are responsible for that task but you think I am and neither of us have checked?
Good communication relies on a two way flow of information. Creating an environment where this can thrive is an excellent first step towards working smarter and more efficiently together.
Find out more about our various training and change programmes that can help you and your team work more efficiently and effectively together.