The workforce is the core engine that pushes the propulsion systems of any company to work and actually its role is doubled when it comes to the oil and gas industry due to the people-involved offshore and onshore operations that are more like a naval fleet in a national mission. From this vantage point, Egypt Oil and Gas (EOG) was keen to shed the light on the human element while Egypt is celebrating the Labors’ Day on May 1st and conducted this interview.

How the Human resources management (HRM) role in the oil and gas companies is different than in other companies, especially in terms of those employees whose missions are in the field (onshore, offshore) and others who normally work in-house?

HRM as a function should not be different at any industry, however, in the Oil & Gas services, it is more involved in business as a business partner to most of employees, especially those who work offshore in a very tough environment and remote areas. Thus, working from home is not an option for our technical employees who constitute 80% of our manpower. Our office employees like HR, Marketing, Supply chain, Admin, Crewing, etc. are the support teams to the offshore employees, so they should be available 24/7 to support and find solutions for any problem as quick as possible.

How did the Covid-19 pandemic crisis affect the HRM strategies and what are the corresponding plans set to keep employees motivated and productive during such critical time?

Covid-19 affected the Oil & Gas industry as a corollary to the measures attended with the pandemic. Most of offshore works were achieved in a time longer than usual due to air travel suspension and other measures attended with the COVID-19 crisis. When you are in the sea, there is no room for mistakes, so we have applied many strategies to keep our employees motivated through studying our their performance motivators and then providing the drivers notably marked capable of pushing all employees everywhere forward in such critical phase.

Do you see constant communication between the HRM department and employees is necessary for keeping the company’s performance up? Why?

Sure, positive communication is the key to any company success. I believe HRM involvement with employees to know about their needs and aspirations and the open door policy are best ways to inevitably increase employees’  productivity and to level up their performance.

In the light of the internal transformation policy that is being applied in Maridive, how this is reflected on the HRM  approach in the company?

Maridive Offshore Projects is a business success case that should be taught. We indeed have a vision that the change is necessary, so we have started the transformations three years ago and this is reflected on the HRM policies as new positions were opened to support the transformation with a new business ideas and to expand our business to new markets. We have set a plan to get these positions and ideas linked with the company’s balances score cards and succession plan.

As Maridive is currently optimizing its performance to reach a structure more adaptable to the new norm, what are the corresponding plans set by the HRM department to cope with the new norm as well?

Yes, we actually have a set of new strategies and procedures to cope with the new norm, for instance, we are applying a Hay Guide Chart that involves talent acquisition and Talent Management strategies to help support our business

From an HRM perspective, what are the main factors required to build a creative, fully engaged, and agile team capable of delivering sustainable profitable growth?

In my opinion, building a team work environment is harder than establishing a corporate. We here in Maridive call our employees and managers as “Maridive Family” and we here as HRM believe communication, discussions, open door policy, contribution, and loyalty are the main keys to build a strong reliable team and also to manage performance upon clear job descriptions and key performance indicators. These indicators are interfaced with the company strategic plan.  In this regard, we are applying Balanced ScoreCard Strategy that implies four perspectives as follows; learning and growth, internal process, customer and stakeholders, and financial. Improvement with the internal capacity through learning drives to improved internal process, which in turn drives to improved satisfaction in both sides of customers and stakeholders. This finally leads to improved financial situation and thus profitable growth.