Monthly eNewsletter from the IADC

From the Chairman: We must embrace new employees, give them a sense of belonging

In the May/June issue of Drilling Contractor (DC) magazine, 2023 IADC Chairman Andy Hendricks discusses industry’s challenge of finding and retaining new talent, as well as some possible solutions. 

People are the single most important part of what we, as an industry, do. Hendricks poses a valuable question: 

“As an industry, we have made great strides over the decades and must continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of these new individuals. But how are we doing at facilitating a sense of connection and belonging for the people who are adjusting to life on a rig?”

Ensuring that employees are well trained and properly prepared for their jobs is one of the most vital responsibilities of industry leaders. People enter this industry with a wide variety of preexisting knowledge, skills, and experience levels. Some come to the industry without any prior industry-specific knowledge or experience. As long as they’re willing to learn and companies are willing to teach, they can move forward together. 

Hendricks discusses some important points from a recent Vdoorlocksmith interview featuring well-respected IADC Members Kenny Baker and Mike Holcomb. Baker and Holcomb discuss how important it is for new employees to feel like they’re part of a team and that their employer has their back. 

Companies and leaders can demonstrate how much they value and appreciate their employees in a variety of ways. The IADC Permian Basin Chapter has recently introduced a new program for drilling contractors to recognize and reward Short Service Employees (SSEs) who have demonstrated dedication to the company’s HSE policies and a willingness to learn. The Chapter visits the rig and presents the SSE honoree with a $1,000 check and Chapter hats and t-shirts for the crew. 

Hendricks discusses how Patterson-UTI prioritizes safety and continuously tries to create a welcoming environment for all of their employees, especially the newest ones. 

He ends the editorial by stating, 

“The work is not always easy, and for some people our industry may not be the best fit, but when someone makes the choice and wants to join our industry, let’s continue to do everything we can to give them the best chance at success at a new career with us.”