conversational AI

Overcome The Great Resignation in Oil and Gas with Conversational AI

While the Great Resignation is creating challenges for the oil and gas industry, they can be tamed with conversational AI.

The Great Resignation has hit the oil and gas industry disproportionately hard. Nearly all oil and gas companies are experiencing higher rates of turnover than before the pandemic. This is particularly true of employees aged 30 to 45, the seasoned but still young professionals that make up the backbone of most companies' professional staff. And the challenges of keeping employees satisfied are only becoming more complex.

An Airswift survey of over 16,000 energy professionals found that 79% of energy professionals expressed a desire to quit their jobs in the next three years. Most respondents reported that they plan to move to the renewables sector.

What Are the Implications of the Great Resignation for Oil and Gas Companies?

  • Projects are delayed because there aren't enough experienced people to keep them on track. 
  • New hires may be ill-equipped, both in terms of technical knowledge and strategic placement, to handle the challenges of their new positions when they are hired for critical roles too soon. 
  • The results of the dearth of experienced people are wells drilled in sub-optimal locations and unnecessary health, safety, and environmental risks. 
  • Costs can explode, and projects can fail when companies can't keep skilled people on the job.

Fortunately, there are several things oil and gas companies can do to address this challenge. Integrating conversational AI into management and training systems plays a critical role.

Expedite Onboarding

One of the most obvious outcomes of the Great Resignation has been that there are fewer seasoned professionals available to train and mentor new recruits. And one of the effects of the pandemic has been that older workers simply don't have the energy to interact with trainees casually. But there are basic facts about every job that are essential to job success.

One way to deal with a shortage of trainers and mentors is to integrate conversational AI into digital learning. Rather than using “canned” instruction, conversational AI is capable of customizing the learning experience for each new hire. They can adjust the pace of instruction to accommodate the employee's learning style. And they can interact with live data from the field to give onboarding employees a hands-on experience with the learning they will apply to their jobs.

Conversational AI will provide onboarding employees with the resources needed to succeed in their new role, as well as answer any inquiries they have. This saves senior employees time from micro-managing new employees while new hires still get the support needed to thrive in their new position.

Keep Your Best People By Giving Them Constant Opportunities to Upskill

Oil and gas professionals tend to be lifelong learners. Most oil and gas professionals are constantly looking for opportunities to add depth and breadth to their skills.

Over the last two years, however, oil and gas companies have had to slash their training budgets. The result is a mismatch between employee aspiration and company education. That same Airswift survey found that 41% of respondents in the oil and gas sector wanted more training and mentorship, but only 29% were getting it from their companies.

Training that keeps pros on the job is robust and individualized—and ongoing. Companies motivate valuable employees to stay on the job by always having one more opportunity for growth. 

Don't overlook training in modern technological tools as part of your employees' continuing development. Training employees to use conversational AI tools gives them a satisfying new skill, but it also primes their positions for greater efficiency. One of the best ways to add conversational AI to an employee's skill set is by giving them a virtual AI assistant.


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Equip Your Employees With Virtual AI Assistants

AI's "conversational" ability is to respond to the intent of a query. Conversational AI does not need prior utterance of a keyword to locate relevant information, and it learns more about what its users need with every interaction. For these reasons, conversational AI should play a part in every oil and gas professional's work life from their first day on the job.

Virtual AI assistants with conversational capabilities can access a wealth of information regarding the company's processes, regulatory compliance, and production data by connecting to enterprise internal systems and existing applications. The ability to interact with a virtual AI assistant gives every employee the ability to access essential information easily and independently, 24/7. 

Conversational AI isn't only valuable for onboarding new associates. Professionals already in place in their jobs can access data analytics to determine the optimal location for new wells, optimal spacing between wells, or production estimates.

Help Employees Achieve Better Work-Life Balance

A global study of worker satisfaction commissioned by Ernst and Young in 2021 found that 54% of employees are willing to leave their jobs to achieve a better balance of life and work. The oil and gas industry is a demanding one, but it doesn’t have to be. Through the automation capabilities of conversational AI, employees can significantly reduce their workload by automating tedious and often time-consuming tasks. 

Virtual AI assistants can automate tasks such as customer and employee inquiries, data sharing, and more. Employees can devote more time to strategic and value-add projects while the conversational AI agent handles the more repetitive tasks. With more time, employees can improve their work-life balance and ultimately improve job satisfaction. 

Make Work Meaningful

Gen Z and Millennial employees of oil and gas companies often have a strong urge to make their work meaningful. So, oil and gas companies need to let their environmentally conscious employees in on a not-so-secret secret: much of what oil and gas employees do is exactly the same as what renewable energy company employees do. 

  • Skills in reservoir modeling, for instance, are needed in the oil and gas industry–but they are also needed in the hydrogen industry.
  • Skills in geoscience are needed in oil and gas exploration, as well as geothermal energy production.
  • Skills in monitoring and maintaining production are essential at a refinery. They’re also essential for managing wind turbines.

Conversational AI allows employees the opportunity to hone these skills in a variety of ways. First, conversational AI provides employees with the means to gather information, answer questions, and seek resources–all of which can be used to further their skills in a meaningful direction. 

Second, conversational AI saves employees time by automating tedious tasks. Rather than filling out numerous repetitive forms or going back and forth through communications, conversational AI can handle these tasks. Employees have more time to upskill, perform strategic development, or simply spend time with their families. However employees may choose to spend their time, it will contribute to improved job satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately success–for both individuals and the company. 

Conversational AI Is the Future of the Oil and Gas Industry

About 92% of oil and gas companies worldwide already employ AI technologies. They use AI to assess the potential of specific reservoirs and customize drilling and completion plans, taking into consideration the local geology, challenges in supply and logistics, and climate conditions. Oil and gas companies use AI to optimize downstream operations.

Butoil and gas companies seeking to optimize human capital are increasingly adopting conversational AI. This next-generation technology makes interactions between employees and technology increasingly meaningful. It presents data in its most useful, analyzed form in minutes rather than days. It minimizes travel costs, worker comp costs, and property insurance costs and helps oil and gas companies keep workers on the job.

While the Great Resignation is creating new challenges for the oil and gas industry, these hurdles aren’t impossible to overcome. With the right solutions, such as conversational AI, oil and gas companies can act proactively in the face of the talent shortage–and thrive despite it. 

Interested in learning more about how DRUID’s virtual AI assistants can help you overcome the Great Resignation and other employee challenges? Book a demo!


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