Advice for Managing Houston Oil & Gas Layoffs

February 3rd, 2015

Houston’s energy industry has been facing big layoffs and spending cuts due to plunging crude oil prices. While paying less at the pump is good for the consumer, it’s costly for companies and employees. Consider these statistics:

  • Schlumberger – 9,000 employees cut
  • Apache – 5% of workforce cut
  • Halliburton – 1,000 employees cut

In addition, as a top staffing and recruiting firm in the energy industry, Murray Resources knows the situation may actually get worse before it gets better. How can you manage well during layoffs – and keep your remaining staff productive and on task?

Start by following these tips:

Communicate often.

During difficult times it’s critical for your staff to know where they stand, even if the news isn’t good. Now is not the time to shut down the lines of communication. In fact, you should be communicating with your employees more than ever. You may not be able to offer any guarantees, but at least you can explain to them why you are making the decisions you are. Even if you don’t know what the future will bring, lay out a few possible scenarios so your staff can prepare.

Show compassion.

Whether an employee has been laid off, or left behind, the situation is difficult and both need time to let the news sink in. In addition, don’t think that your staff is simply “happy to still have jobs”; they’re likely mourning the loss of co-workers and friends and wondering what the future holds for them. So show some compassion and offer as much re-assurance as possible.

Cut the perks.

Nothing will upset and frustrate employees more than dealing with potential layoffs, only to see management going out for expensive lunches. Now’s the time to “walk the walk” and cut the unnecessary and expensive perks.

Thank employees.

Those left behind may have to take on more work to keep the company running. Make sure you show them appreciation for doing so, whether it’s bringing in lunch every once in a while or simply saying “thanks.” You want your team to understand that you’re all in this together and that you recognize and appreciate their contributions.

Prioritize work.

With fewer employees doing more work, it’s important to prioritize to ensure no one gets burned out. Meet with your team members and go over responsibilities to determine what isn’t mission critical. Create a list of priorities and make sure the most important tasks are focused on first.

Stay calm.

Your team is going to be taking cues from you. So it’s important to stay calm on the surface even if you’re stressed.

Layoffs are never easy. But if you manage them right, you can minimize damages and ensure your people survive and stay focused on the future of the company.

If you need additional human resources help for your company, call Murray Resources. As a top staffing and recruiting firm in the energy industry, we can help take the hassle out of HR. Contact us today to learn more.

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