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Retention of Talent and Elevation of Performance among Petrotechnical Professionals

Frank Wantland
Wantland & Associates, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Retention of talent has become a strategic industry issue. Business analysts consider access to the talent pool on a par with access to capital among key industry needs. Shortage of talent may limit the ability to take advantage of significant opportunities. The solution to the retention issue will be found, however, in highly purposeful dialogue between working professionals and their leaders and mentors; and the process will be high touch, in depth, and long term. All other things being equal, retention is intimately tied to high personal performance and leadership. It can be delayed temporarily by money, but money is never a long-term solution. Top talent stays to do meaningful work in the company of stimulating peers in an environment that fosters creativity. The problem is that most leaders do not have the training to deal with retention and attrition. The need is to educate and train leaders and mentors to establish and manage a creative climate, and to engage professionals in a series of essential conversations that are ‘tipping points’ in career development and the gateway to higher levels of performance and a commitment to stay. These conversations about professionals are best addressed for professionals by professionals. For many mid-career scientists and engineers, mastering these techniques could help them resurrect the much-needed and highly valued role of mentor within their organization. They could play a key role in recruiting, developing and retaining the technical workforce for years to come. The cost of attrition is much higher than the cost of the training required.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90158©2012 GCAGS and GC-SEPM 6nd Annual Convention, Austin, Texas, 21-24 October 2012