Culture is the driving factor behind why people feel connected — whether it is within a company, an industry group, a recreational club or a nonprofit organization. Although often overlooked, connection is critical to organizational success and essential to unlocking extraordinary performance in employees.
Many tech companies are known for their flexible culture and cutting-edge work styles; health and fitness companies are recognized for their eco-friendly wellness programs; and retail companies often offer a friendly and fun work environment. Slowly but surely, employers are beginning to say farewell to rigid work schedules and incorporate flex time and other perks. The energy industry has been at the forefront of this cultural change, recognizing the importance of employees feeling connected for years.
Energy companies carry a culture of volunteerism and giving back to the communities where they live and work. The Women’s Energy Network (WEN) educates, attracts, retains and develops professional women working across the energy value chain through a network of countless volunteers. Each volunteer is empowered through her individual employer to be involved and to further develop themselves and other women around them. WEN took a deeper look into some of the organizations that encourage their female employees to volunteer.
One energy company making waves due to its corporate culture is Chevron. The Chevron Way aims to establish a common understanding among employees and those who interact with the organization about who Chevron is, what it does, what it believes and what it plans to accomplish. This approach of unification is likely a contributing factor to the company being ranked No. 9 on Glassdoor.com’s 2014 list of the 25 companies that employees say have the best corporate cultures.
Deloitte is a WEN national sponsor that supports multiple professional volunteers each year and is paving the way for employee development and retention through culture. In September 2016, Deloitte announced a new family leave program where men and women alike are eligible for up to 16 weeks of fully paid leave to support a range of life events affecting them and their families. This is a first-of-its-kind program for a professional services organization and a testament to its culture and drive to be a good corporate citizen.
Hess Corporation is a regular sponsor of WEN Houston and encourages its female employees to get involved. It also cultivates a culture of giving back to the community through education of not just its own employees, but of future energy professionals. In December 2016, Bismarck State College reported that Hess Corporation donated nearly $200,000 worth of oil and gas-related equipment to aid students studying energy — the third such time that Hess has given money and equipment to the school.
While some may view the companies we work for as simply organizations out to make money, the reality is that the culture of each company has greater impact on the bottom line than many realize. A company’s culture drives employee retention, employee satisfaction and community development. We can see these companies place a large emphasis not only on supporting their employees while physically in the office, but also fostering their development outside of the office. Additionally, they give back to their communities by encouraging volunteerism and promoting corporate goodwill. All of these benefits propel employee performance and provide a competitive advantage to any organization.
As you settle into the new year and work on new goals, challenge yourself to be a culture-driven leader who helps to shape, enhance or influence the success of your company’s culture. Seek to align yourself with high-caliber professionals whose leadership skills are invaluable. Network with executives or millennials who thrive on sharing lessons learned and personal experiences in their company’s culture evolution.
For more information about WEN, visit www.womensenergynetwork.org.