In a recent poll on our LinkedIn page, we asked Drilling Managers to vote for what they believe is the most important daily habit to do their job as effectively as possible. ‘Offering discussion opportunities’, ‘Daily HSSEQ discussions’ and ‘Holding efficient meetings’ were among the votes, but a focus on team spirit was the top habit, receiving 43% of the votes.
Following these results, we’ve decided to do a deep dive on the topic of team spirit to help Drilling Managers optimize this fundamental component of their role. In this blog post, we interviewed Brad Parker, Team Leader of Well Interventions/Platform in our Australia office, to find out how he instills a sense of team spirit in the work he does…
Why do you think team spirit is so important for a successful drilling campaign?
“Well intervention requires a strong sense of ownership, as this allows each person to take on individual responsibilities throughout the project life cycle, while also helping to instill a sense of problem solving as part of a wider team.
“You have a broad range of skill sets and job titles working on the same project, from a design and well engineer, to a project manager, logistics coordinator and technical assistant - they all have to work together. If any one of those positions aren’t united in the same goal, this could result in a failure to meet deadlines, increased costs and rework where things have gone wrong or not been communicated properly.
“By applying a collaborative approach, placing emphasis on communication and transparency in project planning, the different roles and specific tasks are well understood and integrated within the team, which will help to keep any issues to a minimum.
“From a manager or team lead position, you’re having to oversee each role so you need to take a situational leadership approach to ensure each person understands what is required of them and can effectively communicate between all stakeholders.
“Having a strong leader who is willing to do this is fundamental - if all your team members understand their scope clearly, they’ll be able to work towards the deadline and common goal successfully.”
What are some of the challenges involved when creating a sense of team spirit?
“I think any challenge comes down to team culture - if the workplace isn’t a positive space then it can be very difficult to get everyone on board in building a strong and successful team. If you can create a positive dynamic and an enjoyable place to work, you can shape the way your team functions and how they get the job done.”
What are 5 things that drilling managers or team leaders can do to foster team spirit?
- “Check-in with individuals - ask how they’re doing and how you can assist them in their role.
- “Understand the different traits in each person and adapt your approach accordingly. Everyone is different - you need these human differences to create a successful team, but that also means that you need to find the most effective way to communicate with each individual.
- “Celebrate successes. There are always going to be tasks to get done and projects to complete, but don’t forget to make a point of celebrating every win - it’s crucial for keeping your team motivated and engaged with the work they’re doing.
- “Review and implement continuous learning opportunities where relevant. This is also very important to keep your team motivated and ensure you are all becoming a stronger, more efficient team. Encourage your team members to grow, learn and continually develop their skills - and do what you can to support their development.
- “Take the time to reflect and improve upon current systems and processes. It may seem like things are going well but getting feedback from your team may unlock efficiencies and help to make processes even more streamlined.”
Tell us about an instance when working as a team helped overcome a problem on a job?
“I was involved in a well intervention project for an exploration and production operator, which required collaboration between four service providers to achieve project Scope of Work. This involved remedial intervention activities in order to return the well to its service.
“By placing emphasis on weekly communication and engineering engagement, we were able to overcome the project challenges and return the well to service safely, on time, and on budget - which is a great success.
“Working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic presented its own set of challenges for this project. Not being able to physically be together in the same room was difficult, and meant the project required more diligence on each person without being in the office. We had to be collaborative online using technology - I was working with different service providers in Australia, Norway and USA, so the use of cloud-based technology allowed for clear communication for all those involved, no matter where we were.”
What could go wrong if a team doesn’t work together effectively on a rig or platform?
“The consequences can be pretty catastrophic if you don’t have a strong team on the job - not only for the company but for each individual as well.
“Lack of communication and teamwork could result in health and safety issues at the individual level, where a team member could face an injury or, in the worst case, a fatality. If you consider the wider implications of what could go wrong as well, you’ve got a huge environmental impact if there’s loss of containment or a release of hydrocarbons to the environment.
“Of course, these catastrophic results will cost the company huge amounts in terms of reputational damage, but it will also lead to huge financial costs from a loss of production in order to fix the issues. It can be upwards of $1million financially, not just for the company but for their client too. So it really is vital that you have an effective team on the job who are working well together to get the job done safely and efficiently.”