Across every organization – large or small – and in every industry, communication and staying connected is a necessary challenge. We all experienced the “Zoom boom” in 2020 when much of the world went remote but tried to still maintain some form of face-to-face interaction. As people, we need to connect personally, and at work we need to communicate to remain in-step and operating at peak performance. Solving this challenge, or attempting to, is not a one size fits all approach. As a drilling company with operations spanning the globe, and a workforce who often operates in remote locations, we’re constantly looking for new and better ways we can foster a culture of connectivity.
So what’s one way that Helmerich & Payne is trying to stay connected?
We call it the FlexCall.
Every Friday morning, you will find hundreds of H&P employees gathered up to discuss the latest in safety, performance and personal experiences. We know that communication is key to encouraging a collaborative culture and recognizing the value of Teamwork through shared lessons learned and recognition of employees exhibiting The H&P Way is what the FlexCall is all about.
The FlexCall dates back over 20 years ago, in 2002, when 32 new Flex3 rigs were deployed. Out of necessity and with an innovative spirit, the FlexCall was born. Originally planned as a daily call to discuss operations of each rig and troubleshoot issues, the primary goal was to decrease downtime.
While decreasing downtime remains a topic – we are in the performance business after all – the call has transformed to be much more. Rig crews around the world have the opportunity for two-way communication every week. Rig crews in West Texas can learn from crews in Colombia. When new training is rolled out or additional safety programs are announced, everyone is part of the cascade
KEEPING IT RELEVANT
Curating a variety of relevant and timely topics, coordinating schedules, and creating content can be a full time job - that’s where I come in. As host of the FlexCall, I work with presenters and strategically select relevant topics, bringing engaging, intentional and value-adding discussions. Sustaining participants is achieved by maintaining a sense of ownership through collaboration, and an involved audience ensures a dynamic experience. People call in week after week because they know they have a platform to be heard.
At the beginning of each week, our safety and operations leaders meet to discuss what topics are most relevant. They ask, “What safety gaps have we seen that need to be addressed? Who in our different districts has firsthand knowledge and can speak to it?” There are calls where we announce corporate messages, like upcoming benefits enrollment, but for the most part the FlexCall is about communicating and sharing with each other about operational challenges, lessons learned and best practices.
Sr. Vice President of Operations, Mike Lennox, is also a major stakeholder in this call and makes it a priority to attend and actively participate each week. “If we want a collaborative culture that feels they can speak up and really be part of a team that Actively CAREs for one another, then that starts at the top, said Mike. If our leaders are not bought in, then how can we expect others to prioritize it?”
MAKING SAFETY PERSONAL
People show up for people, and we grow through being vulnerable with one another. That’s why building a forum for individual teams to come together and feel part of one team is so important. If we are not communicating and learning from each other, then we are not progressing and we are not building a culture that prioritizes what matters most – our people.