Employees of supermajors believe there is still room to lower costs and that cutting red tape is the best way of creating value, a new report has revealed.
The study by equity research firm Redburn was based on the views of 200 core staff members employed across 37 countries by seven supermajors.
Redburn tabulated 100 pages of feedback as posted in the past year to Glassdoor.com, a website where employees anonymously review their employers.
It found chief executives at Shell, Chevron, Total and BP have high approval ratings, despite cost reductions at those companies.
A total of 79% of employees view senior management positively, supporting cost-deflation strategies.
Employees generally sympathised with the need to continue cutting costs. They generally felt their working terms were attractive despite swinging headcount and wage reductions instigated during the downturn.
Redburn estimates total headcount has fallen by about 17% from 2014 to 2017, average real wages have dropped by 20%, but that labour productivity has grown by 30%.
French business Total was rated as the best run major, while ExxonMobil is thought to have the most intense work environment, compensated by the highest pay and benefits.
BP and Shell employees expressed most discontent over cost-cutting to date.
On a more positive note, the UK majors stand to gain the most if they simplify their processes, which were perceived as being overly complex and bespoke.
Shell enjoyed a high overall rating from employees while its CEO Ben van Beurden was viewed as one of the best company leaders.
Shell employees also hold their peers at the company in high regard, according to the survey.
However, employee testimony suggests Shell has focused most actively on headcount reductions and offshoring to lower costs, which raises questions about the firm’s ability to deliver growth with a slimmed down organisation.
In-house systems were not always viewed as having added value, and Redburn’s lead energy analyst, Rob West, said this could be a fruitful area for Shell to target as it tries to create upside for shareholders. Senior management at BP were extremely well perceived, though attitudes toward divisional level bosses were less positive. Employee feedback alluded to extensive headcount reductions at the company.