The steady decline in oil prices, while certainly disruptive, creates significant opportunities for forward-thinking companies to seek and gain a competitive advantage. The idea that an organization can turn adverse situations into an advantage underlies Mercer’s view that while short-term actions are necessary, organizations cannot ignore the long-term implications of those actions in a volatile market.
The price of oil is not all that is changing. Earlier Mercer surveys of oil and gas workers indicated that base pay overshadowed all other reward elements by a significant margin. However, recent Mercer studies ranked job security highest in importance (April 2015). In other words, oil and gas employees are more concerned about keeping their jobs during a time when many organizations are cutting investments, freezing pay, or eliminating jobs. If the recent instability in oil prices raises the relative importance of job security, then it is reasonable to expect employee concerns to shift again once prices stabilize or rebound.