Driving Employee Engagement at Transocean


At Transocean, our Vision is to create value for our shareholders, our customers and our employees. We know that measuring our progress and looking for ways to improve are two ways of achieving our Vision. That’s why we introduced our inaugural employee survey.

A Fresh Perspective — Yours

In fall of 2011, 9,593 Transocean employees participated in our first ever company-wide Your View Employee Engagement Survey. Fifty-six percent of  the employees who participated provided an additional level of feedback in the form of written comments.  

Survey experts consider our response rate to be excellent for a first-time survey in our industry. The employee feedback obtained through the survey is critical in allowing us to:

• Determine if we are doing the right things to build and foster a team that is committed to Transocean’s Vision and FIRST Core Values;

• Learn if we are providing the tools, information and support employees need to do their jobs effectively; and

• Establish a baseline against which we can measure our progress over time.

In a message to all employees, Steven Newman, President and Chief Executive Officer, expressed his appreciation saying, “Thank you again for helping us gain the perspective we need to achieve our Vision and focus on what matters most.”

Ultimately, employee feedback and the resulting action plans empower our future success and our reputation of innovation, quality and operational excellence.

As explained in this special Beacon feature, the survey results revealed areas where Transocean is performing extremely well and where we must sustain our efforts. However, we always strive for improvement. And, our valuable employee feedback identified some opportunities.

What We Do Well

The survey results are in, and the top five areas for Transocean are:

We Have Highly Engaged Employees — Overall, employee engagement at Transocean is high. That means a majority of employees support the goals, objectives and imperatives of Transocean and feel enabled and energized.  More specifically, 83 percent of participants responded favorably to questions measuring engagement. And 48 percent of employees at Transocean are considered “Fully Engaged,” which is in line with results for other companies.   However, we identified three uniquely important factors that help gain and maintain employee engagement at Transocean: our Execution, Communication and Respect for Employees.

Our Vision Is Clear — Transocean made a considerable investment in communicating its Vision and Core Values last year, and according to survey results, that investment has paid off.  Transocean employees understand our strategic vision and have confidence in the leadership’s ability to execute it.

We Believe We Have Career Opportunities — Employees acknowledge they have the opportunity to learn, grow and be recognized at Transocean. Most employees say they have a good idea of their career paths, have the opportunity for personal development and growth, and believe their performance on the job is evaluated fairly.

We Are Equipped to Get The Job Done  — The majority of employees say Transocean has the people in place to get the work done. They also noted that they are able to meet work challenges effectively, and that the company continually strives to ensure work processes are as efficient as possible.

We Lead In Technology Innovation – About three out of four employees (74 percent) recognize Transocean’s technological leadership and believe the company is well-positioned to compete with its industry peers.

Although we’re doing well in these areas, we must continue to build on our success year over year.

What We Can Do Better

In any organization, there is always room for improvement. Four common themes the survey revealed are:

1. Our Communication From Leadership Must Increase — Employees asked that we provide more frequent, timely and candid communication from our leadership team about our strategy and financial performance. Additionally, there is a need to establish better communication between our managers and employees, as well as between our onshore and offshore teams.

2. Our Management Must Be More Effective — Employee responses identified that we must ensure that managers are equipped and enabled to:

• Help employees more clearly link their jobs to team, division and company objectives,

• Treat employees fairly, equitably and with respect, and

• Motivate, recognize and reward superior performance.

3. Our “Employee Value Proposition” Must Be Clearer — Understanding the rewards that come from working for Transocean is important to our employees.  Time spent at and away from work, and the ability to more adequately balance work life and home life, is a key reward component. Employees asked for increased support in this area through programs and policies that help reduce excessive pressure on the job.

4. Our Processes Can Be Simplified — Employees requested that the company find ways to reduce administrative burden. So, we are challenged to continue to streamline our work processes and work more efficiently.

Survey Results

The entire survey covered 15 different subject categories, such as People Focus, Integrity and Honesty, Management Effectiveness and the Transocean Deal — all that employees get out of working at Transocean, such as pay, rewards and career development.

Employee responses to questions within these subjects were then further compiled to create four key index categories — Engagement, Leadership, Communication and Safety. These indices combine similar topics so we can focus our improvement efforts. They serve as a compass to guide short-term change and provide a solid baseline for measuring our progress in the future. The charts below and on the following pages depict the responses and results for the four index categories.

How Can You Help?

Beyond the survey results highlighted in this article, your local leaders have shared or soon will be sharing function- or division-specific feedback on what is working well and what action is needed to make Transocean even better. Over the course of 2012, you will hear more about company-wide actions. In the meantime, here are a few ways you can help:

Embrace change —To continue solving global energy challenges, we must adapt and adjust. That means change. Do your part by keeping an open mind to trying new things.

Speak Up — The survey is over, but we need all employees to continue sharing their feedback and ideas with their leadership team.

Be Patient — Although we are all working hard to make positive change as soon as possible in an organization of Transocean’s size, change takes time. Some changes may be small and swift, while others may take several steps and months to be noticeable. So be patient with your leadership as we begin to make the needed changes for our shared success.

Stay Focused — Transocean has a strong Vision and Core Values. We want that to continue. So, as we improve, employees should continue to stay focused on our Vision so that we can protect our reputation of innovation, quality and operational excellence.