As Canada’s oil and gas sector faces a period of low commodity prices and economic slowdown, we recognize our organization needs to respond quickly and resourcefully to achieve our sustainability objectives.
during wildfire emergency.
Workforce productivity at
during the reporting year.
As Canada’s oil and gas sector endures a period of low commodity prices, Syncrude recognizes our organization needs to respond quickly and resourcefully to achieve our sustainability objectives.
Toward this, we are responding with strong employee programs and support for a wide range of labour pool development initiatives, including those designed to increase Aboriginal representation and diversity in our workforce. We feel this focus can enhance attraction and retention rates, as well as build an organization of proud and motivated employees. We also prefer to hire from within the local Wood Buffalo region whenever possible.
Syncrude’s 2016 employee workforce was 116 people lower than in 2015, reflecting a multi-year effort to steward the workforce down through natural attrition and internal redeployment. This reduction continues to be achieved without any employee layoffs. Hiring occurred in essential positions and we welcomed 173 new employees during the year, including 33 Aboriginal employees. This brought Aboriginal participation to a 10-year high of 9.8 per cent of the employee population. Aboriginal representation in leadership positions, at 7.3 per cent, was also a new record. Local residents comprised 94 per cent of all new hires, almost double from the previous year and higher than our five-year average.
Workforce productivity was at its highest in 10 years at 21,000 barrels per employee. This was a remarkable achievement that was attained despite the impacts of the regional wildfire event and site evacuation which forced the shutdown of our operation and halted crude oil shipments for 44 days (see below). It is also a testament to the ingenuity and outstanding commitment of our employees, and their ability to manage adversity.
Syncrude made extensive efforts to support its employees during and following the regional wildfire that caused the complete evacuation of Fort McMurray for nearly a month and shutdown of operations. Upholding Syncrude’s Vision, Values and Guiding Principles, our senior leadership team committed early in the emergency to maintain employment and base pay for all employees, and to provide an emergency cash advance for all Fort McMurray-based employees.
Syncrude re-opened a shuttered work camp at our site to provide emergency accommodation to evacuated employees, their families and other community residents until they could be relocated to a safer destination (the Syncrude site itself was later evacuated for a period).
Outreach was quickly made to evacuated employees to determine their safety, whereabouts and inquire if they needed any immediate support. A 24-7 telephone support hotline was also activated, as was an information and help desk at the Edmonton Reception Centre for evacuees. Throughout the crisis, employees were kept informed via multiple channels about the response to the wildfire by Syncrude and other responders, the state of the community and the Syncrude operation, and plans for the eventual return to work. Syncrude also prepared and distributed a community re-entry guide, which contained helpful information for returning residents.
Mindful that such a traumatic situation can cause mental health effects on people, Syncrude communicated extensively about the services available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program, and provided related training to leaders so they could support their teams and steer those needing help to available resources.
A tool to facilitate engagement between employees and management received six inquiries during the year. Pipeline enables employees to confidentially ask questions of senior leaders, make suggestions or offer opinions on company policies, actions and plans. It is intended to enhance transparency, build an informed workforce and identify opportunities for continuous improvement. Topics of interest included shift schedules, busing and manufacturing downstream products.
Employees are also engaged through company-wide channels such as videos, newsletters, bulletins and a dedicated employee website.
Syncrude’s Initial Professional Development Program (IPDP), welcomes to our workplace new graduates working in a variety of different professional and technical disciplines. IPDP ensures they get the opportunities and training they need to grow and succeed at Syncrude. This typically includes two to three different development assignments and mentorship from more experienced professionals.
Participants spend three to four years in the program, which includes a rapid learning curve and progressive assumption of responsibilities. They are then promoted to the fully qualified level. About 105 employees were active in the program in 2016, 28 whom emerged as fully qualified professionals.
The Syncrude Network Advisory Program (SNAP) hosts quarterly networking events for our co-op/ discipline students and employees who are recent graduates. Bringing them together with Syncrude leaders, managers and executives helps promote better understanding of working life and culture at Syncrude and also fosters valuable cross-functional interfaces.
Syncrude’s Women’s Interest Network, launched in late 2015, continued to gain traction and members during the year. More than one-third of our female workforce has now joined the group, as have several male employees, which is working to provide mentorship, personal development, networking, community involvement activities and more. Syncrude’s Chief Operating Officer is the program sponsor and a senior manager chairs the WIN Leadership Committee.
Toward developing the next generation of employees and oil sands workers, Syncrude makes regular and significant investments in career training and exposure opportunities for young people. In 2016, this included support for:
|# under age 301||-||-||-||541||473|
|# age 30-501||-||-||-||2,817||2,780|
|# over 501||-||-||-||1,493||1,482|
|% under age 301||-||-||-||11%||10%|
|% age 30-501||-||-||-||58%||59%|
|% over 501||-||-||-||31%||31%|
|Temporary and casual (#)||133||156||127||119||157|
|Trades and operators (#)||2,827||2,848||2,827||2,661||2,620|
|Administrative, professional and technical (#)||2,256||2,340||2,294||2,190||2,115|
|% under age 302||-||-||-||4.4||4.4|
|% age 30-502||-||-||-||61.3||61.5|
|% over 502||-||-||-||34.3||34.1|
|% employees covered by collective bargaining agreements||0||0||0||0||0|
|Total new employees||326||508||138||75||173|
|# under age 301||-||-||-||48||95|
|# age 30-501||-||-||-||23||70|
|# over 501||-||-||-||4||8|
|% under age 301||-||-||-||64||55|
|% age 30-501||-||-||-||31||40|
|% over 501||-||-||-||5||5|
|Trades and operators (#)||189||331||95||30||125|
|Administrative, professional and technical (#)||137||177||43||45||48|
|Number of employees||474||467||464||461||470|
|% of permanent Syncrude workforce||9.1||8.8||8.9||9.4||9.8|
|% of new hires||9.8||6.3||11.6||14.7||19.1|
|% of leaders2||6.0||6.2||5.8||6.1||7.3|
|Number of employees||958||988||958||909||889|
|% of permanent Syncrude workforce||18.8||19.0||18.7||18.7||18.8|
|% of new hires||27.0||22.2||20.3||42.7||22.5|
|% of leaders2||12.7||11.6||12.3||12.6||14.7|
|New hire acceptance rate (%)||94||82||91||94||93|
|Local hires (% of all new hires)||76||74||82||51||94|
|All employees, including retirements (%)||14.2||7.5||4.0||6.6||5.8|
|Employee initiated termination (% of total attrition)||7.4||4.7||2.0||2.4||1.7|
|# under age 301||-||-||-||44||29|
|# age 30-501||-||-||-||124||90|
|# over 501||-||-||-||158||157|
|% under age 301||-||-||-||13.5||10.5|
|% age 30-501||-||-||-||38||32.6|
|% over 501||-||-||-||48.5||56.9|
|Company initiated termination (%)||0.8||0.7||0.9||1.3||1.3|
|Trades and operators (%)||12.1||8.5||3.4||5.6||5.0|
|Administrative, professional and technical (%)||16.1||6.8||4.8||7.8||6.7|
|Thousand barrels of production per employee||20.6||18.8||18.4||18.7||21.0|
|Average employee service (in years)||9.5||9.0||8.9||10.7||11.0|
|# of hours in training per employee4||-||-||45.41||41.57||39.25|
|# of total hours of training related to aspects of human rights5||2,044||6,114||4,757||3,716||2,552|
|% of employees completed training related to aspects of human rights5||14.0||9.1||8.6||5.6||4.6|
|Ratio of standard entry level wage to minimum wage6||3.5||3.6||4.0||3.6||3.4|
|Number of recognitions to employees7||5,081||6,519||5,457||3,838||5,130|
|Annual scholarships, bursaries and endowments ($)||1,033,200||971,964||814,329||749,045||663,000|
|Numbers of employee student scholarships||558||553||461||425||322|
|Number of tuition refunds to Syncrude employees||130||106||129||122||67|
|# of clients as % of Syncrude workforce||16.3||16.8||19.7||16.3||19.5|
|Anonymous reports of non-conformance9||11||18||18||11||11|
|Confirmed cases of non-conformance||0||1||1||0||0|