Although their locations and histories differ, the Rumaila and Khazzan oilfields are quite similar. They both offer energy lifelines to their home countries (Iraq and Oman) and both operate a large, diverse workforce. We were asked to create and manage employee newspapers to communicate field activity and help bind the diverse workforces.
The role of an employee newspaper in bridging gaps in communication cannot be underestimated.
Working in the field, in a facility miles away from anyone else, its easy to feel disconnected. The newspaper is where employees can be recognised, tell their story and connect with the rest of the organisation. Facing difficulty in your work environment and reading stories about co-workers can be inspiring and motivating. Similarly, it helps employees connect to the hopes, concerns and strategies of the business, in a way that is tangible.
But to achieve all this in a newspaper is tricky, especially when it is influenced by corporate messaging and sensitivities around what the organisation feels it can say.
In designing and drafting the employee newspapers our most important objective is to ensure that the views and opinions expressed by the paper are trusted. This can only be achieved if the paper feels honest and deals with the subjects that employees want to hear about, in a way that matches their own experiences. Both newspapers are produced in dual language (English and Arabic), which encourages a multicultural workforce to read from the same publication.