Our people

The quality of our people is essential to the success of our company. During 2016, we employed an average of 92,000 staff in more than 70 countries.

Shell employees in a meeting at the Qatar offices (photo)

Employees review computer-generated designs at Shell’s offices in Doha, Qatar.

We work to maintain an effective and healthy organisation, resource talented people across the business, accelerate development of our people, grow and strengthen our leadership capabilities, and enhance employee performance through strong engagement. We recruit, train and recompense people to ensure our continued business success.

Our workforce

Around 40% of our workforce is in countries outside of Europe and North America. In 2016, we recruited around 800 graduates, 800 experienced professionals and 2,800 people in our Shell Business Operations. Close to 40% of graduate recruits came from universities outside of Europe and the Americas.

Shell aims to manage the impacts of business changes on people respectfully and as consistently as possible. Affected employees are supported in their search for alternative employment as appropriate by country law and policy.

Following the acquisition of BG, we successfully transferred three quarters of BG employees to a role in Shell.

Communication and engagement

We strive to maintain strong relations with our employees. Dialogue between management and employees is integral to our work practices; it takes place directly and, where appropriate, through employee representative bodies. Management briefs employees on operational and financial results regularly through a variety of channels. The annual Shell People Survey is one of the main tools used to measure employees’ views on a range of topics. For example, the average employee engagement score in 2016 was 79% favourable and 6% unfavourable (80% favorable and 5% unfavorable in 2015). The survey also measures employees’ views on the inclusiveness of their workplace. In 2016, 71% felt positive about this, while 12% felt negative about inclusion in the workplace, the same figures as in 2015.

We promote the safe expression and reporting of views about our processes and practices. We offer multiple channels for employees to report, confidentially and anonymously, breaches of the Shell General Business Principles or our Code of Conduct, or other concerns.

Diversity and inclusion

Embedding the principles of diversity and inclusion in the way we do business gives us a better understanding of the needs of our staff and our stakeholders.

A diverse workforce and an inclusive environment that respects and nurtures different people is a way to improve our business performance. We provide equal opportunity in recruitment, career development, promotion, training and reward for all employees, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical ability. We actively monitor diversity on a global level, and we measure representation of women and local nationals in senior leadership positions. Diverse teams led by inclusive leaders are more engaged, and thus deliver better business performance.

At the end of 2016, the proportion of women in senior leadership positions was 20% compared to 19% in 2015.

The representation of senior local nationals is monitored in 20 principal countries. We measure the percentage of senior nationals employed in Shell compared with the number of senior positions in their home country. The reporting shows two categories: local national coverage greater than 80% (10 countries in 2016) and less than 80% (10 countries in 2016).

Training and development

In 2016, we provided 548,000 training days for our employees and joint-venture partners. We focused on growing our leadership capability, improving skills in technical, safety and commercial areas, and increasing our expertise in specialist areas such as cultural heritage and indigenous peoples.