Spotlight: Our ONE Team Culture

SWN’s success depends in large part on the contractors who work alongside our employees daily. We have always emphasized that SWN employees and contractors are ONE Team, and we are committed to making sure everyone, at every SWN site, returns home safe every day.

In 2017, thanks to our strong culture of safety and our comprehensive health, safety and environment (HSE) management system, SWN employees had record safety performance. But contractor safety performance has not kept pace.

In 2018, therefore, we are refocusing our efforts to work as ONE Team with our contractors, building a common culture based on open communication, collaboration and shared accountability to reach one goal: zero safety or environmental incidents.

“I believe we need to have one team and one culture to achieve the ultimate goal of incident-free operations,” explained Clay Carrell, SWN’s Chief Operating Officer. “I want our contractors as well as employees to know how much we care about their safety. There is no line drawn between contractors and SWN employees. We’re all in this together, we all care about each other equally and we all want to get home safely to our loved ones.”

Building ONE Culture

We have worked hard to build a culture at SWN in which employees are empowered to make honest evaluations of our safety and environmental processes and performance and are rewarded for identifying and discussing their concerns. More effectively including our contractors in this culture is a central part of our ONE Team approach.

In early 2018, we held ONE Team summits across our operating divisions.

At these summits, senior leadership from SWN and contractor companies worked together to align our goals and vision regarding HSE success, discussed ways to improve our shared culture and performance, and underscored management support for the ONE Team culture. SWN and contractor senior leaders also took the ONE Team message to the field, meeting with workers at SWN sites to discuss what it means to work as ONE Team. We will continue both leadership- and field-level ONE Team conversations and activities throughout 2018.

In our daily operations, we emphasize that contractors, like SWN employees, have full authority to stop work on a job site if they see any safety or environmental risks. We also include contractors in our various safety and environmental processes and trainings, including the following:

In addition, we include contractors in our HSE assurance program, which helps to ensure accountability for following HSE expectations and standards. A critical component of the ONE Team culture is that the assurance assessments are not punitive; they are opportunities for building a culture of safety and collaborating to improve.

Early Results

As we continue to press for zero incidents, we are seeing early positive results from our recent ONE Team efforts. For example, we have improved on key indicators, including number of SWN and contractor leadership meetings, joint Job Safety and Environment Assessments and hazard hunts, and STOP® observations. In addition, contractor and SWN employees are increasingly willing to discuss problems, hazards and near misses and work collaboratively to develop improvement plans.

Contractors have also expressed a stronger commitment to SWN and say they see real benefits from being part of our ONE Team.

“The big thing that’s unique about SWN is the support we get,” said Brandon Mango, President and CEO of Elite Trucking Services. “The reality is there are risks in this industry, and when there are issues, instead of kicking you out, SWN reviews them with you, works with you to figure out what went wrong and how to reduce risks and learn from mistakes. If I have a driver who makes an error and he takes accountability and he’s learning, that makes him a better and more valuable employee. SWN takes the same approach. They’re committed to the vendors who are trying to do the right thing all the time.”

How We Will Achieve ONE Team, ONE Culture, ONE Goal, ZERO Incidents

  • Encourage an environment in which concerns, ideas and best practices can be shared in an open dialogue
  • Promote engagement with all members of our team by establishing a shared vision
  • Provide trainings, educational resources and useful tools to promote continuous improvement
  • Engage with our ONE Team members in various settings to enhance communication and collaboration
  • Commit to more frequent SWN and contractor leadership engagement with field personnel
  • Facilitate ongoing discussions with ONE Team leadership to evaluate our progress and identify areas of opportunity
  • Hold ourselves accountable
  • Publicize, reward and recognize good ONE Team HSE performance