People

At LINN, our people are the foundation of our business and at the core of our Values. These Values are evident through each individual’s commitment to LINN, and his or her level of excellence is what maintains our entrepreneurial culture and continues to make LINN a different kind of oil and natural gas Company.

Our recruiting and hiring philosophy begins with our Values. Our Values help employees understand the qualities and behaviors that drive our success and support our fulfilling workplace environment. We seek colleagues who can thrive in a fast-paced, Values-driven environment and who will be dedicated to the success of our people and our Company.

Success at LINN is not only defined by our overall success but also by each employee’s individual achievements. We believe there is hidden potential inside every employee and we strive to foster an environment where those talents are unlocked and each employee can realize his or her potential.

LINN’s Values-driven culture, unwavering respect for employees and passion for doing a job well, make safety an important cornerstone of our success. Safety is driven by our recognition that our families and the community are counting on us. We connect our desire to get home safely every day with every task.

In order to sustain this level of excellence, we continually seek out and hire top talent, develop and engage our employees, and maintain a constant focus on the health and safety of our employees.

Thanks to the steadfast commitment of our employees, LINN has grown, since 2003, from a small private Company operating a handful of natural gas wells to a publicly traded top-20 independent exploration and production Company, with approximately 1,800 employees across the United States.

We recognize that recruiting top talent can be a competitive endeavor in our industry. This makes it very important for us to demonstrate the value we place on our candidates. We strive to show future employees that we are willing to invest in them and their development from the beginning of their journey with us.

Employee Referral Program

Employees are LINN’s best resource to find additional top talent to meet the growing demands of our Company. Our Employee Referral Program incentivizes current employees to refer qualified candidates for any open position within LINN. This process helps us attract and retain qualified personnel, reduces risks associated with hiring unknown individuals and fosters a positive and supportive culture. Since January 2013, almost 240 employees have been hired as a result of this program.

Internship Program and College Recruiting

Internships are a great way for students to learn about and observe our industry and for us to invest in our future. Interns at LINN are given a specific, meaningful project to work on with the assistance of assigned mentors. At the end of the summer, some interns present their project to a group consisting of peers, mentors and leaders from the organization. In 2014, five interns joined LINN as full-time employees after graduation. As our Company grows, our internship program will continue to play a valuable role in identifying and securing top talent.

Interning for LINN was an amazing experience. The culture is great — I was treated like family and given responsibility beyond what I could find at any other company as a freshman and sophomore. I have never learned so much, seen so much and accomplished so much in two short months.

– LINN intern program participant,
Texas A&M

 

In addition to our internship program, we recruit from a number of outstanding colleges and universities. In 2014, we interviewed approximately 95 students from such schools as Texas Tech, Texas A&M, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas, Oklahoma State and the Colorado School of Mines. 

  2013 2014 Offers Accepted for 2015
Total Summer Interns 21 25 26
Total Hired to Start after Graduation 4 5 6

Hiring Veterans

LINN recognizes the many benefits in hiring military veterans. We support our troops and look to identify qualified military veterans to join our organization. We recruit, often for field positions, through job fairs and job boards at several military bases. We will continue to attend job fairs on military bases to promote opportunities available at LINN.

Learn more about how LINN encourages personal and professional employee growth by visiting here.

At LINN, we are dedicated to fostering professional growth and creating a welcoming and rewarding environment. We offer ongoing engagement opportunities and comprehensive benefits. Training is an important part of our employee development programs the more skills and experience our employees gain, the stronger our Company becomes. Finally, we reward our employees for exceptional performance, demonstrating LINN Values and achieving our Company goals. These development programs represent just a few reasons why LINN has been named a “Top Workplace” in Houston and Oklahoma, where we have some of our longest-standing concentrations of employees.

“The way upper management communicates with us regarding the direction and Values of the company, facilitates my performance and my pride in our organization.”

– LINN Employee, Trust Audit Survey

Employee Engagement

We place a significant emphasis on creating a work environment in which employees are respected and are able to take ownership in the future of LINN. Through our strong focus on Values, the environment is inviting, caring and transparent the door is always open to upper management. It is for these reasons that we believe employees deserve to be informed about the health and direction of the Company. To facilitate this conversation, town hall meetings are held on a regular basis to provide an opportunity for employees to discuss issues in real-time with senior executives. Since 2008, our senior leaders have hosted at least one town hall meeting per year at each of our locations. We continue to place a high value on this direct contact and plan to hold similar meetings in 2015. Senior leaders also often engage with employees during in-person visits to our various offices.

Additionally, LINN created an Extended Leadership Team (“ELT”) to support senior executives with the development and execution of breakthrough initiatives. The ELT is made up of 65 talented individuals who are expected to share insights from across the Company with each other and senior leadership. Proposed initiatives or significant announcements are first discussed with the ELT to gain additional perspectives prior to communicating or launching new endeavors within the organization For example, senior leadership communicated a plan to the ELT to establish a new, enhanced leadership development program.

Benefits

To ensure that we offer competitive salaries and benefits, we conduct annual reviews of energy industry compensation surveys and make adjustments as necessary. In addition to our comprehensive core benefits package, we offer several non-traditional benefits aimed at meeting the changing needs of our employees. Some of our benefits include:

Employee Stock Ownership: During the annual performance review process, all LINN employees are eligible to participate in the Long-Term Incentive Program (“LTIP”). The LTIP provides employees with the opportunity to earn restricted equity that vest over time. By truly making employees owners in LINN, we extend their ownership in LINN’s future success.

9/80 Work Schedules: We value our employees’ time and try to give them flexibility to accomplish life tasks and spend time with family during otherwise traditional business hours. Where operationally feasible, our 9/80 work schedule allows employees to work nine-hour days for nine days, receiving every other Friday off.

Education Reimbursement: Continued education for our employees not only makes them more capable, but also makes our Company stronger. To encourage our employees to pursue further education, we provide industry- and job-related tuition reimbursement up to $5,250 each calendar year. In 2014, 52 employees took advantage of this opportunity, receiving more than $178,000 toward their ongoing education.

Adoption Assistance: We recognize that adopting a child places many of the same responsibilities on families that other new parents face. We offer our employees with adopted children similar benefits as other new parents, including family leave and adoption assistance.

Talent Management

Developing and Valuing Employees - Talent Management

At LINN, we believe that successful career development combines experience, education and mentorship; builds on our employees’ current knowledge; and equips employees to realize their personal career aspirations. To help our employees develop at LINN, we provide opportunities such as:

Employee Training: Training programs are critical to our employees’ success. Since 2013, we have invested more than $1.3 million in employee training. For example, we offer an interactive e-learning system to help build competencies in upstream petroleum technology. Courses offered range from basic oil and gas industry overviews to engineering, geoscience and other advanced technical courses (750 courses in 120 oil and natural gas topic areas).

Performance Reviews: To provide feedback, as well as measure and document employee performance, supervisors conduct formal Career Assessments and Performance Reviews at least once a year. These assessments allow employees to set performance and development goals, track progress and discuss challenges and opportunities with their manager.

Mentoring Program: To foster growth within LINN and to help employees gain insight from other members within the Company, we piloted a mentorship program in 2014. Mentees work with mentors to develop skills and receive career guidance and professional growth advice. Similarly, mentors develop managerial skills and obtain additional leadership experience. Mentors and mentees meet at least once a month and work together to set goals and develop objectives for the meetings.

Recognition and Rewards Program: We are committed to rewarding our employees for exceptional performance. Formal and informal recognition and rewards are designed to promptly reward employees for extraordinarily demonstrating LINN’s Values and contributing to performance that goes beyond their daily job responsibilities. Any employee can nominate another employee or team for a reward. Human Resources and the employee’s manager review and approve the nominations.

Promotion and Retention

At LINN, employees have the opportunity to chart their own career development. We encourage them to grow into new areas of business and experiences. In some instances, LINN employees have moved up through the ranks to senior-level management. We actively seek qualified internal candidates to promote before pursuing external candidates for open positions. Since we are career-focused, most of the open leadership positions across the Company are filled each year with internal candidates. This approach not only helps to reduce recruitment costs and to increase employee satisfaction, but also contributes to the long-term retention of Company knowledge and culture.  In 2014, 161 LINN employees received internal promotions, an increase of 106 percent from 2013.

Developing and Valuing Employees - Promotion and Retenetion - Vince VanDelden - 400sq

Spotlight On: Vince VanDelden

 

Vince VanDelden never planned to spend his career in the oil and natural gas industry. In 1987, Vince was going to school to be a police officer and hoped to spend no more than six months working in operations at an oil field near Orange County, California. Twenty-eight years later, Vince is an example of someone who has found a long and successful career in the industry.

He began his career at LINN nine years ago as an Operator level-3 at the Brea facility in California. Since 2006, Vince has worked hard and been promoted multiple times first into an Operator level-4 role and then into a Specialist Foreman in Training position. During each of these transitions, LINN provided him with the training and tools necessary to be successful in his new role. Then, in 2010, Vince was identified for a new opportunity in Brea, California to shift from operations to an Environmental, Health and Safety (“EHS”) position. This promotion into an EHS role meant learning many new job functions to be successful managing the regulatory and permitting requirements of the facility. On-the-job training played a critical role in Vince’s ability to prepare for and execute new tasks. By adding EHS skills to his strong background in operations, Vince is even more prepared to take on different roles within the Company in the future. In fact, Vince was recently promoted from an EHS Representative to an EHS Senior Representative.

Five years into working within EHS, Vince cannot picture what life might have been like as a police officer.

“LINN is the best Company I have ever worked for. They have given me every opportunity I have asked for and a life I couldn’t have imagined.”

 
 

 

We strive to make LINN a Company that our employees call home for the duration of their career. However, employees do choose to leave the Company for a variety of reasons. For example, an employee may leave to move closer to family, to pursue a different career path or because of a life-changing event. In 2014, we saw a slight increase in our turnover rate from 8.8% to 10.5% due to a high level of transactional activity.  In light of the pace of change that occurred in 2014, we remain pleased with our rate and expect a recently created corporate initiative focused on employee development to help return our turnover rate to prior levels.

  2013 2014
Turnover Rate 8.8% 10.5%

Safety Management

Safety Management

To assess our safety performance, we conduct regular audits and inspections and proactively address any issues that arise. Audits involve all areas of our business, including operations, Environmental Health and Safety (“EHS”), administrative functions and exchange areas. We strive to correct any audit findings promptly and effectively.

We periodically conduct Latent Cause Analysis to determine the physical and cultural causes of near-misses, operational issues and incidents. This investigation process is designed to drive organizational improvements in addition to correcting engineering and behavioral issues. For example, through this process, we were able to place emphasis on the idea that personal challenges occurring outside of the workplace were creating distractions at a particular facility. Due to this finding, we took measures to create a culture that allows everyone to be open to share when an issue outside the workplace is weighing on them.

Process Safety

Process Safety Management (“PSM”) is the proactive identification, evaluation and mitigation or prevention of potentially harmful incidents that could occur as a result of failures in processes, procedures or mechanical equipment. At relevant facilities, LINN has procedures in place to handle PSM.

An example of a PSM element is operating procedures that describe tasks to be performed, data to be recorded, operating conditions to be maintained, samples to be collected and safety and health precautions to be taken. Operating procedures are reviewed by engineering staff and operating personnel to verify their accuracy and that they provide practical instructions on how to safely carry out job duties.

Another example is Process Hazard Analysis (“PHA”). A PHA is a systematic way to identify and analyze the extent of potential hazards associated with the processing or handling of regulated chemicals. A PHA provides information that assists employers and employees in making decisions for improving safety and reducing the consequences of unwanted or unplanned releases of hazardous chemicals.

LINN provides PSM training to applicable staff. We track process-related incidents to gain a better understanding as to why they occurred and how to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring.  LINN performs compliance audits and continuously strives to improve these safety metrics.

Employee Focus

LINN remains dedicated to safe operations so that all of our employees return home safely each day. We take action to implement programs aimed at mitigating safety incidents, highlighting good safety performance and making safety a meaningful topic for our employees and their families.

EHS Committees

To give additional ownership of operation-level safety performance to our employees, LINN formed EHS Committees in each of our operating areas in 2012. The committees identify, plan, assist in the implementation of, and monitor and report on EHS initiatives that promote a safe, healthful and environmentally friendly workplace. The EHS Committees are comprised of area individuals such as foremen, lease operators, roustabouts, office employees and EHS representatives. The committees meet frequently, often monthly, to discuss safety initiatives and the overall progress towards specific safety goals that are then shared with all employees during group safety meetings. As we acquire new properties, the expectation is to establish EHS Committees in those areas.

One successful example of an EHS Committee-led initiative occurred at our Michigan operations in 2014. Safety Committee members identified falls as a potential safety hazard. To mitigate this risk and prevent the potential for falls, Committee members recommended safety measures such as adding additional handrails to steps, rope systems and pulley systems. As a result of the Committee’s work, the facility implemented the extra fall prevention measures.

Good Catch Program

At LINN, we define a “Good Catch” as a close call or an event that had the potential to cause a serious incident, but did not. This could be due to good fortune, corrective action or intervention. The Good Catch program was created to allow employees to share lessons learned from close call events to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring. All Good Catches are tracked and published on our intranet so they can be used during safety meetings across the Company.

By asking four key questions, the Program is structured to allow participants to think critically about the incident and the possible alternative outcomes:

  1. What happened?
  2. What could have happened?
  3. What did you do?
  4. What could be the solution?

What Matters Most Program

To help personalize LINN’s safety message, the What Matters Most program was established in 2010. The program encourages employees to talk with their spouse, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends about everyday safety issues and healthy lifestyle choices. Beginning in 2011, a themed art contest was established for the children of LINN employees. Each year, employees are encouraged to invite their children to submit art work related to everyday safety issues and healthy lifestyle choices.  The art work is later judged and selected for publication in an annual book.  We believe that the contest and final products provide additional focus on safety, especially off the job.

  • 2011 – Why Work Safe (asked why it is important to work safe)
  • 2012 – Tell Us Your Safety Story (asked to tell us their personal safety story)
  • 2013 – Recipe for Safety (asked for a favorite recipe and their personal recipe for safety)
  • 2014 – Great Catch (asked them to tell us about a great safety catch that they had, similar to our Good Catch program)

What Matters Most

Contractor Focus

Contractors play a large part in our day-to-day operations and in the overall safety performance of our operations. We hold regular safety meetings with our contractors and conduct frequent contractor audits and validations to promote LINN’s culture of safety.

Contractor Safety Meetings

In addition to our pre-job safety meetings, LINN periodically reviews safety expectations with our contractors to establish safety standards. The safety meeting topics are developed by each facility’s EHS representative and address issues such as incident reporting requirements, minimum personal protection equipment and lock-out/tag-out procedures. Contractors are also given our Contractor Environmental, Health and Safety Requirement booklet to review and are asked to sign and return their copy to signify their understanding of LINN’s safety culture.

Contractor Validations

We perform several contractor validations each year in each location. Depending on risk, frequency of use and target activities, contractors are selected to review or audit environmental and safety procedures, giving a hands-on confirmation of expectations.

To verify that our contractors are properly screened, we use a subscription service that allows us to review a contractor’s programs and performance before we enter into an agreement with him or her. All new vendors are screened. Additionally, we maintain an Approved Vendor List that serves as the main resource when hiring contractors. Companies on the Approved Vendor List have already been vetted through the service and our internal processes.

Safety Training

Safety Training

LINN understands that ongoing training is essential to maintain a safe and responsible workforce. We provide a variety of safety training opportunities to employees, including an introduction to LINN’s safety culture during new employee orientation, hands-on training programs and training videos. Additionally, many EHS Safety Committees conduct training initiative programs. For example, the Committee at one of our locations developed a training station to simulate actual field conditions for lock-out/tag-out procedures. The training team focused on revising typical lock-out/tag-out training and made it into three separate initiatives: preparing the instructors, conducting classroom exercises and applying the skills learned in the hands-on training.

People - Badges

Across our operations, we have developed safety decals that can be added to an individual’s hardhat to demonstrate his or her participation in LINN’s safety programs, identify new people who may have questions and recognize good work.

Safety Performance

LINN regularly acquires new assets as part of our business model. Each newly acquired asset joins LINN with varying levels of focus on their safety culture and systems. At LINN, we place a high standard on safety and expect our employees and contractors to work in the safest manner possible. When integrating new employees, we work hard to ensure that their focus on safety meets our expectations. However, the integration process takes time and this will be reflected in our safety data.

  2011 2012 2013 2014
OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), per 200,000 hours worked 0.87 1.11 0.75 1.04
Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR) , per 200,000 hours worked 0.00 0.34 0.34 0.38
Preventable Vehicle Accident Rate, per 1 million miles driven 1.58 0.8 1.29 1.08
Employee Fatalities 0 0 0 0