During one of the worst periods of Texas’ oil downturn in 2015, 34-year-old engineer John Nelson was seeking a new job. Austin’s Parsley Energy stood out to him.
“Even during the downturn, their reputation as a good operator is what drew me in,” Nelson said. “We’ve stayed fairly hedged since the downturn, which has allowed us to stay in good shape.”
Parsley’s business structure during the downturn, along with its professionalism, prime downtown location and close-knit working environment, helped it rank No. 1 among midsize companies in the American-Statesman’s 2017 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project. It’s the second consecutive year Parsley has made the rankings.
Parsley is a young company, having been founded in 2008 by Bryan Sheffield, the company’s chairman and CEO. The publicly traded company, which operates several hundred oil and natural gas wells, grew quickly through its successful drilling in the Permian Basin. Parsley now employs 450 people and produces more than 64,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. In addition to Austin, it has major operations in Midland and Delaware basins in West Texas.
Employees said Parsley has also experienced growth because the company has hired a diverse workforce and created a collaborative working environment where employees are encouraged to share ideas.
Employees also said the company’s leadership has staffed departments with top-level engineers and workers who elevate the firm, and its headquarters building offers high-tech features such as video conference rooms that allow staff members to more easily perform their jobs.
“Parsley has such different ideas and has such different perspectives of seeing things,” said Danielle Reyna, a 29-year-old drilling engineer who began working at Parsley last year and has been in the energy industry for seven years. “We have this one big melting pot of solutions, so whenever there’s a challenge, we listen and get everyone on the same page.”
Parsley’s success is even more notable because the company is based in Austin, a city not known for oil companies, Nelson said.
The company’s downtown offices offer a comfortable working environment that Parsley management enhances with opportunities such as a staff coffee each morning, 38-year-old land administration manager Whitney Shine said.
The coffee, along with other regular staff get-togethers, is a strategy for employees to continuously be in contact with one another and form better working relationships, Shine said.
Shine joined Parsley in April after reading positive reviews about the company. He’s planning to stay at the company long-term, he said, because Parsley has exceptional managers who give workers a clear direction but also allow them to have their own input.
“They make sure everyone’s comfortable and taken care of,” Shine said. “Parsley puts people in the right position to succeed.”
In anonymous comments from employees during the Top Workplaces survey process, Parsley workers stressed the company’s collaborative culture and its management team’s positive influence.
“I work with people I genuinely like and have a vested interest in,” one worker wrote. “It is a place that fosters innovation, learning and advancement and the leaders demonstrate the same kindness, integrity and commitment that trickles down throughout other departments and the entire company.”
Another worker said: “I can practice my profession in a collaborative environment, with talented and motivated colleagues, in a well-managed and well-funded company, for mutual benefit of me and the company.”