More so than previous generations, Millennials and Gen Zs expect employers to provide them with opportunities for fulfilment, meaning and the ability to give back. Rather than just a job, they are searching for purpose and the opportunity to make a difference.
While superyachts have not typically offered this experience, bringing a crew together to work for a charitable cause can benefit more than the charity itself. In fact, tapping into this energy can not only deliver a feel-good factor from helping others, but improve onboard performance, team spirit and crew retention.
Over recent years businesses have come to realise that there is an equal if not greater gain to their organisations when staff work together for the benefit of a charity. Whether through fundraising or tackling a practical project – such as renovating a building or cooking for the homeless – the bond that the team creates is unique, and the experience provides crew with purpose beyond the day job.
In addition, motivational levels may increase as individuals learn new skills, step outside of their comfort zones and challenge themselves. Any sort of charitable work may present opportunities to work on skills such as leadership and communication, influencing, negotiating and being more flexible and adaptable.
Working for a common cause can also be a great leveller. Stepping outside of the work environment and applying different skills can bring people to the fore who might normally melt into the background. It gives everyone the opportunity to come up with new ideas and discover hidden talents.
Last year M/Y Laurel delivered supplies and rescued 50 dogs after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas. The crew took it in turns to feed the dogs, take them to the onboard grass patch (Laurel has an experienced boat dog amongst its crew) and gave them loving care and attention. They also raised funds for some that required surgery. Aside from getting into the press and no doubt making the crew feel proud of what they achieved, the level of team spirit achieved could not have been developed in a day out paintballing or go-karting. In addition, these events and experiences will form lasting memories for the crew.
Many superyacht owners are philanthropists, and may be more than willing to enable crew to tackle such projects. One leading philanthropist / owner is Ernesto Bertarelli, who with his family founded the ‘Bertarelli Foundation’, which provides crucial support for innovative science and in particular ocean science. As a keen sailor and diver he is acutely aware of the deterioration our oceans are going through, and has been key in creating a number of marine reserves across the world. His yacht Vava II has been used by research scientists on a number of expeditions, and he is keen to see sharing of knowledge across the various disciplines to work towards improving our oceans. Even without a dedicated supporter of the oceans for an owner, there are many ways to help out. Could your boat run a beach clean-up? Look for ways to support research? What can you and your crew contribute to protecting our waters?
There are many more yachts and crew working to make a difference, such as M/Y Dragonfly, who provided water to the residents of Vanuatu after the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam. What does the culture these yachts are creating say to you. If you were to take a job on board what could you expect to gain, and in return how do you imagine you would be expected to behave?
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on everyone the world over, but some good has come from it too. Communities who would not have previously spoken to each other have volunteered to deliver food and medication to those more vulnerable. In the UK people would stand on their doorsteps on a Thursday evening to clap for the hard work of doctors, nurses and carers, speaking to neighbours often for the first time. One street created a music video, another a song, and Captain Tom raised £40 million by walking laps of his garden… just before his 100th birthday! We hope that the new bonds and relations will endure when this is all over, and it certainly proves that charity matters.
Charitable work can be a great way to bring your crew together, sharing a common goal and giving purpose to everyone. Engage your Millennials and Gen Zs in deciding what that project should be and help create some amazing memories, a fulfilled crew and great team spirit. Impact Crew is ready to support you on this journey – just give us a call
Karen Passman of Impact Crew
t: +44 (0)1425 614 419
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