I have just had the pleasure of attending and contributing at Superyacht Investor 2020 in London which was an educational, inspiring and well attended event for Superyacht Industry professionals and support services.
The themes were very varied and amongst the topics discussed were the environment and the yacht of the future, what experiences and toys charter guests are going to expect in 2020 and beyond and several fantastic presentations and panels focused on crew.
Here are just a few of the crew focused topics discussed and observations shared, which you might find interesting.
Millennials and Gen Z Crew – are they more difficult to manage?
There was a great debate about this subject and huge support and appreciation for the balanced view.
Many speakers admitted that they had been accused of being ‘overly ambitious’ or ‘difficult to manage’ when they were starting out whatever their age. Some even conceded to having been told they were expecting too much or were unrealistic in their youth. There were also a couple of Captains who can wear the ‘Millennial’ cap and were able to offer a personal perspective.
The work we do at Crew-Glue has indicated that these are the things that are important to crew.
- Immediacy – access to information via social media, What’s App, You Tube etc.
- Relevancy – relevant communication, delivered consistently, that explains WHY things are done the way they are.
- “Likes” – feedback about how well you are doing and where you might improve and recognition for a job well done.
- Development – opportunities to grow and progress in your role and in your life.
- Aspirational Experiences – to do fun stuff, see beautiful places & eat and drink the best.
Does this ring true for you?
Whether this is true for you or not, the general consensus was that with every generation, the evolution of the species and the way we like to do things, changes. That means that the previous generation are expected to either change the way they manage, or expect the new generation to revert to ‘the established way’.
It would be fair to say that we can learn from the previous generation and that they have the experience to keep us safe and developing our skills in the best way.
It would also be fair to say that the younger generation have new ways of working and creating new processes using modern methods and technology.
So, who is right? You decide.
Our panel discussion explored what is currently available to support crew welfare and that, alongside a talk from The Reverend Canon Andrew Wright from The Mission to Seafarers, www.missiontoseafarers.org demonstrated how, alongside ISWAN www.seafarerswelfare.org there is a surge in support of these issues and for ensuring crew have somewhere to go. Reach out to either of these organisations if you need someone to talk to.
Is yachting just an ‘Insta Job’ rather than a career these days?
This discussion centred on crew joining boats for short term jobs, gap years and seasonal work.
Is the rise of the ‘Insta Job’ creating an expectation about the work that is unrealistic? Are green crew expecting to be capturing Instagram worthy photos at every opportunity? Is the ‘real’ story being hidden behind all these sunsets and beach pics?
I can guess that many readers will be saying ‘have you any idea how much time and money it costs to get a job on a yacht!?’ and you’d be right to call it. It isn’t an easy job to get and you need to have put in the time, effort and financial commitment to meet the minimum requirements for a job at sea.
If you are planning to do this only for a short time and are prepared to put in that level of investment then being completely up front about that might not seem like a very good strategy on the basis that the Captain or Management Company may not want to offer you a position, so how do you manage that?
Is it better to be honest and promise you will give 100% for as long as you are on-board, or to keep it to yourself and leave your options open?
There was a mixed response and the subject will continue until the people who make the decisions find a way to accommodate the shorter term contracts for those who have put in the ground work and are prepared to give it their all while they are working for them.
She of the Sea – Championing Diversity.
An inspiring talk from Jenny Matthews, ‘She of the Sea’ www.sheofthesea.com talked of a career at sea being accessible to everyone regardless of gender, race or age. She has launched a ‘pledge’ that will be an option for anyone in the industry to sign up to expressing their support for opening the doors to all those who would love to develop their career in yachting.
What do you think about the options for a career in yachting if you are not taking the traditional route from deck to bridge? What about interior to purser and then to general manager? What are the options that are available to you and do you know how to get there?
The role of a Captain as a Leader & Mentor.
Iain Flockhart, Captain and Yachtcrew Mentor www.theyachtcrewmentor.com was on a panel of his peers and also mediated the panel discussion about crew welfare that we contributed to.
Taking into account everything we have already covered in this article you will be encouraged to learn that the move towards a more modern style of leadership in yachting is well under way!
Leadership training has its roots in the military and many of the tenets are applicable in today’s modern teams, but not all. The number of stripes you are wearing is not the only indication of your ability to manage people.
The ‘human element’ is more and more prevalent in modern training methods and this step change combined with the good stuff that has always been a main stay for leaders and managers combines forces to deliver what our modern crew needs from their Captain and their HOD’s.
The Captains I heard from and spoke to were advocates for placing their crew at the heart of their role and keen to learn more about how to develop themselves to make that a reality. As an experienced leadership coach, I was delighted to hear so many excellent examples of role modelling behaviour in the room and feel sure that this is a sign of more of the same to come.
What are your views on the role of the Captain and HOD’s in your personal and professional development? What are your expectations of the job and are your needs in that department being met?
And if you are a Captain, where do you go for support and development or just an ear?
I’d love to hear your views and share more insights from your experiences so please drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org