One of the world's largest shipping companies with massive operations all over the globe has thousands of seafarers and hundreds of ships under its name. The company regards constant learning, training, and development of its staff as a crucial aspect that drives its success.
Comaea Consulting was already engaged with this company on various human capital development programs for the shore-based staff. When the top management of this firm realized that the technical excellence that their seafarers have and management courses like BTM, ERM that they attend as part of regulatory requirements and competency certification process are not enough to meet the complex and demanding human problems they face, so they decided to opt for a leadership transformation for its sea-going staff.
In response to this need, the ship management company contacted Comaea Consulting to design a leadership training program for its thousands of seagoing staff spanning across different geographies to be delivered in 8-hour long 2-day sessions.
Working on this project was a unique opportunity for us because it was challenging enough to push us and create something incredible.
The primary and obvious challenge for us was to design a training program for an audience that had no formal education, or training in leadership, yet they were supposed to manage a team.
Another challenge that we had to face was the work settings. Contrary to the usual corporate 9 to 5 environment, we were supposed to train employees who are offshore and work in shifts while living in a 24/7 alert society. Moreover, as engineers and navigators remain on a ship for 6 months, we were to create a program for leaders whose teams and subordinates constantly change.
This unusual work setting and constantly changing teams urged us to include content in this training that elaborate fundamentals of the art of leading, team building, relationships, and communication. We were challenged to impart knowledge in such a way that sets the bedrock of leadership and team-building among seafarers which they can use across different settings and with different people.
To develop effective content for this workshop, it was important for us to know the challenges that seafarers face related to team and people management. To gather this information, we talked to on-shore managers as well as interviewed ships engineers and navigators to discover their training needs. Not only that but we also got in touch with the manning companies of this firm located in different countries to get to know the current understanding of seafarers about team building and leadership and what gaps we need to fill through this training.
These valuable insights and impetus provided us with different facets we needed to work on and we clustered these needs into 15 key areas.
With this knowledge and information in hand, we invested ourselves in designing this program. We incorporated engaging exercises, simulations, and games to keep the trainees interested while ensuring that the content inculcates the knowledge that they need to acquire. In fact, it won't be wrong to state that we re-wrote an entire curriculum of leadership and team-building development that they typically teach in a university for 44 credit hours to fit into 16 hours of the training session, but with the same impact and results.
At Comaea Consulting, we firmly believe that you cannot manage what you cannot measure. By following this philosophy, we always quantify and measure the success of our training programs. This one-of-a-kind leadership training workshop for this European shipping firm gave us some remarkable feedback when we gauged its impact. We witnessed impressive change and positive outcomes in all the key areas related to human capital management.
Through this workshop, the company witnessed satisfaction of seafarers, especially in top ranks of the officers’ pool from their shore-based managers improved notably. Engineers, navigators, and ratings became more satisfied with their Masters, Chief Engineers and other senior officers’ leadership style. People-related problems reduced significantly. When managers became better leaders it also directly contributed to lowering down incidents and accidents.
In addition to these outcomes, the fact that we have delivered this training 20 times in 5 years in 12 different countries itself speaks volumes about the success, caliber, and impact of this training. Plus, as a consultant, our real victory comes when we get appreciative and cordial emails and feedback from the participants. This workshop gained immense appreciation and was rated 9.5 on a scale of 10 by its attendees.
If you put in the effort and do the work with passion the way we do, you'd know that this appreciation and sense of victory is absolutely matchless.