Stargate Crewing has consistently ensured a high retention rate for all its clients. Our retention figures are the talk of the industry. A majority of our Top Four officers started out as cadets under our watch, and remained loyal to the same company with which they started their sailing career. Needless to say, loyalty translates into multiple advantages for the employer including higher profitability, higher productivity, lesser administrative costs, closer teaming, and better employee engagement. What is the secret? To start with, Stargate looks after and treats its seafarers like family. Our relationships are based on shared values and life goals. We understand what will help our people build stable and growth-oriented careers while giving them social support to sustain a sense of balance in their lives.
Succeeding in retention requires an employer to think from the crew’s perspective. Each individual seafarer has unique aspirations and desires. Yes, they all want to be paid wages at or above market rates and enjoy perquisites too. But they also want good working conditions and onboard facilities that make them feel good about their job. They want to feel appreciated by their employer and treated well, and they want to be given opportunities to prove themselves. The Stargate retention policy addresses these concerns. Personal development and professional growth are major drivers of ensuring better retention. Seafarers are not merely looking for more money; frequently they opt for better employer reputation, better work conditions, better onboard facilities against more take-home compensation. In other words, job satisfaction is important too.
In today’s world, when seafaring is losing out to shore jobs not only in terms of wages but also comfort, personal development and proximity to friends and family, retention is increasingly becoming a critical factor in ensuring onboard efficiency. We have some tied and tested policies that have served us well in keeping our crew happy and motivated in the face of numerous professional and personal challenges. Open and frequent communication is essential for crew retention. We pursue open and honest communications and embed an organic feedback system in our retention policy. The crew needs to feel they have a say in their own future.
Higher retention is possible where the crew feel an emotional connect with the company, where they feel appreciate and valued. When the crew identify wholeheartedly with the owner’s values and culture, the result is loyalty to the company. With seafarers spending more time with a single employer, retention finally begins to pay the economic dividends that all owners covet. Not only do returns on investment in crew training begin to pay off, but onboard safety improves significantly as crew members accumulate vessel experience. These gains should be protected as much as possible and top-down retention should be the goal of all forward thinking fleets.