Top 3 Effective Yacht Crew Management Tips for Captains and Senior Yacht Crew
Why is effective crew management practices so important? On any given yacht, captains and senior crew are faced with the challenge of balancing crew with different personalities, various backgrounds, and communication styles. To prevent miscommunication and inefficiencies on board, here are some key management techniques that can make you a better leader and manager:
1. Streamline Communications
Your team is only as effective as the information they have. With fast-changing plans in yachting, real-time group communication can keep the team on the same page without having to constantly repeat the same information.
First, hold regular crew meetings during a time when all crew naturally gather (i.e., every Monday during breakfast, lunch, tea time, etc). It's a great way to open the lines of communication to discuss issues, processes, safety, and expectations.
Second, have a central area for all major announcements or dates. This can be a whiteboard in the crew mess or group text messages…whatever works for your yacht! Find a preferred method that works for everyone so all crew are aware of important information at all times. The key is to minimize miscommunication and ensuring all crew are in the loop.
2. Give Constructive Feedback
Communicating feedback in a constructive way will be more productive than feedback given in haste or coming from a place of anger or frustration. For example, when a junior yacht crew member performs something not up to standard, calmly communicate it by pointing out what they did well and what they can improve on. Feedback given when emotions are high will only increase tension on board, and managers should be aware of the example they are setting for their direct reports. The golden rule of "treat others as you would like to be treated" still applies when you're managing yacht crew.
Try this technique, the "feedback sandwich": Begin with something positive (what you notice about them, what they're doing right, what you appreciate about then), then insert what they could improve on/correct, finish with another positive. For example, "Sally I can tell you take a lot of pride in your work. Let's please make sure all turndowns are fully completed before dinner service ends. Thank you for constantly trying to improve your performance.
3. Create An Onboarding Process
Ensure all newly hired crew know the yacht's procedures and rules from day one, to prevent issues down the line. Create an onboarding process that is consistent for all new crew in order to get them up to speed quickly. Onboarding may include a checklist for safety, employment contracts, processes, standing orders, crew rules, hours of work/rest, schedules on/off charter, as well as departmental training by a senior crew member like a mate or chief stew.
What are some techniques that have worked for you in the past? Crew — what have previous captains done to make sure everything ran smoothly? Tell us below!
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Posted 7 months ago