If you’re a small to medium sized shipowner or ship manager and you’re struggling to retain your seafarers after the end of each contract, it’s fair to say there could be a problem with your crew retention strategy.
Being unable to hold on to the best seamen and watching them walk away to line up their next contract with one of your competitors is both frustrating and costly. Now you’re back at square one and have to start the maritime recruitment process all over again.
So how do you stop your crew jumping ship and leaving your maritime jobs and shipping company after a couple of months?
There are a number of different factors that lead to issues with crew retention but for this article we’re going to take a closer look at just one of them: communication.
Why great communication is essential for crew retention
Communication is a huge part of making the people that work for your shipping company feel valued, and in turn committed. And that goes for whether they’re shore based employees or contracted seamen.
It’s dangerous to assume that just because an employee or crew member is on a four or six month contract that you don’t need to show them the same levels of engagement as you would someone working in your office.
The fact is, if you want dedicated, qualified and talented seafarers to line up their next contract with you, you need to show them some appreciation. And one way you can do that is through keeping the lines of communication open throughout their period of employment.
After all, it will make life a lot easier for you when it comes to filling your vacant maritime jobs!
From the very minute you contact a seafarer with a view to having them fill one of your jobs at sea, or from the point that they apply for one of your seafarer jobs, you need to be responsive and transparent in the way that you deal with them.
And that needs to extend to the moment that they disembark from the vessel at the end of their contract.
We know that staying in touch and communication is made somewhat more difficult by the very nature of the maritime industry. When you’re sitting at your desk in your office and your seamen are somewhere in the middle of the ocean, it’s not as simple as picking up the phone to check in and make sure everything’s okay.
But if crew retention is important to you - and it should be if you want to fill your jobs at sea more quickly and easily - then communication is something you can’t afford to ignore.
Clear communication is crucial from the get-go, given the physical distance between you and your seafarers.
Add to that, the fact that there is the possibility of there being a language barrier between you both and it makes it even more vital that you communicate with your crew so they know what is happening at every step of the maritime recruitment process and during their time at sea.
Need to contact a seaman working in one of your maritime jobs about contract variance? You’ll need a way of doing so quickly and effectively if you are to deal with any issues relating to crew management at your end, and ensure they are up to date and don’t feel like they’re being kept in the dark.
Why better communication helps you line up crew for seafarer jobs
You have vacancies for seafarers. Change over dates come and go and sometimes it can feel like a never ending cycle of trying to find suitable, licensed crew for your open maritime jobs. The entire maritime recruitment process will be far easier if you can re-hire ex-crew members who you know and trust.
So how do you ensure that the people you want to employ also want to work with your shipping company again?
If you’re operating on a principle of communicating in a timely and transparent manner with your contracted seafarers, it will help build trust between you and your people, and also create a positive image of your shipping company in the eyes of the seafarer.
And that leads to them wanting to line up their next contract with you - and means your crew retention rates will improve.
How Martide can help you combat your crew retention issues
At Martide our whole purpose is to connect shipowners or managers like you with qualified seamen. We help you fill your jobs at sea, and we find employment for licensed seafarers who are looking for work.
The relationship we have with our clients and with those looking for seafarer jobs is only possible because we place great importance on communication.
That’s why we actively encourage the seafarers who contact us looking for maritime jobs to download our mobile app as this is where we communicate important messages regarding their applications and contracts.
When you’re using Martide’s maritime recruitment and crewing software solution, this takes the stress out of wondering how on earth you can get in touch with your crew members while they’re at sea.
It’s all part of your crew retention strategy and it will help you fill your vacancies for seafarers more easily.
You can also stay in touch with your seafarers through the Martide platform thanks to our fuss-free message inbox and notifications features which also allows you to connect with manning agents, all in one place.
Of course, our Software as a Service does a lot more than just helping you communicate more effectively with your crew and retain their services contract after contract.
We’ll also advertise your vacancies for seafarers for you, give you access to our global talent pool of mariners looking for jobs at sea, provide you with an applicant tracking system (ATS), make it easier for you to manage interviews and much more.
If you’d like to boost your crew retention rates, find qualified seamen to fill your seafarer jobs more quickly and easily, and manage and plan crew, get in touch with us now and schedule your no strings attached demo.
And for more crew retention tips and to read about how promoting a culture of diversity and tolerance can also help you boost your crew retention rates, click here.