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Management and leadership in shipping

This week the Maritime HR Association hosted a breakfast event with Clyde & Co in London, discussing ‘Shipping Leaders of the Future’ and ‘The Pitfalls of Poor Performance Management’ with both members and non-members.

Karen Waltham, MD of Spinnaker Global’s HR Consulting reflected on the typical career route for leaders in the maritime industry. She highlighted their global demand and also the challenges that face the industry.

Delegates shared their own experiences and challenges they face in building the pipeline of talent for the future. Karen went on to highlight how an increasing number of companies are considering the use of multiple reliable techniques such as competency models, personality profiling, and monitoring performance; which are believed to have untold benefits within HR teams.

Heidi Watson, a partner with Clyde & Co focused on management responsibilities, specifically stressing the importance of ensuring a robust performance management process and the risks and potential costs associated with weak or ineffective management. Poor management is something the shipping industry is no stranger to.

In September, Spinnaker Global and seafarers’ trade union Nautilus International conducted a survey to assess shore-based demand for skilled seafarers. The results were enlightening, particularly when it came to management. When asked ‘Do you think the industry generally succeeds in recruiting into shore-based management roles those people who have the best management aptitude?’ 53% said ‘No’ and 24% were unsure.

The Maritime HR Association, an industry body now at over 90 shipping company members, believes that much more can be done to support the career planning and development of those individuals who choose a career in shipping. It’s a big focus for Spinnaker’s HR Consulting division to work on solutions for talent and career management. Watch this space!

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