Skip to content

Attract, motivate and retain crew

One of the most urgent challenges presently facing the commercial shipping industry is the human element in ship manning and operations. For decades, seafarers were a plentiful commodity; however, today there is an urgent demand for qualified crew who can not only operate today’s more sophisticated equipment, but also work under increasing regulatory scrutiny. Ship owners are now faced with more challenges than ever before when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

The proper way to approach this however is by looking at the opportunity rather than the issue. The chance to make your company stand out from the rest is important, and there are many steps you can take to attract, invest, and keep qualified workers.

A good place to start is ensuring you have a great reputation as an employer. Instead of constantly looking to hire qualified workers, try investing in the workers you do have. Provide the proper training programmes such as cadet officer training, and allow them to build on their experience and pick a career path to grow within your company.

Most importantly, marine employers should be providing incentives to their officers and crew. While financial reward is important, money has proven to be a short-term motivator. Providing an integrated compensation package that affects both employees and dependents will likely help to decrease turnover. Extend benefits to periods when employees are signed off by including a vacation medical plan. Packages can also include disability income protection, accidental death and dismemberment, life insurance and retirement savings, and family medical cover year-round.

Many of these decisions come down to budget. Current market conditions have imposed an additional burden on employers who are already struggling with bottom lines. MHG Insurance Brokers has been working with the marine industry since 1991 to develop and implement innovative solutions to these issues, today’s climate is no different. For more information on MHG and the services we provide, visit

This is a guest blog for Changing Course written by MHG Insurance, who are sponsors of the 2017 Maritime HR Association Conference. Find out more here:

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.