Client's Need

A globe-traveling mega-yacht’s management company, on behalf of the yacht’s owners, contacted us regarding issues they were having with staff turnover, issues with communication and conflicts among staff and flagging morale. These issues were also affecting the owners and guests of the yacht. The management company considered potentially sending the crew to a stand-alone 1-day training program of a company in California, without first doing an assessment or knowing what the needs were or whether they would be addressed by the program. We recommended an assessment of organizational and staff needs first, and then would make recommendations regarding solutions.

Research / Assessment

On the yacht, we interviewed the staff individually and in small groups, the leadership team, and the captain. We observed the crew at work, as well as in meetings. And we assessed organizational processes, practices, metrics, and culture. We discovered reasoning for issues with turnover and low morale, poor communication and conflicts among staff, and the need for coaching with the captain to lead and implement recommended solutions.

Design / Implementation

We designed solutions to drive change including restructuring processes for selection, performance evaluation, and employee development. We also developed tools for staff to use in facilitating these changed processes. We designed and facilitated a leadership development program for the head staff and captain of the yacht that addressed communication practices, providing leadership and opportunities for staff, motivation, and engagement, and facilitating groups through conflict resolution. We also provided executive coaching to the captain and several leaders to help in driving performance improvement and organizational change.

Final Results

Leadership and staff reported improved communication and morale several months after solutions were implemented. Leadership had implemented processes to engage staff more, develop ideas together, and increase communication. And there were improvements in all success metrics, including improved performance and better retention (reduction in turnover).