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Having a sense of purpose is key in maintaining crew morale and wellbeing

It is so important that the HODs recognise what each crew member values on an individual level and how they can support them in engaging in their values on a day to day basis. As such leaders need to make a conscious effort to bring an added flavour to the work culture. As leaders, we have to be adaptable and meet the changing needs of our team and environment.

Recently, I was on a coaching call with one of my clients and although she described the culture on board as a positive one (there is a respect for one another and a passion for their work) since the pandemic she has noted that the crew morale has noticeably declined. When I enquired what team building activities they were doing on board to boost morale and engagement, she reported that the Captain was supportive of team activities, however, this had to be developed and facilitated after work hours. Initially, the crew were enthusiastic about the activities that the HODs had organised, however, the enthusiasm soon waned and crew became reluctant to participate in these activities in their personal time.

This is very telling to me that some Captains/HODs are unaware or don’t recognise the importance of investing time in maintaining “emotional/psychological” wellbeing onboard. The crew are the backbone of a yacht and just as you have to service and maintain the upkeep of a yacht, you also have to keep the wellbeing of your team in check.

What is teambuilding?

Team building is not about going out for a boozy lunch, it involves hard work not only from those who are developing and orchestrating the team building activities but also the participants. They need to be willing to put their egos aside and work with any underlying interpersonal dynamics. Team development should be a non-negotiable and embedded into the onboard culture, by learning and growing together as a team; engagement, work satisfaction and morale will only increase.

Team building exercise should aim to target a key area that is underdeveloped for example, managing conflict or learning how to give and receive feedback. By providing the right training you are only going to enhance the performance and productivity of your team which will result in a strong and effective team.

Building the Vision and Mission of the Yacht

The first and most important step when planning team building activities is to clarify the vision and mission of the yacht followed by identifying the culture that will support the vision and mission.

It is important that during this time you take tabs on how you are feeling. It is normal to feel anxious or experience periods of sadness and loneliness, however, if these feelings persist I would highly suggest that you seek professional support. I do have a free mental health guide that you can download from www.thecrewcoach.com. In this guide, you will be able to familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of some common mental health issues. 

In addition, if you would like to expand on your leadership skills and learn how to facilitate engaging workshops then the Leadership Accelerator Program will do just that! 

A common question I am getting of late it how does one combat the effects of isolation. Below I have included my top suggestions:

Healthy Routines

In terms of managing stress, I would in the first instance recommend physical activity. Exercise releases feel-good hormones aka endorphins which serve as natural painkillers. If you are not feeling motivated to exercise make a commitment to do a workout regime with your friends onboard. What I have noticed has worked particularly well with my counselling clients in helping them to manage stress along with other difficult emotions is having a healthy routine. More so during these unprecedented times, our routines have been significantly disrupted which can create an increase in stress and feelings of anxiety. 

When developing your routine make sure you have structured it with a healthy balance of work and personal tasks. Your personal tasks should include routines that will nurture you, in other words, make you feel good. For example, rather than waking up in the morning and reaching out for your phone set an intention for your day. Through setting intentions you become more aware of your thought and behavioural patterns. By giving space to your thoughts you will be in a better position to choose thoughts that serve you rather than unconsciously allowing the unhelpful thoughts to repeatedly play out in your mind. If you are finding that you are in a negative headspace at the moment, I highly recommend learning more about cognitive behavioural therapy. It is a therapeutic modality that is evidence-based and has proven to be very powerful when working with my clients who have limiting beliefs or negative self-talk. If you have lost your job, I would try and be productive as possible by keeping tabs on the latest industry developments, upskilling in areas that will enhance your current skillset and even look at updating your CV if required ( The Crew Coach Offers a course in building your CV along with additional vlogs and blogs on how you can become an attractive candidate to hire. 

 Impact of Social Isolation

Giving the impact of social isolation and how as human beings we have a basic need for physical human connection, we will be craving the fulfilment of this need more than ever. If this need isn’t met we are likely to feel lonely, anxious or depressed at times. If these feelings persist for more than 10-14 days please reach out to a professional for help. 

Counselling

I will still honour 50% off my counselling service for those who are experiencing any mental health issues as a result of the Corona Virus. Simply use the promo code ‘selfcare’ to claim your discount.

Long periods of loneliness or social isolation can have a negative impact on your physical, mental and social health. 

Some signs include:

👉Physical symptoms – aches and pains, headaches, illness or worsening of medical conditions

👉Mental health issues – increased risk of depression, anxiety or panic attacks

👉Low energy – tiredness or lack of motivation

👉Sleep issues – difficulty getting to sleep, waking frequently or sleeping too much

👉Diet problems – loss of appetite, sudden weight gain or loss

👉Substance use – Increased consumption of alcohol, smoking, medications, drugs

👉Negative feelings – feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or thoughts about suicide

If you have any questions or curious to know more about a topic please don’t hesitate to contact me on karine@thecrewcoach.com.