Continuously working to be an attractive employer is a must for those who want to have good personnel. That is what Anette Wugk and Martin Sander say. They are HR representatives working in two shipping companies in completely different segments.
Anette Wugk is HR manager at the ferry operator TT-Line AB. The ships are in traffic between southern Sweden and the continent. All employees on board are Swedes. Most of them work two weeks on and two weeks off, and the ships are back in Sweden every day. Martin Sander works with staff issues at Donsötank. The Swedish crew are relieved every fourth week, while the Filipino crew is on board for six months. The ships sail in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, calling occasionally at Swedish ports. In other words, conditions at the two shipping lines
are quite different, but their HR representatives both say that it is very important to be an attractive employer.
”New generations come onto the labour market and you can’t expect them to plan to stay for their whole working life,” says Anette Wugk. ”For us, it is vital to follow developments closely and to meet their demands to recruit successfully.”
The ferry company TT-Line has, according to its HR manager Anette Wugk, invested a lot in things such as internet access and training rooms and equipment, and they have asked for advice from the occupational health service to equip the gyms. The diet must also be good, she says.
Fresh staff rooms
”Food is really important and if it’s not good, people complain. We also try to have fresh staff quarters, from mess rooms to cabins. Of course, we also make sure we have a good work environment and that all the necessary protective equipment is available on board.”
”The fact that the maritime labour market has changed in recent years and there is higher unemployment does not mean that we have invested less in appeal and recruitment,” says Martin Sander. He says that if a company wants to keep their crews and recruit new, talented employees the whole time, it must make every effort to create good conditions.
”For our staff it is very important to sign off in time. Many of them are young and have things planned for when they come home, and we do what we can to stick to the relief days. When a ship has anchored, we often send out a speedboat to fetch them. We also try to have good working conditions, good salaries and a reasonable workload – and we have Swedish television, a well-equipped gym and internet access.
The crews working safely under good conditions is in the common interest of the company, the cargo owners and those on board, says Martin Sander.
”We have large stocks of protective equipment and work clothes on board, and there should always be more than what is really needed. Keeping a good level costs a bit extra, of course, but it is also very expensive if anyone quits. We want to have personnel who enjoy their work and want to stay with us in the long term.”