Manager and friend – quite natural on board

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2.2Job satisfaction is important, both for work and the atmosphere on board. This was said by Anneli Borg, chief mate with ACL, when she spoke on the topic of managing and living on board.
A common issue for managers ashore is whether they should be friends with the staff or not. For a ship officer, it is not a question we need to consider, said Anneli Borg. When you are working and living together in a limited area for weeks in a row, it is clear that the manager is part of the social community outside working hours.
”In my opinion, the better you know each other, the easier it is to work together. But that doesn’t mean that the officers have a problem exercising leadership and giving orders when necessary,” she said.
As a manager, it is also important to remember to give praise.
”If the crew work like dogs to make everything work before we arrive at the next port, nobody apart from us on board knows just how much work has been done. It is essential to praise and encourage people who get involved and take responsibility, especially when they do something that is really outside their own area.
Housewife’s trick
One issue that Anneli has worked a lot with is creating a good sense of social unity on board, not least between the ship-owners Philippine workers on TAP agreements and the Swedes. Over the years, she has found ways of bringing them closer to each other.
”I usually give them heavier jobs that need two or more to get them done. It’s an old housewife’s trick, and I know that it works,” she says.
Other methods of improving harmony between the 25 man crew include games.
”On every crossing we have a theme night, such as a country or a particular decade. We dress up and lay one long table that is related to the theme, then we play games and have competitions. This gives everyone something to talk about and it’s really appreciated,” she says.
Linda Sundgren

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