Almost 20 years ago, Wagenborg was confronted with a great increasing need for captains, officers and AB’s. Since recruiting on the international labor market is not cost-effective and is not always the best operational solution, Wagenborg has opted for a different direction. “We started with an enormously controlled cadet program, which was rolled out across the Netherlands, the Philippines, Ukraine, later Russia and eventually Vietnam and China”, explains Cees Horvers, Managing Director of Wagenborg Crew Management.
“Better leaders create safer working conditions.”
Mark Hoving - Senior Operational Manager Wagenborg Crew Management
If someone starts working at Wagenborg, it is important that this person feels at home in the ‘family’. Horvers: “We strive for every future officer to be happy and motivated to continue sailing at Wagenborg. This is only possible if he or she ever feels comfortable among like-minded colleagues. We have geared our selection and assessment system to this.” Using specific assessments, the personality of a seafarer is mapped out; initially as a selection tool, but now also as an instrument for personal development. Horvers: “With the PAPI tool, our seafarers reflect on their actions in their current role. They also identify possible improvements; it really gives insight into the way you work and how it affects others.”
The WATER program elaborates on this. Hoving: “Through Lloyds we came into contact with Atria, who had a training program focused on the human element in shipping. According to Wagenborg standards, we have further developed this into a leadership program that focuses on connection between shore and ship, safety awareness and effective leadership.”
"Never have I seen a group of officers scoring as high as here"
Roman Heil - founding father of Human Element In Shipping Simulation
The WATER program follows the three steps of the Wagenborg vision on leadership: leading yourself, leading others, leading business and change. To this end, the program is made up of various components in which group dynamics, role plays, simulations and workshops contribute to the personal development of each individual seafarer up to and including the entire team on board. Hoving: “Better leaders create safer working conditions.”