The continuing growth and success of FLEET is of course down to the incredibly committed and talented offshore and onshore teams we have. A solid reputation, business and legacy have been established in just 27 years, grounded on astute leadership, technical competence, and our ability to adapt to changing customer requirements.
However, we all know we live in a world where change is the only constant. New business models, technologies, and changing expectations are changing how we live and work, creating an imperative for businesses to rapidly adapt. Managing this change effectively is therefore no longer a recipe for winning but critical just to stay in the game.
We are all excited about the industry advances and business opportunities ahead, and the role of Human Resources (HR) will be a critical element in supporting continuing success.
The emerging role of HR
HR departments in all organisations have, for many years, worked on developing people management frameworks and programmes to enable leaders and employees to deliver great outcomes for their customers whilst juggling more traditional policy and compliance accountabilities.
A rethinking and repurposing of the role of HR departments has been underway for some time, and a clearer and more purposeful role is now emerging.
We know employees are increasingly behaving like customers. They want to align themselves with brands that more closely fit their values. They want personalisation, choice, flexibility and have a low tolerance for poor online experiences. These preferences all have far-reaching implications for employers. It follows that many of the principles that go into designing a great customer experience will also apply to how we think about the employee experience.
Therefore, designing a great employee experience that supports FLEET’s proposition and our intended customer experience will be at the heart of HR’s focus at FLEET for years to come.
How have we started this journey?
Earlier this year, the HR Team facilitated a process with senior leadership to consider long-term strategy, opportunities and challenges and what necessary changes will mean for the way we do business and the implications for our employees.
We revisited our purpose, vision, mission, values and priorities. Whilst retaining continuity of focus was at the heart of our discussion outcomes, important issues emerged including, the need to elevate and clarify our purpose statement, revise our values and strengthen our commitment to sustainability, innovation and the employee experience.
This exercise has provided a perfect platform for us from which to reimagine HR.
From HR management to employee experience management
To help drive our employee experience philosophy, we have developed a new strategy and secured new resources – including in recent months, a General Manager, Employee Experience, accountable for our end-to-end experience globally. We have also ramped up our talent acquisition and onboarding resources.
How we deliver an improved employee experience will initially be organised under six key focus areas:
- Understanding strategy and new expectations
- Attracting and selecting talent
- Onboarding and cultural immersion
- Talent development
- Listening and continuous improvement
- Employee wellbeing
Employee engagement strategy
Through the early part of 2022, we will undertake a global exercise to ensure all of our employees understand our business strategy and what it means for all of us, and the changing expectations required to deliver it. We have captured these expectations in a new, bespoke behavioural competency framework developed in 2021 that simplifies and concentrates expectations on the things that matter the most to us. This framework will underpin our entire people management agenda, leading to more consistent people management activity both internally and globally to drive more consistent customer outcomes.
Attraction and selection
As business strategy evolves, so must our employee value proposition (EVP) and total rewards strategy. These initiatives will be key focus areas in 2022, as will be the development of a more advanced channel management strategy to ensure our candidate reach is improved and we attract a broader diversity of talent. An obsessive focus on executing an industry-leading, signature candidate experience will also occupy team focus in the coming months and years.
Onboarding and cultural immersion
From pre-joining to the first few days and weeks – right through to the end of the first year, we will concentrate on designing a positive end to end experience, considering all key touchpoints for our new joiners. ultimately this will ensure our new joiners feel equipped, supported, connected to our values and inspired to achieve.
Our new approach to talent development will consider the hard and soft skills required to be effective at all levels of the business, ensuring targeted development plans are in place and high potential employees are identified early and supported throughout their career.
Focusing on an increasingly demanding leadership bar, career management planning, and robust succession planning processes will all be features of our new approach.
Listening and continuous improvement
The maritime industry can be hierarchical and more conservative than many other sectors. We are realistic about matching our culture with the nature of our highly regulated and non-stop operation. However, equally, we acknowledge the need for an evolving way of working with our colleagues across the business.
Part of our remit will be to examine how we can develop, effective and multi-directional communications between leaders and employees, shore staff and ship staff and across departments. Driving a culture that encourages everyone to listen, collaborate and respond will continue to be HR’s focus in the coming years.
The wellbeing of our people will always remain at the heart of our thinking. But employee wellbeing, of course, goes far beyond the implications of COVID 19 on our work and lives.
Our employee wellbeing will continue to centre on thinking more flexibly about how we work and support employees in their roles, be it physical health and nutrition, mental wellbeing, social wellbeing, financial wellbeing or the work environment.
An EAP programme was established in 2021 for all shore employees globally and new office facilities have been established for our Hong Kong Team in recent times to provide employees with opportunities to work, socialise and relax in a modern office setting.
There is a lot to do and a lot to look forward to continuing our business success. Reimagining HR to equip our employees to continue their success will be at the heart of our business strategy going forward.