Crew Life » Career & Training » Luxury Hospitality: Creating High Perfomance Interior Teams

Luxury Hospitality: Creating High Perfomance Interior Teams

Peter Vogel

Last month ACREW, in association with the PYA, hosted on a selection of workshops on the IYCA Antibes. I attended the ‘Creating High Performing Interior Teams’ workshop by Peter Vogel, MD of Interior Yacht Services.

IYS have partnered with Blanchard International, the global leader in leadership training, to create a management course which brings professional, shore-based standards onboard. The course is PYA GUEST accredited and the syllabus includes Administration, Information & Financial Mmanagement,   Situational Leadership and in-depth Event & Destination Management. Furthermore, there is a strong emphasis on Human Resource skill development  which includes self assessments, development and coaching.

It is the latter that was the focus of the workshop I attentded. One thing that very few HOD’s in yachting have, is formal recruitment or HR training. During the two hour session we covered:

Service Plan: Peter describes this as ‘the steps to create order in the madness’. To be used not only for service in the literal sense, but housekeeping and laundry too. ‘It’s an organizational tool, which manages every aspect of any type of service.” He highlighted that the building blocks of a great service plan are: 1. The Spirit of Service 2. Communication 3. Service Standards 4. Service Set 5. Mise en Place and 6. Logistics.

crew seminar

Human Resource Strategy

Peter emphasises that this will not happen overnight, but it’s an investment of time that will pay off over years. creating happier, more motivated crew who (most importantly of all) stay with you.

‘Keeping stewardesses for over six years in a fleet of yachts speaks for itself. Yachting is changing from a casual employment environment to a business professional approach to management. All you can do is make your onboard and shore-side management aware that its feasible to implement such a structure combatting the problems that you might experience currently. When they are not willing to look at it and invest in change, you might have to wonder if this yacht is your “match”’.

A good HRP should include procedures for Recruiting, Development, Employee Relations, Performace Management, Benefits and Compliance. The bigger the yacht, the more important each of those become. Having this, in combination with your service plan also created more consistency for owners and guests. Coming back to the familiar faces, with a high-level standardised way of working, should be a given when they are paying millions for their holiday. Sadly, it’s surprisingly rare.

Situational Leadership

“The cool thing with this talk is that it benefits everyone, the beginner, the stewardess that has been onboard for a few years and the manager. We run through the four development stages; beginner, learner, performer, achiever followed by Supportive Behavior stages; Directing, Coaching, Supporting & Delegating.

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“After exploring the Directive & Supportive Behavior options, we discussed some practical examples and discussed further experiences with the audience. It was great to hear that everyone was able to relate to the topic so well. I honestly feel that much of the problems in yachting have to do with a lack of knowledge, both in vocational aspects and management and leadership styles. Our industry has grown so rapidly in recent years that it is only natural that our current managers are struggling. Many of us have climbed the ladder so quickly that our fellow managers are our only examples. We take the good and try to forget about the bad examples around us and introduce that to our personal management style.”

Overall the talk was incredibly useful, for the entire spectrum of crew, from the very junior all the way up to management. Knowing which management style you should be using and how to effectively lead and guide your team is essential in retention and productivity.

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