Although Singapore is the leading maritime capital, millennials seem to be facing challenges and major competition when entering the workforce of the shipping industry, as the expectations are higher in comparison to generations before.
Michael Goh, Chief Corporate Services Officer of Jurong Port, presents three approaches that are close to the next-generation achievers:
- Build a close-knit culture
Companies should construct a culture where the employees feel that their views matter, regardless where they stand in traditional hierarchy, focusing on involving, listening, and respecting all views.
Mr Goh gives an example of Jurong Port, according to which the company’s Townhalls included an open ‘Ask SLT’ (Ask Senior Leadership Team) according to which the employees have the opportunity to ask a variety of questions from customer engagement plans to internal shuttle bus schedules.
- Reward based on merit
Young employees work fast and also expect to climb fast in their career. It is important to promote employees, basing them on individual merit.
For instance, in Jurong Port employees may also receive year-on-year and even double-grade promotions. These demonstrate the absence of glass ceilings in JP and our focus on meritocracy.
- Focus on employer branding
In order to attract clients, a company should enhance their employer branding through outreach initiatives, traditional and social media. With the maritime industry targeting a $4.5 billion increase in value-add and 5,000 new jobs by 2025, the industry will need a young and driven workforce to take it further.
Millennial employees have much to offer in creativity, energy, and passion. If we can skilfully harness their potential, they will no doubt steer us to greater heights.
Concluding, competing against a shrinking local workforce, attractive employers from the youthful tech giants, and a misconception of the maritime industry as an old-school business, the industry acknowledges the importance of recruitment efforts, aiming to help the public understand how vibrant, dynamic and progressive the shipping industry can be.