2012 has been a year of much development and consolidation for GCA, with an 25% increase in Operating Capability. The business has been successful in recovering its cost through contributions from its clients.
New courses launched: Ocean Freight Operations, Personal & Professional Development, Compliance and Ethics, Key Account Management, Oil Tanker Operations (in conjunction with GTSS) and Effective Presentation Skills.
Awards and recognition: The Academy’s international standing as a global leader in corporate learning and development was recognised with a Silver award at the prestigious Chief Learning Officer Awards in Colorado Springs as well as accolades from the International Bulk awards in Antwerp and Lloyd’s List in London.
For 2013, GCA will retire the tag line “learning wherever you go”, and replace this with a new tag line “Delivering your learning strategy.” This reflects the alignment with the GAC Group’s 2013 strategy and new tag line.
Jarmo Kihlstrom has taken out the Best Participant Award for his outstanding performance in a total of four GCA courses in his first year at GAC Qatar.
Jarmo joined the International Moving Team in March 2012, and quickly enrolled in IGW. “I’m really glad I jumped right in … It was very helpful in getting through the first few months with the company. When I joined GAC I received a lot of help and support in understanding GAC Qatar locally, but many of the things I learned about the company came from IGW. I still bring up many details I learned in IGW in conversations with current and future clients.
A couple of months later, the opportunity came to participate in the Team Based Leadership workshop (TBL). “This workshop helped me to get to know several of my colleagues that work in other departments and reinforced what I’ve learned throughout the years that we can accomplish things together that are not possible alone.”
“By awarding this award to Jarmo and GAC Qatar, it really shows that our focus and commitment towards training and education have paid off. As a manager it’s very important to lead by example and I trust this award will give other colleagues inspiration to further educate themselves and take an active part in learning through GCA.”
“GAC Finance Essentials (GFE) helped me understand how accounting works in GAC which was very helpful in my day to day work. I enjoyed the interviewing components in this course as well in IGW; it’s a great way to get to know colleagues and a powerful way to learn.”
Before the year was complete, Jarmo also completed the Compliance and Ethics self-paced course and noted “It is the first time in my career with other international companies that these matters have been brought to such focus.”
Jarmo is enthusiastic about how much the GCA courses have assisted his work performance. “GCA courses give me a better understanding of our organisation. This provides me with a deep-rooted confidence about who we are and where we are headed, which clients and other contacts can almost feel in their contacts with me. I always knew GAC was a great company when I was on the outside but now that I work here I do understand where that sense of pride and confidence I saw in GAC staff I used to meet comes from.”
“International Moving is dependent on highly qualified employees to service our demanding customers and the GAC Corporate Academy helps us in ensuring that all of our employees are both motivated and well trained. It is a great pleasure to see that Jarmo is the best participant for 2012 since it is important that we ‘lead by example’. Jarmo is clearly showing his employees the way forward and setting the bar very high.”
“My belief is that GCA courses are an investment that yields a steady return to both the employee taking and completing the course; and for the company that employs them.”
This year the Best Company Award goes to GAC Forwarding and Shipping (Shanghai) Ltd, for their overall outstanding performance in GCA courses throughout 2012.
Claus Schensema, GAC Shanghai Managing Director, shared his thoughts about how GCA courses have assisted GAC Shanghai to improve their business performance. “GCA courses allow all colleagues to supplement their knowledge base and to be cross-trained in other business areas. The staff’s quality of service is greatly influenced by new skill sets and above-all outlook on problem solving and creative thinking.
Scarlett Yang, GAC Shanghai’s GLO, reinforced that the success of GCA in GAC Shanghai has been largely thanks to their MD’s support of the staff training investment and encouragement of fostering a learning culture within the company.
Familiarity with GCA’s online learning style has also led to increased enthusiasm about the courses. “Our staff is now becoming very comfortable with the elearning platform. They enjoy the easy access of the course wherever they go since internet in China has developed very fast in the past couple of years.
“We have had a great response to the IGW course because through this our staff can learn more about GAC’s unique culture. Through GEP they can improve their English skill for better communication with our clients and colleagues in other GAC companies. The Business Operation courses allow our staff to supplement their knowledge base and to be cross-trained in other business areas.
Scarlett pointed out that the highlight of the year was the launch of the Compliance and Ethics course. “Thirty staff were nominated to participate in CNE for the 1st batch. It was great to see our staff discussing the course content actively in the office and they were very excited to receive their certificate immediately after completing the course.”
Ramis Puthanpurayil has been awarded the Best Global English Programme (GEP) participant, for his outstanding progress in the programme from 2011 to 2012.
Ramis joined GAC Sharjah in 1998 as Boarding Representative. He was promoted to Shipping Assistant, but although his English skills were acceptable in verbal communication, it became clear that his written English was lacking.
Pradeep Kumar, General Manager of GAC Sharjah, has been involved with Ramis’ progress over the years. “About 10 years back, Ramis was the only employee doing all the clearances for the vessels that called into Sharjah/Ajman as well as the Crew joining and detaching. Now, he has a dozen employees under him to do the same job as the business has grown rapidly. A high level of English communication is therefore essential – we heard of many accidents by ships as well as aircraft due to breakdowns in English communication.”
Ramis explained, “I come from a place where English is not spoken or written much. When I moved to Dubai I terribly failed in communicating with my colleagues and clients. In one-on-one communication, mistakes can be accepted to a certain level, however there is no tolerance when it comes to written communication. This was one of the main areas where I was lacking, and GEP has helped me tremendously to overcome the situation.”
Ramis started GEP in 2011 at Level 4 on the GEP Competency Framework, which is defined as being able to have short conversations or express simple opinions. After just a year, he managed to reach Level 10, defined as being able to participate fully in conversations and discussion on a wide range of topics.
“I appreciate the vision behind the Global English Programme and in Sharjah we make the best use of it. Our aim is to train at least 80% of our employees in GEP and in particular every front-line staff member should do it to remain with GAC Sharjah. The result has been that we receive good remarks even about our vehicle drivers – it is a great selling point to our clients!”
Doris Huang from GAC Taiwan has been awarded Best GLO this year, for her outstanding achievements in supporting GCA at the local level.
Doris discussed one of the most important aspects of her role of GLO as being “to facilitate colleagues to gain competence from GCA. As staff members gain competence, this allows them to perform their duties more efficiently and make a stronger contribution to our business performance.”
Doris explained that customers tend to think that a company has substance if its personnel have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to successful complete service transactions. “In September 2012 we performed a Customer Satisfaction Survey and it shows 96% customers are satisfied GAC Taiwan’s service. I think this is the top achievement for me this year as GLO in Taiwan – Improving our customer reliability and helping our business run more effectively.”
“I am looking forward to a great 2013, encouraging more staff members to attend job specific courses with GCA. This year I would particularly like to help staff to identify their weakness areas and focus training efforts in these skills.”
“Doris is working closely with me in her important role as GLO. She is coordinating with department managers and teams to enable L&D trainings based on company strategy and participants’ needs and interests. Not only does she follow up with participants to complete the courses, but is also collecting feedback from them once the course is complete, reports to the M.D. and shares with other colleagues.
Skillful and knowledgeable staff are able to fulfill and even exceed what customers are expecting from us. As our Customer Satisfaction Survey reflects, the more happy customers we have, more business opportunities to us!”