eNewsletter November 2007

GCA Awards  
Top Story: The Inaugural GCA Awards!
William Thackery, the 19th century English novelist, said that “Next to excellence is the appreciation of it.”  GCA agrees, and in the face of the dedicated and inspiring excellence we’ve come across in the GAC World, we would like to announce the GCA Awards.  Click to read more!
Waleed Jameel on Yearly Performance Reviews
Smart companies, and thus smart employees, make sure they are on top of their game by constantly reviewing their job descriptions, roles and responsibilities. Click to read more!
GLO and 2008 Facilitator Tom Johnston
Over 42 years of experience in the shipping and maritime industry are now coming to GCA! Click to read more!
Sights & Sounds: The Graduates of PPD
Another batch of your GAC colleagues has graduated from the Personal and Professional Development course at GCA, see what they had to say! Click to read more!

William Thackery, the 19th century English novelist, said that "Next to excellence is the appreciation of it." GCA agrees, and in the face of the dedicated and inspiring excellence we've come across in the GAC World, we would like to announce the inaugural GCA Awards.

Over the past year of our operations, we've been keeping our eyes and ears open to your feedback, and based on your recommendations, we've narrowed down our candidates. This December, we will be announcing winners in three exciting categories- GLO of the year, Best Participant in GCA Courses and Best GCA Company.

The award for GLO of the year will be presented to the GCA Liaison Officer who has made themselves an indispensable, undeniable source of expertise as they have served as a bridge between GCA and the rest of the GAC world.

The award for best participant in a GCA course will be given to one GAC participant whose outstanding forum postings, team participation, and overall grades will represent the zenith of what can be achieved when dedication meets facilitation on the GCA Learning Management System.

The award for Best GCA Company will be awarded to a GAC Operating Company who has shown strong participation, the highest participant GPA's, and the most dedication to ongoing employee development. The short listed candidates by company and region are GAC Nigeria (EMAF), GAC Oman (Middle East), and GAC Singapore (Asia Pacific).

Results will be announced in the December newsletter, and the awards ceremony will take place in the final GCA Governance Board Meeting on December 3rd, where our distinguished members and external specialists will announce their decisions.

If there was anything you ever wanted to know about GCA, but were too afraid to ask, we've got what you need.

We've put it all together- who we are, how we fit within GAC, what exactly a GLO is, and most importantly – a preview of all the exciting new courses coming up in 2008.

The GCA Sneak Peek- It's more than a FAQ - it's our reason for being!

Profile: GLO Tom Johnston

Tom Johnston is currently the QA & HSSE Manager at GAC-RUR Philadelphia, and has over 42 years of experience in the shipping and maritime industry, which he is now bringing to GCA. A GLO and soon to be a GCA facilitator and SME (Subject Matter Expert) beginning in 2008, Tom shares his insights on QMS, HSSE, and how professional development can help GAC stay at the forefront of the industry.

“When I started in this business 42 years ago the only education we brought with us was what we received in school. We had no opportunities such as we have today to take advantage of the technology that allows us to continually enhance our work skills. It is extremely important today as our industry has evolved into a highly specialized industry requiring skills that at one time were thought to be un-important or un-necessary.

The companies who will succeed in the future will be those companies that embrace on-the-job training and professional development. We must stay ahead of the curve and embrace a culture which encourages and supports learning opportunities in order to be successful.

We need to do a better job as a company in educating our employees of the importance of having a vibrant Quality Management System. We should definitely develop e-learning opportunities to help our employees better understand and embrace the importance of QMS as it relates to supplying a quality service to our customers. As for HSSE, HSSE is a relatively new initiative that many of the principals that we represent are embracing. In view of the fact that our customers are finding this to be an important element in their day-to-day business we also must be proactive in our approach. This is most certainly an area where employees could benefit by having an e-learning vehicle by which to fully understand their roles and responsibilities under HSSE.

I first heard about GCA when I was given the opportunity to attend a CRM course taught by Damien O’Donoghue. The CRM course was an excellent opportunity to help us put into perspective the importance of how to deal with our customers. I have spent a number of years in sales and marketing and embraced a few of the concepts introduced by CRM.

After World War II, when Japan was rebuilding its shipping industry and negotiating with the US, the head of the Japanese delegation was a Mr. Y Ariyoshi. Mr. Ariyoshi had been the European representative of the Japanese shipping giant Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and over the years, a family friend of Bengt Lindwall.

Known in the international shipping world as Japan’s ‘Mr. Shipping’, he had subsequently returned to NYK’s head office in Tokyo, and it was he who made the final decision to appoint GAC as general agent for NYK in the Gulf. The contract was signed in Bombay in the summer of 1958.

Learn more about GAC’s fascinating history with the GCA Course - Introduction to GAC World

However, saying that, there were things that I had never thought of- in particular, the reality that 80 percent of our business comes from 20 percent of our customers. It put a whole new perspective on how we should be prioritizing our sales and marketing efforts. I was impressed that our company had put together such a comprehensive program that really addressed how we as managers should approach our current and perspective business.

I am looking forward to my new role as a GLO and I’m anxious to get out the message to our employees on the opportunities and the importance of the courses offered through GCA.

I plan to, over the next year, interview every employee in the U.S. and will actively work with their managers and top management to ensure that we are taking full advantage of all the opportunities available through GCA. Additionally, I look forward to contributing to the future success of GCA by assisting in any way possible as a facilitator or assist in providing input to future course development.

My years of work are ebbing and my greatest aspiration is to continue to be a positive support in the efforts of GCA and to provide whatever support and/or assistance that I can be to the total success of GCA.”

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It's the time of the year when job reviews and performance appraisals start appearing on employee, and manager, desks...
By Waleed Jameel
Business and Technology Manager, GCA

The intention of a performance appraisal is to review the work done against the listed objectives in a job description, to highlight strengths and weakness and finally, outline solutions and improvements for the upcoming year. A good appraisal identifies the measure of your human capital against your strategic job outcomes.

Smart companies, and thus smart employees, make sure they are on top of their game by constantly reviewing their job descriptions, roles and responsibilities. Any amendment made during the year should be reflected in their official job description. After all, the purpose of a performance appraisal is to review - but if the existing metrics (i.e. your current job description, roles and responsibilities) are outdated, then how accurate or even relevant will that appraisal be? Today we outline the power of refreshing and updating job descriptions for all.

Clearly and explicitly write out what each role - not WHO will be doing what, but WHAT responsibilities each role will be performing to ensure all strategic objectives and outcomes are met.

Intelligent employees such as yourself are continuously rewarded with new challenges and opportunities. This constantly changes their official job role (unless their official job title is as vague as "Creative Consultant") and in the excitement of new projects and new starts, the job description sitting in the Human Resources Department is easily forgotten. This is bad for you, the employee, because come appraisal time, your official set of responsibilities will be outdated and irrelevant and your new set of responsibilities will be differently interpreted by you and your management. It's a good thing you're smart and you convinced your manager to write down a clear and explicit set of responsibilities before the project began. Thus, everyone's expectations are clearly outlined along with a proper, relevant and powerful measurement rubric.

A new day begins - a new project commences. While everyone has good intentions at heart, they can easily be lost in translation from one party to another. Ideas and outcomes are best and most effectively communicated when written down - so be smart and plan first. Clearly and explicitly write out what each role - not WHO will be doing what, but WHAT responsibilities each role will be performing to ensure all strategic objectives and outcomes are met. Make sure your subordinates are aware of their new set of responsibilities and have them sign the dotted line. This ensures zero loss in translation for all parties. Finally, update their job descriptions in the HR department and you're set to go.

The benefits to you as a manager are the clear outline of all task responsibilities in this project (thereby ensuring all work is met) and proper resource allocation. The benefits to an employee - clear cut responsibility alignment - are powerful. The results - proper project management, straight forward HR implementation, satisfied and loyal human capital - are fantastic and highly recommended.

And this brings us back to the original point: job appraisals. Success is a matter of metrics, if you can measure something, you can improve it, and by successfully measuring performance, you can take it to a higher level.


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"I want to use this medium to say a big thank you to my finance/administrations general manager who gave me the approval to proceed on this PPD course. It has been a great plesure meeting and sharing views with my GAC mirror colleagues and my wonderful facilitators, most especially Anna, I hope to meet you someday.

I enjoyed every topic in the PPD course, the packaging was very educative and organizational aspect of the course was so wounderfully packaged.

I want to say that the PPD course was an eye opener to me and it has really made me to be more focus in planning and setting my goals in life."

Helen Nwaduba, Front Desk Officer, GAC Nigeria Headquarters, Lagos, Nigeria

"I have gained a lot from time management, risk taking, goal setting, goal prioritizing, goal achieving, resource availibility... I can go on and on! Now, I realise that knowledge is infinite.

If you asked me some months before whether I should undertake a course in PPD, I would ask you what there was to learn, but now I realise that this has been a good opportunity for me to know my self and to work towards my goals.

My suggestion is that there should be more information given to GAC staff on the need and usefulness of this course because it not only helps professionally, it does personally as well, which is a double gain.

I had a nice time even though I was working with a very tight schedule, but I still found time to partake in a great distance learning programme which is beneficial to me and my profession."

Paul Oboh, Marine & Support Agency Coordinator, GAC, Lagos, Nigeria


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