eNewsletter October 2009

May 2009

CM Profile: Ivo Verheyen, MD of GAC Singapore on maximising manpower through shared learning.

Why HSSE? Bjorn Brody, GAC Group HSSE Manager, on the importance of HSSE in an upcoming GCA course of the same name.

Fresh Initiative: GAC Pakistan has upped the training ante, and is gaining a reputation as an employer of choice in the area.

Facilitator Profile: Lawyer, teacher, speaker of French – Catherine Leach joins the GCA facilitation team.

Best Region Best GLO

GCA is proud to announce the opening of nominations for the third annual GCA Awards. Winners in the categories of Best Company, Best GLO, Best Participant, and Best Region will be judged from among those nominated. Anyone may be nominated, and anyone may submit a nomination.

The award for Best Region will be awarded to the region that has most excelled in their learning and development perspective during the year. 2008 was the first year that this award was introduced, and the honour was awarded to the Asia Pacific region, received by Christer Sjodoff, Vice President, GAC Solutions in his former role as Regional Director Asia /Pacific.

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. Moly George, HR & Admin Supervisor, GAC Qatar, was given the award in 2008, and Ramachandran Nair, Manager of Quality Development, GAC Oman won the first award given in 2007.

Best Participant

The award for best participant in a GCA course will be given to one GAC participant whose outstanding course contributions, team participation, and overall grades will represent the zenith of what can be achieved when dedication meets facilitation on the GCA Learning Management System. Yorgo Bejjani, Business Development Manager, GAC Lebanon, won the award in 2008, and in 2007 the award was presented to Jean Richmond, Group Insurance Administrator, GAC Headquarters, Dubai.

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. GAC Qatar was honoured with the award in 2008, and GAC Singapore in 2007.

Results will be announced in the December newsletter, and the awards ceremony will take place in the final GCA Governance Board Meeting in December.


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CM Profile: Ivo Verheyen, MD of GAC Singapore
Ivo Verheyen

"In this business climate, staying competitive is the key to sustainability.

At GAC Singapore, we believe in keeping our staff motivated and satisfied by providing them with good training that not only addresses their knowledge gaps, but also enhances and reinforces their current knowledge on the job..."

GCA adds value to us by providing courses that directly meet our operations needs and also provides the opportunity for our staff to connect and network with other staff at different offices. And because GCA trainings are developed specifically to meet the needs of GAC staff in their respective areas, it helps to foster better customer service and good work practices for the participants.

Having an online training portal allows us to offer a wide range of professional development programs that are directly relevant to our operations. GCA has also been able to offer the flexibility of our staff being able to tune in to these trainings at the time of the day that is most convenience to them. This is especially convenient taken into the consideration the nature of the work of our colleagues in the operations sector. This has resulted in staff gaining the training that is essential to keep them up-to-date in the developments of the industry with minimal disruption to their daily work schedule.

Catherine Leach

Catherine Leach joins the GCA facilitation team

Catherine's professional background is in law, and she received her legal training in France and in the UK, where she was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Catherine has worked in the field of law as well as the field of relief, for the United Nations World Food Programme as a senior administrator for the Aceh Relief Program. Catherine is not only fluent in French, but also a Certified English Language Teacher to Adults (CELTA).

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GAC as a multi-national company has its strength and the luxury to have expertise and talent around the world; we should capitalize this unique resource of ours to bring the company to a greater height of our goal. Furthermore, a company that promotes continuous learning and development will attract talent to join the company and at the same time retain talented staff within the organization as one will feel good and proud to work in such an organization.

The G2G concept of life through connectivism and social constructivist learning will facilitate the sharing of best practices between companies in the most informal and yet the effective way. This is because when people become acquainted through coursework/ training, they will be more willing to share amongst themselves their work experiences and encounters with them.

Through this sharing of information from these informal sessions, both participants will come to recognize and select the best practices of the others to be implemented in their area of work. And all these arise out of their personal free-will and judgment and this will indirectly help to foster a community of professional practice which will definitely help to improve our business growth.

We are creating, or rather, developing a team culture which is important in this modern business environment. We all come from different background and all walks of life, but through GCA, staff are able to demonstrate trust, support and respect towards team members and also share experiences and knowledge with team members. Sharing best practices within the organization helps reduce cost, as less time is wasted due to trial and error, mistakes are minimized and manpower is more efficiently used. A team is also able to give constructive feedback and suggestions.

When staff has a clear understanding of the company's corporate level strategy, this enables them to set clear objectives of how they can play a part in contributing to the growth of the company and to achieve them with enthusiasm.


Bjorn Brody, Group HSSE Manager on "Why HSSE?"

The GAC Corporate Academy is currently in the development stage of an HSSE course tailored to GAC's needs, with the expert input of Bjorn Brody, GAC Group HSSE Manager. Bjorn talks about why, how HSSE is important to the Group, and what benefits GAC People can take from the learning experience.

Bjorn Brody

"Communicating, promoting, and complying with the group's HSSE policy is every employee's responsibility regardless of rank or location. The policy is there for all including our clients and suppliers. HSSE is also an important part of our Management System GAC Time, in which all HSSE initiatives are measured and recorded.

A well established HSSE policy with supporting procedures is of outmost importance to both GAC and our principals. GAC is a service provider with our main asset being our employees, therefore we must ensure that all within the GAC group can work in a healthy, safe and secure environment. Failure to comply or continually improve the group's HSSE standards can be very costly both in terms of money and or in worst case the loss of life.

All GAC companies have at least one appointed HSSE representative and the intention is that these shall be the first to participate on the training course and then to continue with colleagues as recommended by the HSSE representatives. To show the group's strong commitment to HSSE, both senior and local GAC Managers will be expected to participate. GAC's aim is to limit the carbon footprint our business has on the environment and nothing could display our commitment to the environment better than the Chairman's award and the achievements being reached by the constant initiatives brought forward throughout the group.

The intention is that participants taking the HSSE course shall enhance their knowledge on GAC's views, policies and continues work on HSSE as well as to be able to identify the HSSE awareness throughout his/her organization including areas for improvement and also to be able to promote the importance of HSSE to both clients and suppliers.

Again GAC's foremost concern is to provide employees and stakeholders with a healthy, safe, secure working environment limiting the carbon footprint our business activities leave on the planet. The HSSE training course will be a great tool for reaching these objectives. In addition we will be able to display to both old and new clients that our employees are continuously being updated on HSSE which will provide us with a competitive edge within the fields that we are active."

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GAC Pakistan's Fresh Marketing Initiatives
GACPakistan Ronnie Sheeraz

GAC Pakistan has taken refreshing initiative in promoting GCA to its staff, and as a result is gaining a reputation for itself and the GAC Group.

Ronnie Knowles, CM of GAC Pakistan, and Sheeraz Ahmed, HR Manager and GLO, GAC Pakistan talk about their objectives, their dedication to training, how GAC Pakistan is benefitting from a renewed focus on their human assets.



Training and development has been the primary objective of GAC Pakistan. We intend to have trained and motivated staff, and as a result, a majority of our staff has shown keen interest in courses. During appraisal we highlighted our training needs, and to facilitate meeting them, we downloaded some local training details, some GCA details on the Intranet, and some information from the GCA web site.

We have made a learning facility, equipped with 3 computers with fast internet, where participants can focus on their online courses in a peaceful environment. We have also put our focus on promoting GCA as well, for which we have done lot of GCA Branding and Marketing Activity within GAC Pakistan to highlight upcoming courses.

In business, training plays an important role, and when we had Balanced Score Card through GCA, we worked out our GAC TIME KPIs through that. That’s all purely done by the team within GAC Pakistan. Also, knowledge gains are being made through our staff taking part in the IGW and LGW courses.

There is a level of interest from the staff that comes from knowing that no other shipping company in Pakistan is providing such level of services for the training of their staff. On top of that, GAC is gaining a reputation of being a preferred employer due to type of investment GAC makes in their employees.


Ronnie Knowles, CM of GAC Pakistan
Sheeraz Ahmed, HR Manager and GLO, GAC Pakistan



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