Abroad and On Board: Work Relationships Matter

Whether you’re on land or on sea, it is ideal if harmony is always present in the work environment. However, the reality, in industries and organizations with high stringent standards or performance objectives, is that it is filled with challenges, pressures and deadlines. There will be instances of misunderstandings, resentments, even feuds which can add up to the challenge of being far from home and loved ones.
In the long-run, if there is no mutually accepted settlement among issues, work relationships are affected. With the long hours devoted to work, there is also a high possibility that people will pass on to others some of the undesirable emotions. Depending on its gravity, the negative effects of these work relationships and issues may either be exhibited or contained; but with both possibly leading to the detriment of one’s psychological welfare and relationship with loved ones at home.
This is why having a harmonious work relationship is very important. It not only helps improve communication, coordination and trust, it can even fuel higher productivity and performance. However, there is always a question as to how this can be done.
Simple as it may sound, we have to “CARE” for our work relationships. In other words, this has to be among our priorities. In fact, our concern for work relationships needs to be balanced our need to achieve performance expectations. Considering that we interact with the people we work with for at least eight hours per day, it makes good sense to value our relationships with them.
So how can we “CARE” for our work relationships? These are the steps that everyone in an organization should consider as their action plan:
  1. [C] Commit to improved work relationships – It implies cultivating harmony in the work environment. It also means proactively working out solutions, rather than taking reactive last-minute steps to relational problems. Improved work relationships may be the goal we are aiming for, but more important to this is the action we will take – a reflection of our commitment to the goal.
  1. [A] Assess oneself – As human beings, we all have imperfections. These imperfections may be in the form of gaps in desired or needed skill/competency levels. It may also be habits or behaviors that others may not be comfortable with, or even dislike. What may be worse are personal biases or perceptions which we may have towards others that can affect the way we deal with them. There can also be personal dislikes that exist in the work environment or things one desire that are not present. What is important is to objectively assess oneself on these areas.
  1. [R] Resolve to improve – From one’s assessment, it is important to create a plan on how to overcome gaps and dislikes in the work environment, correct unwanted habits or behaviors, and make the most with what is available to work with. Let us not wait for others to make their own plans for improvement. Everyone should take the initiative without hesitation. The plan plus the action is what constitutes the resolve to improve.
  2. [E] Engage others – Improving oneself, especially on the areas of habits and behaviors is not easy. Often, it needs the involvement and feedback of others who can act as accountability partners for your plan, people who can gently remind you that you are getting ‘off-track’ with your plan. Let him/her know what you plan to improve on, and seek for help. When we engage others, we show our sincerity and commitment for improved work relationships. This is the culminating action that will bring back the harmony to your work relationships.
*This article was written by C. Glenn K. Lopez, General Manager, Abojeb Manpower Solutions, the Land-Based Manpower Recruitment arm of Abojeb Company.
About Abojeb Company
Abojeb Company is a leading and well-recognized integrated maritime, ship management and land-based manpower services company from the Philippines. For 35 years, the company’s ship management unit has delivered cost-efficient, globally competitive, technical services to 125 vessels of various types. Jebsens Maritime, Abojeb’s crewing arm, has honed its crewing services to provide the best people to more than 400 ships presently under its care – boasting 87% retention rate and a pool of 12,500 seafarers for the ocean-going ships of its principals from Norway, US, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Singapore, Japan, and Philippines. Abojeb Manpower Solutions, its land-based manpower services division, provides hundreds of highly qualified land-based professionals to many overseas businesses across several industries. Abojeb Company continues to garner recognition from the Philippine government and various industry-led organizations. Abojeb has expanded presence in Japan, the USA, Australia, and Greece.