An Interview with Cally, Founder of WellCrew: Addressing CrewChallenges, Support Approach, and Revolutionising Recruitment.

Q: Hi Cally, thanks for being here. Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background and what you do in the industry?

A: It’s great to be here! My background is pretty diverse, I’ve had some amazing experiences, being mentored by members of the SAS and Armed forces, in high altitude training and challenges and working in the fields of physical, nutritional, and mental health. I’m a certified coach and master NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) practitioner. I bring a unique perspective to supporting the well-being in the super yacht industry. I focus on developing high performing teams and individuals, provide support, coaching, personality profiling, and resources to develop crew.

Q. So, what inspired you to set up WellCrew?

A: I have spent over a decade learning, studying and loving the health and wellness industry. I was working for several years with clients in the UK and having conversations with my partner who is a captain, we noticed there was a real need for coaching and support in the yachting industry too. I’ve had a unique insight and years of having the opportunity to talk to many captains, crew, and shore-based professionals, which has given me a firsthand understanding of the challenges faced by yacht crew.

Q:  What are some of the main challenges that you have come across with the crew you’ve worked with?

A: The Yachting Industry offers a unique and rewarding experience but it is highly demanding. Crew members face numerous challenges, including high levels of stress, burnout, and difficulty maintaining work-life balance. The nature of their roles, along with being away from family and loved ones, long working hours, and living in close quarters, can contribute to exhaustion and impact their mental well-being. Additionally, the fast-paced and ever-changing environment of the yachting industry, coupled with unrealistic expectations portrayed by TV programs and social media, further exacerbate the challenges onboard. Another pressing issue arises from the lack of leadership training and its consequences on crew dynamics. In some cases, this leads to a disconnect between heads of departments (HODs) and new crew members, resulting in high crew turnover rates, interpersonal problems, and ineffective communication. Ultimately, this creates a tense and unproductive work environment. It is crucial we address these challenges and provide support structures that prioritise the mental well-being of crew. By implementing effective leadership training, promoting open communication, and addressing unrealistic expectations, we can work towards creating a healthier and more productive industry environment that promotes a platform for personal and professional growth.

Q: Can you explain how the training programs and workshops at WellCrew contribute to enhancing crew performance and well-being?

A: I understand the importance of providing hands-on support to yacht crews. That’s why I decided to fly out to yachts to conduct workshops and training programs tailored to their specific needs. The training programs are based on academic research but underpinned by practical, pragmatic problem-solving to target results. The programs are growth-oriented, bringing expertise directly to the yachts. Being physically present onboard, I can gain an understanding of the crew dynamics, the living conditions, and the yacht’s schedule, whilst also building rapport with the crew. This helps me address challenges in real-time and provide practical tools and strategies for success.

Q: With the rise in awareness about mental health and well-being, how does WellCrew prioritise the mental well-being of crew?

A: Mental well-being is a top priority at WellCrew. We constantly receive questions from captains on how we can best support their crew in this aspect. That’s why we offer personalised coaching sessions and training programs designed specifically to help crew members manage stress, anxiety, and promote overall well-being. By providing them with the necessary tools, techniques, and resources, we aim to enhance their resilience and empower them to navigate the challenges they face. Additionally, our crew portaloffers a 24-hour support call-back service, offering one-to-one coaching from a certified coach. This provides professional advice, resources, and guidance, ensuring crew members have access to the support they need, whenever they need it.

Q: So why is it important for someone seeking coaching to choose a certified coach?

A: Choosing a certified coach is super important because you want someone who’s had proper training and follows ethical and professional standards. Certified coaches have the knowledge and skills to guide individuals through their personal and professional growth. It ensures that you’re getting expert support from someone committed to your success. Certification shows that they are dedicated to delivering quality coaching. Unfortunately, there are coaches out there that aren’t certified, so it’s vital to check.

Q: Can you share a success story of how WellCrew has supported a yacht crew member in their personal and professional growth?

A: Absolutely! One particular crew member comes to mind. They were feeling burned out and overwhelmed by their workload, struggling to find balance and maintain their well-being. Through personalised coaching sessions, we were able to dig deep and identify the root causes of their burnout. It turned out they had undiagnosed ADHD and were struggling to manage their time and organisation to balance work and studying for their next yachting ticket. Together, we developed effective stress management techniques, time management and organisational strategies, and better workload management. We set realistic goals and over time, witnessed their performance and job satisfaction improve, their overall well-being increased significantly, and even their relationship improved. They got the ticket and also took the initiative to sign up for a WellCrew retreat to continue their personal development journey. It’s incredibly rewarding to see individuals transform and thrive in all areas of their lives. It’s why I love what I do!

Q: So tell us more about WellCrew’s retreats?

A: WellCrew’s retreats are all about creating personal growth and harmony within yacht crews. We customise the retreats for each yacht, taking them to beautiful locations like the Côte d’Azur and Hampshire. Crew members get the chance to relax, learn, and connect with each other. During the retreats, we focus on team building, holistic well-being, effective communication, and resilience training. It’s all about individual growth and strengthening the bonds within the crew, leading to improved harmony and teamwork onboard the yacht.

Q: One last thing, you mentioned the use of profiling at WellCrew. How does that fit into your programs and how does it contribute to improving crew dynamics and overall success?

A: Profiling is key for us at WellCrew. We use a powerful tool called Insights to understand crew members’ operating and communication styles at work. It gives us a deep understanding of how they behave, think, and communicate. With this insight, we can offer guidance at individual, team, and multi-team levels. It helps us enhance crew dynamics, improve communication, and create a harmonious environment. Our goal is to revolutionise the recruitment process by matching crew members’ personality profiles with compatible team profiles, boosting performance and overall success onboard.