The Bunker Group
Excellent post!I agree, very important that this is resolved. My two bobs worth is below
The first point is simply money. I would hope the upcoming review includes something to this effect.
- Step 1 is remuneration. I know retention bonuses are being considered. Civilian industry uses this mechanism frequently for at risk people. My business for instance provides a $20k bonus for staying an extra 12 months (payable on completion) for specific individuals (about 3-5% of the workforce). It provides a very effective set of golden handcuffs to those who are financially sensitive and have critical skills that are needed.
- Step 2 is stability. Provide the ability to stay in one location for multiple postings. Moving around the country is great for single people with no connections. It's an absolute disaster for families with children, both partners working and/or elderly parents to look after.
- Step 3 is predictability. Reduce the frequency of crash postings and other short notice activities. Like the above, it is highly disruptive to a family when a parent needs to suddenly depart without the ability to prepare, or needs to stay at sea when they were planning to be alongside.
The second and third points are actually driven more by fleet size. The larger the fleet, the more postings available in a single location. Additionally the larger the fleet, the more capacity to rest ships and people, and avoid back to back deployments. So, expanding the fleet size (which appears to be part of the upcoming review) is in my opinion important to retention.
From my own perspective, I left the Navy for point 3. I remember vividly having to leave my wife sobbing at the front gate of FBE while I departed for a three month deployment on 48 hours notice. This was on top of moving to Sydney a month earlier for the first time (where my wife managed the full removal and house hunting while I was at sea), where we had no family support and my wife had no local friends. This happened several other times, and it got less emotional on subsequent events, but in the end I had to choose between my job (which I enjoyed) and my family. I chose my family.
I will add a fourth point. People do like to work with new, modern and cutting edge equipment. It goes to job satisfaction. New platforms help with this motivation.