Employee Selection for Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Inspiring Performance created and ran a unique assessment programme to identify employees most suited to join a sponsor’s yacht in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The Brief

In March 2013 Inspiring Performance ran a unique assessment programme for a global financial service provider. The remit was to identify employees most suited to join their sponsored yacht in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Through an internal voting process, 30 eager employees from around the globe were shortlisted as potential company representatives.

With just 16 places plus two reserves, the budding crew members knew their chance to sail on board their company’s yacht was limited. Most of the 30 were non sailors and many had never stepped on board a yacht before. None were aware of the harshness of the environment, the conditions on board or the dangers they would face in a round the world yacht race. Perhaps ignorance was bliss…

The Solution

Inspiring Performance designed a challenging 48 hour programme aboard three 67ft round the world sailing yachts, where employees were expected to live, work, eat and sleep together. The programme was intense with inputs from those that had experienced the harsh reality of racing round the world. The anecdotes shared were illuminating and exercises based around real life scenarios. Participants were soon immersed in the reality and very quickly recognised their own underlying fears and overriding concerns.

IP consultants observed participants around the clock, recording reactions, behaviours, language and emotions against a pre-determined framework. Crew members felt under pressure, emotions ran high and a vast amount of data was gathered to create a unique profile for each team member. This profile was supplemented with the data collected through a 360 degree pre-programme psychometric and additional profiling tools completed during the two days. While one or two employees withdrew from the process, the remainder were determined to be on board the yacht. They were keen to learn, they were intent on creating the right impression and by day 3 the tension was evident to all.

DLL Yacht

The Outcome

IP presented to the Bank’s CEO a comprehensive overview of each of the 30 participants with evidence to support their suitability to join the core sailing team for a stage of the Clipper Race. Having ranked a shortlist of 16 + 2 reserves, IP was confident that these individuals had the right personal attributes, motivation, communication and team working skills suitable for their role on board the yacht. All 30 employees received a developmental feedback and everyone became a part of the Clipper Community, supporting each other on shore and afloat.

The Comments

“Today has been one of the most challenging, rewarding, and amazing days of my life. I feel so blessed and honoured to have been granted this privilege. It has given me a new appreciation of our company’s core values and made me realise how closely they mirror the Clipper.”

“I have realised that for many years I’ve been sharing the same office with some of my colleagues, who I never related to half as much as I did in just one day in Southampton with my team members and the rest of the candidates. What a waste of human energy that is!   I am so sure that each one of those colleagues has a full potential, sometimes unexpressed or perhaps hidden below the surface, but certainly there somewhere, and as a DLL Ambassador I will help them find it!”

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