Engagement and Productivity

Over the last decade and a half, “employee/work engagement” and “productivity” have risen as hot, linked buzzwords in the business community. Though definitions and measures of “higher productivity,” “better performance,” “lower turnover,” “better quality” and similar concepts differ, studies consistently find higher engagement correlated with them. Studies also find it correlated with a positive customer experiences. In other words, “engaged” workers do more, better.

What Does “Engagement” Mean?

Schaufeli (2013) acknowledges that “work engagement” and “employee engagement” are used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings. Simplified, “work engagement” may be defined as being mentally and emotionally connected to work goals and performance in a manner that motivates the person to further both, beyond expected minimums. “Employee engagement” is work engagement, plus an emotional commitment to the organization for or within which the person works that motivates furthering the organization’s reputation and interests beyond expected minimums. It’s important to note that “engagement” is not “satisfaction,” “happiness,” or “workaholism,” which can be high without engagement.

Rising Importance

Measuring individual worker productivity is increasingly difficult as “knowledge-based” services make up more of the economy. In many countries, as many as half of all workers create and use intellectual property rather than physical property, making conventional productivity measuring methods obsolete and unreliable. Impraise, a management software company, notes that “knowledge-based employees simply can’t be measured by the output of their productivity.”

Engagement behaviors, however, can be observed and measured, and their effects can be seen on the bottom line. For this reason, more and more businesses concern themselves with encouraging and measuring engagement behaviors and overall results.

The Takeaways

Much of the dive industry falls in the knowledge/service domain, making engagement central to increasing and sustaining productivity. Creating engagement is complex, with entire courses on how to do so, but experts seem to agree on a few common themes:

  1. Communicate regularly and personally. Frequent one-on-one communication with the dive operation manager/owner should increase engagement. Focus on purpose and how each person’s purpose fits in with it. They also need to know and see specifically how their efforts make a difference.
  2. Quality is often more important than quantity. This especially includes instruction. Beyond the more important safety issues, well-trained divers are more likely to invest in gear, travel and more training, and more likely to refer friends. So, training fewer divers well in a given time is likely more productive from a business perspective than training more divers poorly in the same interval.
  3. Dive businesses thrive on customer experience. Diving is all about customer experience, especially in training and travel. Engagement and customer experience tend to go hand in hand. Engaged employees and instructional staff have a passion for what they do and with whom they work that contributes to this.
  4. Trust. Knowledge-economy workers need relative autonomy and responsibility for managing their own productivity. This doesn’t mean ignoring what dive center staff does, but providing guidance and goals that allows them to get their work done without micromanagement.
  5. Results over effort. Recognize when people work hard and for long hours, but for most tasks focus on doing the right things well over simply staying busy. Reward innovation that saves money/time, expands services or improves customer experiences.

Adapted from the 4th Quarter 2018 edition of The Undersea Journal®, written by Karl Shreeves.

Customer Service and PADI Standards

There are times when complaints come into PADI that are more about customer service issues than clear violations of PADI Standards. The PADI Quality Management team won’t tell PADI Members how to run their businesses but will get involved when a member’s practices fall within the parameters of PADI Standards, including those found in the PADI Member Code of Practice (found in the first section of your PADI Instructor Manual).

Here’s a review of a few common customer service complaints, along with tips to help you avoid disappointing your customers and hearing from the Quality Management team:

  1. Customers express concern and frustration when planned dives are changed at the last minute to very different sites than those initially advertised. For example, the dive was scheduled for a shallow reef, but en route the boat captain tells customers they’re going to a deep site with more challenging conditions because one buddy team, or worse, a crew member, requested it.

In the Member Code of Practice, you are required to comply with the intent of safe diving practices, consider individual comfort levels and err on the side of safety. Divers who are prepared and comfortable doing a shallow reef dive may not be ready for a deep, challenging dive. If you must change sites, make an effort to choose alternate sites with dive profiles and features similar to the initially planned dives.

  1. Another common complaint from student and certified divers alike is concern about rental equipment provided to them. For example, divers describe ill-fitting BCDs, wetsuits that are either too small or too large or a leaky alternate air source.

PADI Members have an obligation to put diver safety first. Providing a student diver or novice with ill-fitting equipment, or worse, equipment that isn’t functioning properly is inconsistent with this obligation.

Proper equipment maintenance is paramount to diver safety, customer satisfaction and risk management. Enhance your customer service by asking customers if they’re familiar with and comfortable using the provided equipment. Showing your concern for the diver’s safety and enjoyment is both prudent and good business practice.

  1. Customer refunds are a common customer service issue. For example, a customer complains that a “three-week” Rescue Diver course is only partially complete after three months due to continuous rescheduling on the instructor’s part. The customer asks for a referral and the instructor refuses without explanation.

Remember that PADI Standards require you to issue a referral if the student diver completed at least one segment of the course and has met agreed-upon financial arrangements.

The best way to avoid customer service and quality management issues is to apply good judgment when providing dive services and to be diligent about maintaining professional business practices.

Dive-In Limassol Wins Travel and Hospitality AWARD

For the second time for outstanding customer service. Jonathan Wilson and his wife Deborah have been running the PADI 5 Star IDC Centre Dive-In Limassol in Cyprus, based in the 5 star Four Seasons Hotel, for many years. Their dedication to making diving fun and safe really shows… not only by this award, but in their glowing reviews over multiple customer driven platforms such as TripAdvisor and Google. As their PADI Regional Manager, this AWARD only goes to show that the PADI System is the one that the people choose, and Dive-In Limassol is the resort that people choose and love! It’s a proud moment for everyone involved and thus needs a public shout out to everyone involved.

 

Keep up the good work Johnathan and Dive-In Limassol team!

 

Get yourself covered all year round, worldwide

As a PADI Professional, it is critical that you can get on with what you do best. Teach students the world’s most popular dive curriculum, show them the wonders of the ocean, and transform their lives. To help you do this, PADI has teamed up with Divers Alert Network Europe (DAN Europe) to offer PADI endorsed professional liability, personal accident insurance and FREE dive accident cover for an unlimited number of your students so you can have peace of mind while you teach.

Maintaining current liability insurance is not only good risk management but PADI Pros working within the PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa territory may need to carry professional liability insurance to remain in PADI Teaching/Active status.

As a PADI dive professional, you’re a champion of safety working on the front lines every day to protect the divers in your care. The PADI endorsed DAN Europe insurance program provides PADI Pros access to risk-mitigation and safety programs to protect both divers and dive professionals.

Features of PADI endorsed DAN Europe insurance program

    • Personal accident cover for diving emergencies that is valid all year round, worldwide
    • Access to the renowned DAN specialised multilingual hotline, 24/7
    • Unlimited cover in case of hyperbaric treatment and repatriation
    • Travel insurance provided for non-diving medical emergencies abroad
    • € 4,000,000 professional liability cover, including legal defence, per occurrence
    • EXCLUSIVE PADI FEATUREFREE dive accident insurance for an UNLIMITED number of your dive students up to PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD) and PADI Advanced Freediver level*

In addition:

    • Members benefit from specialized consultancy services from the DAN Legal Network, so you have access to a worldwide network of legal experts and lawyers who are knowledgeable in diving-related disputes

Exclusive pricing for PADI Pros – Get Pro Silver for the price of Pro Bronze!

PADI Pros get access to discounted DAN Europe insurance plans receiving Pro Silver coverage for the price of Pro Bronze!

Sign up for the PADI endorsed DAN insurance program today

 

*The dive accident cover for an unlimited number of YOUR dive students is for the following PADI courses: Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Basic Freediver, Freediver and Advanced Freediver.

Student dive accident cover includes:

  • Alarm Centre and management of medical emergencies 24/7
  • Worldwide emergency medical treatment & medical evacuation (€15,000,00)
  • Search & rescue of the missing diver (€ 2,500,00)

PADI and The Reef-World Foundation Embark on a Global Venture to Make Sustainable Diving the Social Norm

PADI® and Reef-World have joined forces to promote sustainable diving practices for the protection of the marine environment. This partnership will raise awareness and deliver tools to implement the Green Fins standard of best practice, helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of coral reefs, recreational scuba diving and local livelihoods.

Green Fins is the only internationally recognized environmental standard for dive and snorkel operators, established through a partnership between UN Environment and The Reef World Foundation. Green Fins uses a unique and proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centers, strengthening regulations and environmental education for dive staff, divers and government.

As the largest diver training organization in the world, PADI has the reach and influence to mobilize divers to be citizen activists. With 6,500 PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, 135,000 PADI Professionals and more than 25 million divers around the world, the PADI network has tremendous potential to make an impact on critical environmental issues.

PADI is committed to supporting social and environmental efforts through its Pillars of ChangeSM, designed to empower divers, and the dive industry, with information to get involved with causes they care about in tangible ways. With PADI’s support and more dive operators worldwide adhering to the best practices outlined by Green Fins, the dive industry can play a significant role in creating a more sustainable future.

“Reef-World is working in partnership with UN Environment on the front lines alongside business, government and the public to be the driving force for making sustainable diving and snorkeling the social norm globally. Our ultimate goal is to reduce local threats to coral reefs, allowing them to be more resilient to global impacts such as climate change. We’re thrilled to work with PADI, alongside other dive industry leaders, who can engage divers and diving businesses worldwide, helping us to scale solutions with the urgency that is required.” – JJ Harvey, Reef-World

Many locations are experiencing increasing numbers of tourists who are attracted by vibrant coral reefs. Ensuring that every diver and dive operator in all corners of the globe are equipped with appropriate training and knowledge will help relieve pressure on the marine environment.

“Unquestionably, there are serious and formidable issues threatening the world’s coral reefs. That said, I’m a firm believer in engagement, problem identification and mitigation. The PADI organization is committed to acting as a force for good. By empowering divers and connecting them to the PADI family and global issues relevant to our industry, we can help people be a powerful catalyst for change.” – Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide.

“Saving coral reefs as a source of livelihoods and as a business asset requires collaboration between industry, civil society and governments. This partnership is set to raise the sustainability bar of the diving industry and will help establish environmentally friendly diving as the global norm” – Jerker Tamelander, Head of Coral Reef Unit, UN Environment

The partnership between PADI and Reef-World aims to reach more divers and businesses with the Green Fins lessons and tools. This will be achieved by:

  • Collaborating to help scale the proven solutions of Green Fins: PADI supports market research efforts for the development of a new Green Fins online support system for broader global implementation and easy adoption.
  • Promoting the Green Fins approach: PADI Dive Centres and Resorts are encouraged to adopt the Green Fins Code of Conduct and, where available, seek Green Fins certified membership.
  • Help deliver on PADI’s Pillars of Change focusing on marine animal protection and sustainable tourism by raising awareness throughout the diving industry about available tools and materials to promote change in business practices and reduce environmental impact.
  • Promoting sustainable dive tourism and coral reefs protection through the development of new online media content that inspires environmentally friendly actions.

Working collaboratively provides greater opportunity for dive operators around the world to be better informed and equipped to apply sustainable dive practices, using Green Fins’ guidelines. Reducing environmental threats and pressure on the fragile marine environment will result in improved coral reef resilience and increased sustainable tourism at dive destinations. The partnership delivers on the goals of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, specifically SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) and 14 (Life below water).

About Reef-World:

Reef-World supports governments and communities in sustainable consumption and production of coastal resources and marine life. This is done through the Green Fins initiative, established and implemented in partnership with UN Environment. Green Fins is a free membership program for participating businesses that provide scuba diving or snorkeling activities and pledge to follow a set of best environmental practices. Within the 550+ businesses that have implemented Green Fins across nine countries, consistent reduction in threats to the marine environment has been measured, reflecting continued improvements in environmental practice. Specific areas of change are seen in reduced single-use plastics and chemical cleaning products, more responsible underwater behavior among divers and improved environmental awareness within our target audience. For more information visit reef-world.org and greenfins.net.

PADI announces its 2019 Shows!

PADI has been busy planning its 2019 events schedule and is excited to announce that it will be exhibiting at the following shows:

Salon de la Plongée (Paris, France): 11 – 14 January – PADI Village.

BOOT (Dusseldorf, Germany): 19 – 27 January – PADI Village.

Salon de la Inmersion (Barcelona, Spain): Friday 15th February – Sunday 17th February – PADI Village

DIVE MENA Expo (Dubai, UAE): 26 February – 2 March.

EUDI (Bologna, Italy): 1 – 3 March – PADI Village.

MAS (Madrid, Spain): Friday 22nd March – Sunday 24th March – PADI Village

PADI will also have a presence at these shows:

Moscow Dive Show (Moscow, Russia): 31 January – 3 February.

Duikvaker (Houten, Netherlands): 2 – 3 February.

DykMassan (Stockholm, Sweden): 16 – 17 March.

Additional 2019 shows will be added as they are confirmed. Check in regularly for an updated list.

We hope you’ll join us at one or more of the shows. If you’d like to partner with us in one of the PADI villages please contact your Regional Manager for more information.

Dive Opportunities in Salalah – Oman

When it comes to dive center ownership, location is everything. You need access to good diving, good transport links for customers to reach you and a demand for diving that will sustain your operation. Salalah, the capital city of Dhofar province in the Southern region of Oman, provides these qualities for PADI Dive Centers.

What can you expect from owning a dive center on Oman’s Southern coast?

Like most places on Earth, dive store owners here can expect seasonal variance. In real terms, June to September is considered the low-season due to the Indian Ocean climate change. Although monsoon rain settling over the mountains turn the typical Arabian landscape into lush green scenic views, the diving grinds to a halt. Heavy rains wash out many dive sites and turn the underwater flora from vibrant coral fields into dense kelp forests. The strong winds and limited visibility make diving opportunities in Salalah difficult in this Khareef (autumn) season.

To learn more about the unique nature of Oman’s diving, visit the PADI Blog.

Once the Khareef is over, the diving starts! As to be expected from a Gulf country, everything goes back to normal sunny days during September. The green mountains fade for another year, giving way to the beautiful wild and white beaches. Temperatures average 30 degrees and are twinned with a pleasant constant ocean breeze. The water warms up and divers are ready once more.

Where to dive and what to expect?

Mirbat – Beach Diving and shallow waters. PADI Dive Centers can conduct all of the PADI Entry Level Courses in Mirbat.

Mirbat is approximately a 45-minute drive from Salalah. It is reached by 4X4: halfway on a scenic highway, paved alongside the Dhofar’s mountains, and the remaining part of the journey is an off-road drive above sandy dunes. All the dive sites in Mirbat are characterized by easy access directly from the shore. Underwater, the abundance of sunlight and limited depth provide the perfect conditions for corals to flourish. Mirbat’s diving environment not only offers stunning coral gardens, but also a great range of fish: from the tiniest Nudibranches, Flat Worms, Shrimp and other crustaceans to Clownfish, Octopus,  Morays, Stonefish …and if you keep an eye on the blue, it is not unusual to spot different Rays, Turtles  and Barracudas.

Main diving spots are: Eagle Bay, China Wreck and Aquarium.

Salalah – Boat Diving and depths of 30m offer a wide range of diving opportunities for a PADI Dive Center

Differently from Mirbat, diving in Salalah is operated by boat – departing from the fisherman’s port, which is easily reachable with a short drive from any accommodation in town. Dive sites are all located West of the port and along the cliff’s faces. Bottom’s depth in this area averages from 7 to 30 mt. therefore dive sites vary in topography each with something unique to offer; depending from your certification level, you can choose the better depth range that fits your needs. Given the location, marine life here changes with the season, constantly offering something new to admire: there is a large variety of Morays, Crocodile fish, Cuttlefish, Frogfish, the occasional huge Turtle and gigantic – up to 2mt.-Stingrays. During the dives, it is a good habit to monitor the surface as there is always a chance to find yourself caught in a school of Sardines being hunted by Trevally or even Mantas searching for Plankton.

Main diving spots are: Port wall, Raysut point and Donkeys Head east/west

What are you waiting for?  For more information on diving in Oman, contact PADI Regional Manager Teo Brambilla

 

An Action Packed EUROTEK 2018 Awaits

EUROTEK 2018

EUROTEK – the European advanced and technical diving conference – takes place 1st-2nd December 2018 and you’re invited. You don’t need to be a technical diver to attend, just an enthusiastic one, keen to learn more about our amazing sport.

Wondering why you should head to EUROTEK?  Here are five reasons;

  1. EUROTEK is a top quality professional learning event – this is your opportunity to engage with world class experts and get the low down on cardiac issues in diving, Immersion Pulmonary Oedma and changing concepts in decompression
  2. Network with like-minded divers from 22 countries and make valuable connections, both personally and professionally. It’s the perfect place to get invited on exciting dives
  3. Learn about the latest diving equipment without getting the hard sell. Our exhibitors have time to discuss what kit solutions you need for your current diving and future adventures
  4. Keep pace with the latest information on Hypoxia (the silent killer) and CO2 monitoring in rebreathers from an outstanding keynote presenter: Professor Simon Mitchell
  5. Hang out with explorers – our speakers are receptive and helpful. Come with questions and leave with answers

Hang on! We’ve got even more reasons…

Thai Cave Rescue Team

  • Want to know what really happened in Tham Luang cave this summer? Rick Stanton and Dr Richard Harris tell you the truth about the Thailand cave rescue
  • Are you are training disabled divers? Wheelchair user Tom Hughes recounts the challenges he faced to become a tech diver
  • Next year is the 100th anniversary of the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow. Renowned skipper Emily Turton gives us the low down these iconic wrecks and reveals survey secrets from HMS Hampshire and Vanguard.

Wow!  What an awesome line up.  And if that has whet your appetite, how about starting your weekend early at the Big Fat EUROTEK Friday night curry. Then celebrate friendship and success at the UK’s biggest scuba diving party on Saturday night. You could win a KISS Rebreather, an Otter Drysuit, an awesome goodie bag or a holiday to Buddy Dive Bonaire whilst raising money for the British Cave Rescue Council.

This opportunity is too good to miss so to find out more, or book your delegate pass log onto www.eurotek.uk.com.  Choose to attend for a day or the weekend. If you come on Saturday and love it so much, you don’t have to buy a Sunday pass, just upgrade to a weekend pass by paying the balance.

See you next weekend at The Rep Theatre in the heart of Birmingham, UK.

PADI Awards Medal of Valor to Thailand Cave Rescuers Who Represent Diving’s Finest Hour

Leadership and rescue divers instrumental in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand earlier this year will be the first-ever recipients of PADI’s Medal of Valor. This high distinction will be awarded to Rick Stanton, John Volanthen, Dr. Richard Harris, Dr. Craig Challen, Jason Mallinson, Jim Warny and Chris Jewell. The courage, strength, honor and dignity displayed during the rescue operation propelled the PADI organization to create the medal to formally recognize their contributions to one of diving’s greatest moments in history. Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson will represent this distinguished group and accept the PADI Medal of Valor at the PADI® Social on 13 November during DEMA Show 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

In June and July 2018, the world watched as top cave divers and other experts from around the globe converged in Thailand to find and save the “Wild Boars” soccer team, which had become trapped deep inside the Tham Luang cave system. For 18 days, the international effort involved more than 1,000 men and women, who combined their collective talents for the extraordinary recovery of the team.

“It was an awe-inspiring example of humanity at its best, focused on a single noble purpose,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “This complex rescue operation demonstrated action and focus propelled by the unshakeable conviction that those boys would not die on diving’s watch. Rick Stanton, Jason Mallinson and everyone who was part of this effort faced and accepted the difficulties, dangers and risks inherent in the rescue. On behalf of the entire PADI family, it is an honor to recognize these heroes and extend our immense gratitude for representing diving’s finest hour.”

Rick Stanton and John Volanthen were a driving force in the Thai cave rescue operation. The pair was the first to discover the soccer team, which had been trapped in the flooded cave for nine days at the time they were found. Together, with Mallinson and Jewell, the divers led the dive rescue and carried the boys out of the cave to safety. Both Stanton and Volanthen are regarded as two of Britain’s foremost cave divers, with more than 35 years’ experience in extreme cave dives and rescues, having led a number of high-profile rescue attempts in the past.

Dr. Richard “Harry” Harris played a critical role in the rescue, administering sedatives to the boys to facilitate their extraction under extreme and complex conditions. Working in anesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine in Adelaide, South Australia, Harris has expertise in cave diving, wilderness medicine and remote area health. Dr. Craig Challen, an Australian cave explorer, early adopter of closed-circuit mixed-gas rebreathers and avid wreck diver, dived alongside Harris facilitating the successful execution of the rescue.

Jason Mallinson and Chris Jewell were integral to the mission, taking food to the those trapped and working alongside Stanton and Volanthen to carry the boys out through the flooded sections of cave. Mallinson is an exploration and rescue cave diver with 30 years in the field. His achievements have led him to set distance and depth records in caves all over the world. He has assisted in multiple rescues and is a member of the United Kingdom’s international cave-dive rescue team. Jewell is a UK-based exploratory cave diver with more than 12 years’ experience leading cave diving. Belgian cave diver Jim Warny, who currently resides in Ireland, was instrumental in the coach’s extraction.

 

“Their daring mission is a wonderful opportunity to show the world what the diving community is made of, and what can be accomplished through a combination of proper training, trust, courage, passion and perseverance,” says Richardson.

Industry stakeholders and PADI Members are invited to stand together to thank these heroic divers. Join PADI in honoring these men at the PADI Social on Tuesday, 13 November 2018, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

All are invited for a special meet and greet with Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson at the DEMA Show in the PADI booth (booth 1524) on Wednesday, 14 November from 5:00-6:00 pm. Please join PADI in celebrating these heroes and thanking them for their courage and honor.

Khaled Zaki: underwater photographer and environment ambassador!

PADI member since 1994, Khaled started diving in Sharm El Sheikh – Red Sea, at the end of the 80’s, learning – as he says – by some of the industry’s world-class diving professional at that period of time.

 

After a successful career as PADI Instructor in the Red Sea, Khaled moved to Qatar – where he still lives – in the late 90’s: here he expanded his professional abilities by specializing in underwater photography, film making and rebreather diving, without – of course – quitting his passion for teaching by training thousands of PADI divers (and becoming PADI Master Instructor) !

After winning several prizes as photographer and film maker and having some of his photos selected to promote Qatar worldwide …he has now a mission:

<<Working as a professional UW photographer & film maker gave me the opportunity to dive more often and travel around the world …this made me understand how scuba diving could have a positive impact on the environmental and economic state of different countries >>.

 

Khaled, now involved in several Environmental projects, has a clear strategy:
<<I like to use my knowledge and skills in photography and filming to attract new souls into the underwater world and make them ambassadors of the environment>>

 

That’s exactly what he does: Khaled regularly runs Photography workshops for non-divers, he constantly appears on TV shows/programs and magazines where he talks about diving and the positive impact and huge contribution that a certified diver can provide to the environment.

 

In April 2017 he was invited at the Underwater Life Conference (sponsored by UNESCO) in Salalah – Oman, as a guest of honour to talk about scuba diving and the positive effects of scuba diving on economy and environment.

 

On behalf of PADI, thanks Khaled for your continuous support and contribution to the diving industry’s growth in Qatar !

You can follow Khaled on his new environmentally dedicated Facebook page: Little effort = Big impact

…. Or on his social networks:
Youtube
Instagram
Facebook