Leadership education strengthens the vessels and the ESVAGT culture

Press release   •   Mar 28, 2017 09:22 CEST

Team discussion of the principles of situational leadership

30 officers in the ESVAGT fleet have completed training in better leadership.

Since autumn 2015, a total of 30 officers from the fleet have completed ’ESVAGT Leadership Education’; the first tailor made leadership training course in the history of the shipping company.

“Setting a course is part of sailing a vessel but we need officers that also take the lead, coach, inspire the crew and drive the ambition to be flagship in ESVAGT’s fleet,” says Jan Heimbürger, Crewing Manager.

The leadership training in the ’ESVAGT Leadership Education’ has been developed in cooperation with Maersk Training and builds on previous seminars for onboarding leadership. Leaders are given a better understanding of their role as leader and are given tools to coach, motivate and inspire their crews.

The course has five main points:

  • Drive Safety Culture
  • Drive People Performance Management
  • Take Ownership
  • Share knowledge, empower the crew
  • Build strong team.

The first 30 officers in the fleet have now completed the course – and the results can already be seen:

“Throughout the organisation, there has been a desire to strengthen the professionalism in daily management and provide good tools that can be used,” says Jan Heimbürger.

The tool box has been improved, for example, in the following:

  • Use of personality profiles as a tool for understanding and behaviour
  • Personal Leadership & Crew Development
  • Situational leadership
  • Financial Understanding, Relational Leadership & Professional Crew Conversations
  • Psychological defusing, Coaching & Mentoring & ESVAGT Leadership Workshop

“We can already clearly see that this training is something that can be used in daily work. Many of our officers are now consciously working on their leadership,” says Jan Heimbürger.

Apart from strengthening the individual vessel and crew, the training also helps to ensure the shipping company’s values, the ’ESVAGT Standard’, are passed on.

“A leader who is conscious of the tools that he has is better at passing the ESVAGT values onto the rest of the organisation. This strengthens the crew and ESVAGT as a whole,” says Jan Heimbürger.

He emphasises that the training is focussed on the leader and not on ESVAGT. This is a conscious decision:

“We have added some general leadership competences. For example, situational leadership is a civil competence that can be used in many other places than just in ESVAGT. We are a shipping company in which people need to be able to continue developing. This includes in areas that are relevant in other places too. We believe that that helps to make us a company that people would like to build a career in,” says Jan Heimbürger.


ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea, founded on an experienced and well-trained offshore crew and unmatched rescue capabilities.

We support the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialized services: Standby, Emergency Response and Resque Vessels (ERRV), Oil spill response, Firefighting, Tanker assists, Rig moves, Supply services and Interfield transfer of cargo and personnel.

In 2010, ESVAGT brought the dedicated offshore wind Service Operation Vessels (SOV) to the market. The SOVs provide accommodation for up to 40 technicians, storage for small turbine parts and a workshop, plus personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats.

ESVAGT was founded in 1981 and has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and approximately 900 employees on- and offshore.