Why Good Employees Leave the Company? Crew Member Resignation Letter

Nov 11, 2019

Training new staff is expensive and time consuming for major corporations. Cost-effective approach is figuring out what makes the long term employees stay in one cruise line and why some decide to switch to another. This is why most of the major corporations and even smaller businesses have exit surveys to internally research means of improving internal practices and professional environment that makes employees want to stay or come to work. We have all heard the marketing strategies of the cruise corporations related to attracting young workforce such as work and travel the world while meeting people from different cultures. However, while this is quite attractive for the first two contracts generally falls into the exhaustive list of reasons to maintain within any workforce. Eventually crew members ask themselves the question “now what? Is it worth it?” The exhaustive proportion of this marketing approach paired with toxic work environment correlates with frequent recycling and need for the cruise corporations to rehire and retrain novel employees as the ones who have been on ships for awhile do not see their future there and experience reduced mental health. This occurred more recently with mass resignations within a month period on a single cruise ship. 

Following the resignation of a dozen crew members in one month one of those crew members sent us his letter of resignation which he previously emailed to the cruise company. According to the crew member many factors influenced his decision to leave the company. Among them are the treats and pressure from the supervisors — if you don’t like it there are 10 people waiting to replace you — discrimination based on nationality, the pressure to increase company profits with sales of beverages and overbookings in the specialty restaurants. The crew member says that this is a great example how bad management can make good and long-time employees quit. This personal perception of one crew member is also supported by researches conducted within the USA as related to work-related burnout of good employees and employee retention.

At the beginning of his letter the crew member suggests what the company should do to improve working conditions on the ship. After he sent his resignation letter, the crew member informs that nothing has been done by the company. And for some of us who worked on cruise ships a decade ago it is surprising that management even a decade later utilized the same toxic and abusive threat based practices. We are releasing this letter with permission from the crew member in the hope to bring about public awareness and consensus to keep management accountable for their unlawful, toxic and abusive practices within work environment, as well as that the cruise corporations will do the same in understanding the cost-to-benefit of good long term employee retention. Let’s promote a healthy positive work environment and be the change, but also request the same from the people responsible of promoting that as well: management, leadership, and all cruise industry community. Below you can read the resignation letter from the crew member:

“I was thinking what we could improve on the ships as you asked. The company should hire first only those people who is mentally normal or has experience from ships and of course to check them out how they were on the previous ships because that is one thing they have been there for long time or not and has experience...but there behavior and attitude is not exceed with the normal life on board. If they are too aggressive is not good because they create dramas and conflicts with others especially with colleagues. The management should be also treat the employees normal and not like just number from the many. Don’t push the people's limits over and over. Im talking about the work like they want everything from us like of course revenue, ratings and guest satisfaction which is quite hard to do if they push every day the reservations like what should be the normal. For example this cruise or last ones was the average reservations number 86 in the specialty restaurant, but every day we did and do over 120 or 160 even. So we are exhausted and can’t focus after the first seating basically. Now they want us to do from next cruise on the Mediterranean around 200 or more guests per night and they still want ratings of course. We don’t have even time to talk to anyone to ask for help if we needed because we are too busy and too many things in our head at the same time. So that is absolute nonsense.

Also, everyone should be treated equally, not making formal discrimination in many ways. If someone, for example, are from the Netherlands then is all priority or has privileges especially with Restaurant Operation Manager. Our Manager likes to be on people and don’t let them breathe especially on me. They told to my Dutch colleagues to keep an eye on me and report to him everything.  That’s how one waiter got also promoted to Assistant Maitre’d Speciality Restaurant because he was the eyes and ears for Restaurant Operation Manager. If we were around they spoke in Dutch about us… You can ask even our ex-manager who recently resigned. They pushed him together to the edge until he didn’t fall. He reported to Hotline as well and they just messed with him more basically.

I got an SD1 (first formal warning) now because after my duty I was walking on the Lido pool area and I took my phone from my pocket to checked the time and the Hotel Director came in front of me and saw me. The next day I got a warning.

When the chef of the entire fleet was on board and came to eat in Pinnacle Restaurant with his family the Restaurant Manager said no Indonesian waiters to approach his table and to go around to their table to serve them only others. I felt in both ways very humiliated after that. And when we mentioned this the Restaurant Manager just threatened us that stop or it will end with SD1 basically.  We work in Pinnacle always till late night especially when is general cleaning we finish at 01:30 or later and then next morning at 7:30 go to Lido breakfast. They expect us to be on time or fresh. We do not sleep properly at all because they pushing us too much. Everyone literally hates him because as I mentioned his not respecting anyone only the Dutch personnel.

Lots of people are resigning because of him. Even managers are telling me how he is treating them.

Doesn’t matter what we do nothing is good enough for them. They say we are not matching with the company standards. If we are not then why do we work here?  I am pretty much the best seller and making per month nearly $4000 dollars in sales and lifting up the revenue for the restaurant but is still not enough and I am in the spot. Every day I feel I don’t need this and I should leave but I stay. because I am not a quitter. Question is how far can I take more?

I have left 10 weeks and just want to finish in a peaceful. I wanted to extend one week or 2 and the Restaurant Manager denied, he said my performance is not the best for him. What is that? He has a performance journal which should be used to improve things but that is for him like a black book and put everything in about us and making our rating card based on that. Not cool.

I would love to change position because I can’t take it anymore in this department as a waiter even if the money is good. I applied already for another function now I am waiting for the decision.

I got my new assignment for next ship February 15 to Zaandam but I am not sure if I want to do it now after all this. They are treating us like we are not even humans.

I would say the company should look into more the things what is going on and talk to the crew members more. Not looking just the numbers from office and the revenue for the. Company! On board everything is different and has own rules. 

They always say if we don’t like it there are 10 more people to replace us… so that’s mean we are just numbers, not humans!

I like Hollan America Line and want to work more but not at this price.”