60 Countries Represented

"We have over 1000 crew members serving you and they represent over 60 different countries," said the Cruise Director. Yikes, I don't think I could name 60 countries!

Right after that, my HR mind went right to - where do you put them, what are their sleeping arrangements, how do you staff a crew of over 1,000, are they all employees, contracted out, or hired on a temporary basis, what about communication and religious/cultural differences - how are these addressed, how do you staff for illnesses at sea - do you always carry a certain % of over ceiling staff, how much do you rely on the local economy at each port for services - and on and on.

I never asked the questions so do not have the answers but what I do have is a memory of an organization who, from this customer's perspective, got it right. The service was unbelievable and everyone, absolutely everyone was working towards the same goal - providing a signature experience. 

I am pretty well traveled and will not ever forget the first time I realized while traveling abroad (I think I was sitting beside an Italian lake drinking espresso) that not everyone wants to be an American. Couldn't believe it at the time, it was shocking to me but it is true.  Everyone has something to offer and it makes us all richer when we are open to seeing and accepting their gifts. 

Recognizing differences, often the focus of diversity efforts , was not the approach this cruise ship took with their staff and customers. I saw it as celebrating and honoring uniqueness and I think whether you are on the boat or off, it is something we all could learn from.