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Focusing your team on business goals

Leah de Souza

Leah de Souza

Managing director,
Trainmar Inter-Regional Programme Ltd


Leah de Souza, managing director of Trainmar Inter-Regional Programme Ltd, tells 'Caribbean Maritime' about her results-driven consulting business. 

Everyone knows the key to any successful organization is its personnel. But in today’s fast-changing world, with competition sharper than ever, it’s only too easy for employers and their employees to lose focus and become less effective as a team. 

The Caribbean-based company Trainmar has achieved positive results in this sector with its workshops and customized workplace learning and development solutions.

Trainmar’s principal consultant is based mainly in Trinidad, but its offices are “100 per cent virtual” according to managing director Leah de Souza. “We go where our business and clients need us,” she says. “Our projects dictate the size of the employee force at any one time. Our diverse complement of experts hail from and work in all corners of the globe.”

There are two key areas to Trainmar’s activities:

  • Public or open enrolment seminars such as IMDG and IFMA* facility management courses
  • Client customized services via consulting.

“Our focus is the client’s desired result,” says Ms de Souza. “The journey to success varies from project to project.” To meet this goal, Trainmar uses a range of Performance Improvement Solutions. These are:

  • Customized training in all key business and operational skills
  • 360-degree feedback surveys
  • Competency profiling
  • Coaching
  • Business process review
  • Outsourced training functions
  • Review of training function / department
  • Review, design and development of company training programs.

So what are the weak or vulnerable points in organizations and their human resources where Trainmar can make a difference?

“I think that organizations need to make more of a shift in how training is viewed,” says Ms de Souza. “In many organizations it is given a small role in the HR department. Workplace Performance Improvement focuses on what the business goals are and how best employees can be equipped with the skills and competencies to achieve those business goals. For Trainmar, training is only one tool to reach this end. We approach each project knowing that training may not be the only answer. Our focus is not the method but the client’s goal. And as we do not preach any particular solution, we are able to open-mindedly guide our clients to success.”

Going forward, Trainmar is working on a growing number of long-term projects – “which we prefer so that we can better manage the progress that our clients seek,” says Ms de Souza.

“We are always looking to new borders. Our plan of action is to encourage clients to focus more on managing and improving performance.”

Key advice

So what would be her personal message to HR managers in the maritime sector in terms of how to achieve greater efficiency and job satisfaction? Ms de Souza has three vital pieces of advice:

  1. Get your hiring process right. If you don’t have the right person for each the job, it’s over before it even started.
  2. Implement a simple and effective Performance Management System. This is easier than it sounds (both operationally and financially) and it will work wonders for your business and team.
  3. Only provide training that is linked to compliance and / or performance. Training is not an excuse for poor management or an event to boost morale.

*International Maritime Dangerous Goods and International Facilities Management Association

The Trainmar story

Trainmar was formally established in Trinidad & Tobago in 1996. At the time the company offered mainly maritime training.

The company has since broadened the range of topics to support organizations and industries in both the private and public sectors in the region.

After 20 years Trainmar offers not only training but also a full suite of services and solutions to improve workplace performance.

Its business today is focused on improving productivity, profitability and positivity for client organizations and their employees.

The Trainmar Programme was originally established in 1980 by the United Nations as a capacity-building programme, promoting trade growth through enhanced training.

Today, the Trainmar Americas Network consists of independently run training centers in the Caribbean, Central America and Latin America.

While the Latin-sector centers are focused on port development training, Trainmar in Trinidad has responded to market demands for training across the entire logistics value chain with a very broad range of topics.

Prominent clients

Trainmar serves an impressive range of companies and organizations. Its client list includes:

  • Atlantic LNG
  • BG Trinidad & Tobago
  • BHP Billiton Ltd
  • Digicel
  • High Commission of Canada
  • EOG Resources Inc
  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals
  • Guardian Life
  • Gulf Shipping Ltd
  • National Training Agency
  • Massy Automotive Components Ltd
  • Neal & Massy Wood Group Ltd
  • Point Lisas Nitrogen Ltd
  • Southern Supplies Ltd
  • Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago
  • Tucker Energy Services
  • Water & Sewerage Authority of Trinidad & Tobago
  • Yara International.

Among the projects that Trainmar has worked on with its clients are team retreats, leadership development, targeted sales training, redesign of recruitment process, ‘train the trainer’ development and targeted competency and skills development.