Clear Strategy Company has been running an online survey researching the perceptions and anxiety levels among South Africans since the 17th of March, 10 days before lockdown. More than 17 500 people have participated in the study so far.
The results show that the anxiety caused by financial commitments and loss of income is higher than general anxiety caused by COVID-19. The latest results indicate a downward trend for general anxiety caused by COVID-19 and increasing anxiety caused by the current economic climate.
Many of the respondents, close to 50%, indicated that they are currently working, either from home or as part of the essential services.
Of interest is what employers are doing and communicating with regard to Covid-19, so we asked the question, “What has your employer communicated with you regarding Covid-19?”
Among the responses are many positive remarks regarding what employers do in terms of our current situation. Many companies communicate with their employees regularly via social media, e-mail and meetings using different online platforms. The communication often deals with COVID-19 best practises and how to stay safe. Employers also share positive messages and a few have sent relief food parcels. Some companies have explained their current situation and plans to survive with their employees. Employees appreciate the support and positive messages, as illustrated by the comment of one of the respondents:
“That we need to take care and stay healthy and that we need not worry about money. Our lives are worth more to her than the income our Company has lost.”
During these times, there are also important work-related issues to be communicated:
“Daily Skype meetings with the absolute truth from management (salary cuts, possible retrenchment) etc.”
Communication regarding job security / losses, pay cuts, leave arrangements and working from home were also mentioned. Many respondents mentioned other positives: the support they receive from companies regarding UIF claims and other programmes.
“Quite informative, regular updates regarding hygiene measures, general COVID-19 awareness information, impact on work and payroll, support measures available. Very happy with level of engagement.”
From the comments of the respondents it is clear that some employers have done a lot to communicate to their employees, but many employers do very little and should do more to communicate their plans and help their employees to feel less anxious.
The comment: “ Nothing really. Minimal communication.” reflects this sentiment
According to the feedback from our respondents, good communication should:
- Be positive, supportive and caring
- Ask how the company could assist the employee
- Be transparent and honest
- Explain salary and leave implications
- Include different strategies for the business to survive post lockdown
- Be frequent
- Include emergency human resources policies
- Explain relevant Covida-19 support programmes
To complete the survey, click on the link below:
For daily updates on the findings, click on link below:
Compiled by Johannes Loots and Brett Atkins, Clear Strategy Co