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 21 500 people have participated in the study so far.
On the 6th April we started asking employees about the quality of the communication they had received from their employers. Employers were also asked some questions about their actions and responses to the Covid-19 crisis.
A large majority of employees were satisfied with the communication from their employer. Employers made important information easily accessible to employees, only 15% of respondents disagreed. Employees also felt that their employers communicated frequently and transparently.
Three quarters of employees felt their employers reacted quickly to the Covid-19 challenge. They agree that their employers support them and have safety measures in place to protect them. There was a more mixed response as to whether the companies have clearly defined plans in place and whether the employees were involved in decision making.
When asked how likely their businesses are to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, a worrying third of employers felt that it was unlikely. This finding is similar to Statistics South Africa research “Four in ten businesses feel that they cannot continue to operate.” Statistics South Africa Media release, 21 April.
Employers were asked what actions they had taken in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and most responded that they had complied with the regulations and shut down. Where possible they had encouraged staff to work from home.
Half of employers would consider pay cuts and slightly fewer would consider retrenchments. A third were looking for new opportunities to pursue. Perhaps the lockdown is an ideal time to do a SWOT analysis on your business, see resources below.
What also stands out are the very high levels of uncertainty on the question of business survival and future direction.
A third of employers have applied for one of the Covid-19 assistance programmes available. Of those that have applied, only 4.5% have had any feedback.
From their comments, the main reason they have not applied is that they feel their businesses will not qualify for assistance. They believe they will not qualify due to BBBEE compliance issues, business size and non-registration, amongst others.
Many feel that they are not yet at the stage that they need to apply for assistance, while others do not want to enter in to a loan agreement that will need to be paid back. Please see a list of resources below for companies that want to apply for Covid-19 relief measures.
SWOT analysis resources
Covid-19 relief resources
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For daily updates on the findings, click on link below:
Compiled by Johannes Loots and Brett Atkins, Clear Strategy Co