JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The rise of Covid-19 and measures to slow its spread have created new working conditions for many in South African which, for some, has meant isolation and, for some, affected psychological well-being.
Regular contributor to Carman’s Corner, MasterDrive’s Eugene Herbert, believes this can be difficult to manage.
“Drivers are not typically based in front of a computer so,” he says, ”if they work fewer hours, little time can be spent completing admin while the rest of the time they must remain constructive during these difficult times by themselves.”
MasterDrive spoke to industrial psychologist, Helena Nel from Imaginate People Advisory about how best to manage such changed working conditions.
“Employers should be aware of the emotional cycle experienced with change. Employees are likely still coming to terms with Covid and the ‘new normal’. Safe places for employees to express their feelings are needed.
“Such spaces can help employees through this time, Nel said, ”but be aware that not all employees have the needed resources. Never allow them to feel like they have been thrown to the kerb – rather create a platform for everybody.”
Extra time should be managed constructively.
”Employers can update and diversify employees’ skills cost-effectively. Time is more abundant now so use it to complete tasks for which, previously, there was insufficient time.”
KNOW ABOUT HOME LIVES
Employers and managers needed to recognise those who are struggling.
“Various employees face different challenges – not everybody has access to resources and structures. A supportive human connection and relationship based on trust with an organisational leader is important.
”Build this relationship by asking about home lives and making a safe place.”
Ultimately, we are told, all organisations need to adapt to the new stress dynamics.
“Start by changing something small – perhaps the tone of emails. For cases beyond managers’ control consider asking psychologists or coaches for help. If your company cannot afford counselling non-profit organisations or groups are available.”
HEADING FOR STRESS
The loss of a way of life, she believes, was similar to grieving.
“Many, when they leave home for work, leave a place of stress. Work needs to be in a supportive environment. Make it clear that it is OK not be 100%.”
- Herbert believes MasterDrive can provide support for drivers. “Whether it is through our Toolbox Talks or virtual training sessions, there are many ways to upskill your drivers to make sure they retain their sense of purpose.”