The sentiment in the country is negative. It’s time for all leaders to step up. The issues of Xenophobia, Femicide and a depressed economy are taking their toll. Wherever you turn women are mentioning their fears, commuters are mentioning their frustrations with inefficient systems and South Africans are simply tired of the huge financial burdens they carry. This is translating to
stress and anxiety related illnesses, higher absenteeism and lost productivity in the workplace as our nation struggles to keep afloat, with a workforce that is psychologically occupied with pure survival.
Scare mongering you say? I wish!
The good news though, is that real leaders are stepping up
. Our demand for sexual harassment awareness training is increasing, the demand for leadership training is increasing, the demand for diversity awareness training is increasing, and the demand for emotional intelligence training is increasing.
So how are these programmes making a difference and what is making cash strapped companies see this training as a priority?
"Well we are in the hospitality industry and when our staff are not at their best it very quickly translates to a loss of income. We simply cannot afford not to do this training to ensure that our staff know that we have their backs." This from a senior manager at one of our more progressive group of restaurants.
"The diversity training you have completed for us has brought a sense of hope to our people who are tired of being tired. We are seeing more compassion and empathy and much less conflict. A few ladies have taken it upon themselves to be the ambassadors for change and there is more laughter in the workplace, and our first time yield has reached target for the first time this year."
"The leadership training you provided for us has had a tremendous spin-off. Our guys are settling as a team, the number of disciplinary procedures have dropped considerably, I just wish we did this before it became a crisis in the company"
"From my perspective I think that our people simply needed to know that we care. They needed to know that we recognised the effort they put into simply being at work and this training has definitely opened my eyes to the personal difficulties our people experience on a daily basis. I feel I am enriched as a leader and personally I feel more accepted."
Ultimately the feedback says it all and when we look at the research that shows us that happiness is connection, it is no wonder that these programmes are making a difference as connection is exactly what they open the door to.
One company in particular amazed me when within a few moments they had set up a WhatsApp group based on geographical location and they had figured out a way that instead of 14 of their personnel each walking to a taxi rank on their own, they managed to form groups of up to 5 to walk together increasing the safety aspect for each of those people.
I was amazed that this had not happened before as these people had after all, all been working together for up to years in some cases. When I enquired about why not before, the answer was simpler than what we thought… The forum for such a meeting had simply not been created before and as individuals they were shy to reach out, each thinking that the other had their lives sorted and were not being faced with the same fears.
In conclusion thus, I would like to reach out the leaders out there
. Talk to us at Staff Training, we can assist you to create platforms where your people connect in a safe way and our programmes can last from an hour or two, to a day or three... Your decision, your budget, your win.
Find out more about our courses on offer:
© Debbie Engelbrecht 2019
Debbie is the MD at Staff Training, providing soft skills and leadership training for South Africans since 2000. Should you wish for Staff Training to put together an annual training package for you covering aspects of management, wellness and self-mastery, please email firstname.lastname@example.org