Adapt or die is a mantra that’s never been more apt than now.
While the likes of Uber started transporting food when passenger numbers declined, several businesses have also been forced to repurpose their traditional models - and that quite often has equally applied to staff.
“Most companies are currently not in any position to offer large monetary incentives,” says Nicol Mullins, chartered reward specialist and executive committee member of the South African Reward Association (Sara). “However, it is often not the monetary incentive that adds the biggest value to an employee/employer relationship.
“It is rather the ability of leadership to understand the employee’s current context.” Mullins suggests that leaders look at their workforce in segments, for example as single parents, single people or older people. That will assist in assessing their real needs better, rather than following a “blanket approach”.
“The best incentive to offer is often simply to ask what you can do for them.” In many instances it is simply data for their phone, or more flexible working hours. Don’t make any assumption as to the level of access employees have to water, Wi-Fi, food, safety or security. Ask. Even more so when referring to vulnerable populations within the workforce.
“The role of a business leader is to take responsibility for those who are in their care. If you take care of employees, they in return will take care of the business,” he adds.