In the past few years, South Africa and the world has experienced financial crises, social crises, political crises and climate crises. And then, almost two years ago, people started to get sick and we learned about a Coronavirus – Covid-19 – that was about to change the world as we knew it – we didn’t even know what the word crisis meant in 2019 looking back on things now.

Richard Edelman, CEO of global communications company Edelman, reflects on this change: “Faced with one of the biggest health and financial crises in history, people were turning to their governments for leadership and hope, a stunning turnaround for government which was always at or near the bottom of the trust hierarchy.”

Since this change, people have become more stressed, more anxious, more worried. I see it in my private coaching practice, I hear it in delegate’s stories whilst I facilitate and even on social media there is a definite trend towards vulnerability, compassion and finding out ‘who we are’.

What are you overwhelmed by at the moment?

Are you concerned about or fearful of climate change, losing your job because of the pandemic, or your job being replaced by a robot?

The pandemic accelerated and brought to our unavoidable attention lots of trends that were already impacting us at a frighteningly fast pace pre-2020. For example, lots of people feared job loss before. These fears have been confirmed in the pandemic, with 54% of people having seen their work hours reduced or their jobs eliminated. Another fear, that 56% of people experience, is the worry that the pandemic will accelerate the rate at which companies replace human workers with AI or robots.

Is this something you fear? Is this something you ever discuss with your teams?

Did you know that generally people no longer trust governments (the turn-out at South Africa’s elections are indicative of this), religious leaders or journalists to do what is right? People are now more likely to trust Scientists, their own CEOs and people in their local communities to do what is right. Perhaps we will go back to Medieval times where people lived in fairly isolated boroughs within a big city. Businesses are seen as institutions that are both competent and ethical and they are certainly the places where humanity now meets, if mostly online. These statistics support this:

68% of people agree that CEOs should step in when the government does not fix societal problems.

66% agree that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for the government to impose change on them.

65% of people agree that CEOs should hold themselves accountable to the public and not just to their board of directors or shareholders.

Employees' expectations have shifted; and so should the focus of any good management/ or executive team as a result. Customers remain fundamentally important to any business, but employee experience should be on your near horizon for sure. Company leaders have a duty to speak up on societal issues, safety issues and upskilling efforts to employees more now than ever before. Employee trust in authority is at an all-time low. Managers and executives everywhere must act now to turn this crisis into an opportunity by learning how to build trusting communities and connection in hybrid workplaces.

How do you do this?

If you know you should be doing this, but do not know how to do this, please contact my offices on sam@saffronbaggallay.co.za.

My Personal Mastery programmes are designed to guide people to discovering the best version of themselves. I teach people how to reflect this version of themselves onto others, in their professional and personal lives. I teach people to trust themselves, and to trust those colleagues, partners, friends and family.

The personal discoveries are life-changing and the personal transformations translate directly into a person’s work environment. A person’s confidence in them self improves, as does their confidence in others.

If you’d like to find out more about the Personal Mastery programmes for 2022, please send a mail to sam@saffronbaggallay.co.za and we’ll send you all the information you need.

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