To apply, complete the application form on Bizportal.
Communicate with staff
Communication with staff is critical, said Robyn Stone, Head of Talent at Lulalend.
Stone suggested the following points to consider when communicating with staff:
Kindness was the most important, added Stone:
“The state of current affairs is heavy on the heart, so it’s important to be kind at all times. Not only as the Business Owner or HR delivering the comms, but by encouraging kindness between colleagues and teams. When you’re communicating remotely, things like empathy can get lost in translation so it’s important to express warmth in your tone,” said Stone.
Make sure your company is following health and safety measures
Develop a plan for phased return of staff
Stone suggested creating a shared document so all employees can check updates to the return to work plan.
The number of employees you have will influence your back to work plan.
Companies with fewer than 10 employees, for instance, need to comply with less requirements. These are discussed in clause 40 of this Gazette from the Department of Employment and Labour.
Work from home first
Staff who can work from home should do so, states the regulations.
Pregnant and vulnerable employees should be allowed to work from or work from an isolated space in the office, reports the National Employer Association of South Africa’s COVID-19 toolkit.
All your workers need a permit to come to work
You will need to complete a permit for each staff member considered essential. They will need to carry the permit and a form of identification when they travel to work.
Maintain social distancing
Some industries may only allow a percentage of workers to return to the office.
All workplaces must cater to social distancing requirements, said Nxesi.
“With regard to social distancing, workplaces must be arranged to ensure a minimum of 1½ meters between workers. If this is not practicable, physical barriers must be erected and workers must be supplied free of charge with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”
Stone encouraged companies to consider creating a shared calendar for when staff would be in the office.
Getting to work
Regulations have been relaxed for people travelling to work by public transport or car.
This is a time of major uncertainty for business owners. We invited Charmaine Soobramoney, a personal development and business coach, to share her thoughts on some of the issues raised by our community.
Charmaine has a diverse set of skills and experience. Her focus is on shaping, positioning and supporting individuals and organizations for excellence and growth.
Some of the topics we touched on in this interview are:
How to deal with anxiety about your business
What are ways to keep your staff motivated
How to have hard conversations with your staff
Could now be an opportunity for growth in any way?
Watch the full video here, and join our SA Small Businesses Unlocked community where you can engage with Charmaine directly if there’s any other questions you might have:
Joshua Meltz and Adam Duxbury have been running Granadilla Swim for the last five years, along with other businesses Rooftop on Bree and Sunn Kombucha. When news stories of the coronavirus and its impact on European countries like Italy and the UK started appearing, they knew they had to quickly find a way to adjust their strategy and keep afloat.
We chatted to the Cape Town based duo on how they adapted and used the power of community to transform their business during this time. Leveraging off their existing infrastructure, they’ve been able to pivot their offering to include delivery of groceries, coffee pods, olive oil and sourdough bread – with more to come.
Here’s their story, with some pieces of advice for other South African retailers on how to adapt in the time of COVID-19.
Join our community
If you’d like to be a part of our next live chat or receive real time COVID-19 updates, join our SA Small Businesses Unlocked Facebook Group here.
The coronavirus lockdown is in full swing in South Africa. Some of us are still working remotely, whilst others are unable to work at all. It’s uncharted territory, and we’re all still working out how we make this time meaningful.
Maybe you’re trying to set boundaries between your ‘home’ life and your ‘work’ life, which both play out in the same space at the moment. Maybe you’re trying to replace endless scrolling on social media with some meaningful content or channels for self-improvement.
Here are five online platforms which may give you the value and experience you are looking for, while you’ve got the time.
Connect with community
The guys at Ideas Cartel are an innovative bunch. While COVID-19 might have halted their shared office space and hotel business, it hasn’t stopped them from offering support and resources to entrepreneurs. As a member of their Cartel Connect community you can access workshops, talks and classes which range from fitness to practical business skills. Membership costs R99 per month.
Stay up to date
The National Small Business Chamber (NSBC), a non profit organisation which offers support and networking opportunities to SMEs, has set up a dedicated COVID-19 online centre. Here you’ll be able to find content from the media relating to small businesses at this time as well as a notice board of upcoming webinars and events.
Learn something new
Whether you are looking to sharpen your skills in a particular area or learn something new, there are loads of courses available online. Udemy has a range of educational courses for you to choose from – whether you want to learn how to play piano or build a website. There are even some discounts on some of their courses to make learning even more accessible over this period. Get Smarter also offers online short courses from credible universities and institutions. This is your chance to up your knowledge in areas like leadership and management or master specific skills ranging from topics like global health delivery to digital marketing analytics.
Never trust a skinny chef… well there’s never been a better time to take some notes from the pros. Heavy Chef has been hosting workshops geared at entrepreneurial mentorship and knowledge sharing for years. They’ve now taken the magic online – you can live stream talks by industry leaders in South Africa from wherever you are. Innovation is the order of the day on their line up, and business owners get hefty discounts.
Hang up your work hat
How do you decompress once you’ve sent that last email? Maintaining some kind of home/ life balance is important. If you’re missing the outdoors or even want an activity that you can include the whole family in, check out Wild Earth. This site gives you the opportunity to go on an online safari and interact with an actual game ranger. Who knew you’d be able to experience the African wilderness from behind your laptop?
Join our SA Small Businesses Unlocked community to get the latest COVID-19 updates, insights from other business owners and content to keep you sane over lockdown.
The last week has been an uncertain time for the thousands of South Africans who run and are employed by small businesses. The narrative we’ve all been seeing play out online and on social media paints a bleak picture of possible retrenchments and job losses, but what if there was another perspective to consider?
Could now be a good opportunity for companies to recruit that perfect team member and for job-seekers to land that dream job? Business consultancy CN&CO together with In Place Recruitment share some thoughts around why now might actually be the best time to build and grow your team.
With the understanding and compassion that this won’t be applicable to all industries and companies and that there are impossible decisions being made in business across the country, here are some key points to consider:
Don’t push pause
Not all companies have stopped recruiting. In our skills-short market, hard-to-fill vacancies will still be there when these crazy times are over. Now is the ideal time to engage with potential candidates. You don’t want to be left behind because you paused your recruitment.
The talent pool is full
There are more candidates in the talent pool currently looking for work or open to conversations than we have seen in a long time. The time is ripe to speak to potential candidates, especially regarding roles you are struggling to fill.
Online is the order of the day
Your entire recruitment process can be digitized, keeping everyone safe while still actively recruiting. All the admin can be done online, and face-to-face interviews are made possible using video conferencing tools such as Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WeChat Work and Slack.
Time is of the essence
Recruitment processes can take up to three months, especially when looking for hard-to-find skills. With potential candidates all locked down at home, this is a great time to jump in and find that perfect new hire quickly and effectively.
There’s nowhere to hide…
Remember all those hard-to-reach candidates you’ve been trying to track down for months? Well, for the next couple of weeks you know exactly where they are. Time to move in and set up an appointment.