Top leadership insights of 2020

We gathered top insights on what to keep in mind when leading teams. 

CHRO South Africa has been a much-needed platform for Top HR leaders to discuss the challenges, frustrations, and ideas for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. When the pandemic hit, many organisations had to quickly navigate transitioning employees into remote working environments. The world remains uncertain with companies now slowly gearing up for their recovery phase. Here are top insights from 2020 on what to keep in mind when leading teams in these try9ing times.

5 signs it's time to get a coach

As you plan for 2021, perhaps it is time to invest in a coach to help you recognise and achieve your greatest potential. Coachfluence’s Neshica Bheem says coaching creates self-awareness, addresses limiting self-beliefs, and maps a path for you to push the boundaries and achieve your greatest performance. 

Neshica’s 5 signs it is time to get a coach

1. Career transitions 

When you move to a new company, get a promotion or your role changes at work, a re-evaluation of your personal strategy may be needed to make the transition successful.

2. Career inertia and feeling stuck

When you find yourself in a rut or settled into a comfort zone, you may know that you need to make a change, but don’t know how or where to start.

3. Desire to make an impact 

Business coaches have a knack for uplifting your game and presenting a thought process that probes deeper into organisational challenges and solutions.

4. Burnout and developing resilience

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by extreme and prolonged stress.

5. Finding purpose 

Doing something well in life or in the workplace is not always sufficient. We can all do things well but are they the things we are passionate about?

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Leading with courage, compassion and communication

Standard Chartered Bank's Regional Head of HR for Africa Middle East Millicent Clarke says something that became exceptionally clear during the height of the pandemic is the need for strong leadership in times of drastic change. So, as we enter an era of which conventional workplace paradigms no longer apply, leaders need courage, compassion and communication to effectively navigate this novel working world.

Courage. The courage needed now from leaders can have even bigger impacts in times of uncertainty. Employees are looking to the top for direction, a vision and a plan, to guide them through and out of this situation.

Compassion. Compassion has never been more important for effective leadership. It ensures that leaders can approach the issues and concerns of their people with a degree of humanity and humility, and, above all, ensures that their people are heard. 

Communication has changed and its necessity certainly has too. 

Millicent says that “an organisation is only as efficient, operational, and productive as its team. Leaders must adapt and adopt a working model that addresses the needs of their people – a vital element to safeguarding the integrity of their workforces.”

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How organisations can rebuild confidence, trust in the workplace post-Covid-19

SAP Africa’s Stanley Dube says as industries reopen and workers return, organisations need to build confidence among workers that it is safe to return. Organisations should seek tools and policies that enable them to assess risks of Covid-19 infection and transmission in the workplace and identify at-risk employees regardless of symptoms. Additional health surveillance protocols need to be established for testing, diagnosis and treatment.

He says ensuring workplace safety is a top priority and technology can support Environment, Health and Safety Management efforts by COOs, human resources managers, risk management officers, sustainability officers and facilities managers. A technology solution should both help to prevent infections as well as to manage any infections that occur. The goal is to give confidence to workers that their workplace is safe, building trust at a critical time.

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What HR in the manufacturing sector has learned since Covid-19

ABB Country HR Business Partner Mervin Munsamy says one of the challenges that manufacturers face is ensuring the safety of their employees on customers’ sites. It is critical to communicate with customers to better understand their Covid-19 prevention protocols, and where issues arise, pausing onsite maintenance, and if possible, assisting by using remote monitoring technologies.

Mental wellbeing is equally important as physical safety and wellbeing during this time. Partnering with providers such as ICAS, who can provide remote counselling services for your staff is critical.

Educating employees on the current crisis is critical. HR, in partnership with the health and safety, and communications departments, needs to provide training, transparent updates and awareness messaging company-wide – more so on the shop floor – with clear, useful precautionary information.

Don’t stop training. Onboarding and continuous development through virtual training should not be halted in these situations. In fact, when it can’t be “business as usual”, it is the perfect opportunity to enable learning in an online environment.

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