Easing the Symptoms of Covid-19 through Generosity

30 October, 2020

By Sue Withers, Summit Recruitment & Search (Kenya)

What a historic year for our generation; a pandemic, a lockdown, restricted travel, curfew and a new way of behaving and interacting with one another. Our children have been out of school, jobs have been lost, many organisations have gone under and whilst numbers of cases and deaths may be going down in certain countries, globally we are still in a huge crisis with lockdowns being re-introduced in some places.

How have companies reacted to the situation?

Foremost, companies have needed to ensure safety for their own employees and the community. Rightly so. Introducing measures such as distancing in the office, sanitizers on entry and exit goes without saying, and there are some companies whose approach to the current situation has been exemplary. At times like these, when most people are struggling, everyone needs to share resources and show a generosity of spirit.

As an example, without being asked our Landlords reduced the rent, which certainly helped many companies within the building manage their cashflow. This was a generous offer and made a substantial impact on all the tenants.

Cashflow has been one of the main issues facing many SME’s. How can you keep all your staff in work if there is no income coming in? Furlough schemes are not always available, so small companies are having to cope on their own and work out the best way to stay afloat.

Many companies have encouraged employees to take holiday, or work from home as necessary, to reduce crowding in the office, but with a view that everyone stays employed. Most employees who have kept their jobs and an income (albeit reduced) appreciate this fact. It is certainly better to have 50% or 75% of your compensation than not have a job or any income at all.
Service Industries tend to deal with a variety of companies in many different sectors and we can see that certain sectors have been hit in disproportionate ways. Wherever possible, we try to extend payment terms and offer discounts. Many companies have done the same.

On the other hand, some companies are not willing to offer flexibility during Covid and these companies will likely suffer in the long term. People will have no loyalty to these organisations and in fact will probably go elsewhere in the future.

At this time of crisis, if everyone bends a little, many companies will survive. But we all need to help one another and be prepared to sacrifice for the rest of 2020 and most likely into 2021.

In the months ahead, let’s not forget all those Companies, Landlords and Suppliers who show compassion in these difficult times. People above Profit is a statement that resonates and can directly counteract the symptoms of this terrible virus we are all fighting.

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