by Staff reporter

PROACTIVE employee engagements can calm the uncertainty surrounding the information being disseminated on the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

After Namibia reported its first two cases (now at four), the health ministry introduced and implemented stringent measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Capricorn Group human capital group executive Stephanie Viljoen said the general uncertainty as to the impact the pandemic will have on daily lives was prevalent with many left with more questions than answers of how the new normal will be.

“By its very nature, Covid-19 has created a crisis for both the government and the private sector who immediately had to activate their contingency action plans to start mitigating the expected disruption such a pandemic may have on day-to-day business.

“From a human capital perspective, employees are the core of our business, and they had many questions and understandably fears and anxiety. Not because they did not know what Covid-19 entails, but rather what the impact will be on their personal and daily work lives,” she said.

The human capital executive said one of the key success factors in dealing with a crisis is proper and rapid communication to employees.

Viljoen said Capricorn Group communicated to all its employees in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia that preventive measures be taken, including travel advisories.

“Awareness of identifying symptoms and general preventative techniques also formed part of the communication. The magnitude of what the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will have on Namibia is still uncertain. But what is certain is that proactive communication with employees plays a key role in how we will deal with the pandemic and, most importantly, how we will deal with its aftermath to mitigate negative impacts on our organisation,” Viljoen said.

Meanwhile, FNB Namibia said it is closely monitoring developments relating to the global Covid-19 outbreak and said that it is dedicating significant resources to keeping the bank’s approach up-to-date while prioritising customer and employee health and safety.

FNB’s group communications manager, Elzita Beukes, said their ability to continue uninterrupted service to clients would be maintained. She added it is important for the bank to have a calm, reasoned approach to managing business relationships.

“We have increased the frequency of cleaning our premises and also ensured that where relevant, all our respective environments undergo deep-cleaning, including regular ATM/ADT cleaning. Our offices are equipped with hand sanitisers and we have rolled out sanitisers, gloves and masks to our branches as a precautionary measure, for customer and staff safety and to aid against any contagion,” Beukes added.

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