March 2020 brought about a level of disruption that neither Namibia, nor the larger globe had anticipated. As with any form of turbulence, the world’s response was to try and make sense of what was happening with the primary objective to mitigate risks and ultimately come out stronger than before.
Similarly, Deloitte set out to unpack the experiences of Namibian organisations as they try to navigate the uncertainties brought on by COVID-19 and assess their readiness to embrace what would soon become the “new normal”, whilst no longer merely operating for the sake of survival, but with the aim to thrive in this new world. In response to understanding the latest impact of COVID-19, Deloitte Namibia conducted two COVID-19 flash surveys during 2020, with the third having just been concluded.
The 2021 survey provides a comparative account of how organisations are managing the pandemic while zooming in on the employee –employer relationship. Furthermore, this report compares organisations’ current and future practices as a result of the turbulent times we face. Of equal importance, this year’s survey aims to understand how COVID-19 has affected the Namibian employee experience, and how employers are responding to the need for alternative approaches towards healthy levels of employee engagement.
The results included in this report illustrate how differently Namibian organisations have been impacted by COVID-19. Despite the unique nuances each organisation holds, the data suggests key similarities in the challenges we need to solve. Employee wellbeing and the needed support from leadership is highlighted. Leadership’s stance on leveraging near term strategies that supports the novelty that the world will return to business as usual (before COVID-19) are challenged by the need to find a middle ground for the demand for remote working and increased flexibility. The complexity of these scenarios are amplified by increased COVID-19 infection rates recorded in the recent third wave, burnout and a perceived dip in employee engagement levels.
For leaders, this means changing how we think about, engage and manage our teams –and learning to connect in a way that humanises the employee experience. Employees demand for remote working as apposed to “office first” mandates are top of mind for most Namibians and pointing us to consider a multimodal approach for the uncertain world we live in.
As Peter Drucker famously said, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence itself, but to act with yesterday’s logic”. We hope this report sheds light and inspires our clients to rethink and imagine new approaches when addressing the very real opportunities and challenges COVID-19 creates for Namibian organisations.
One hundred and thirty-nine employees/employers provided input into this survey, for which we extend our sincere gratitude. This report outlines the results of the survey which we trust you will find insightful during these unprecedented times.