Www.travelmediadaily - In a bid to boost tourism to the country, South Africa’s home affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has announced visa-free travel for 11 countries. In a media briefing, the minister said the visa-free status of citizens of some countries and territories was temporarily suspended at the start of the lockdown period.
“In line with the commitment of government to take urgent steps to address the economic and tourism stagnation brought about by the outbreak of Covid-19, visa-free status of citizens from a number of countries and territories has been reinstated,” Motsoaledi said.
The countries include South Korea, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, US, UK, France, Portugal and Iran. However, the minister said that visa-free status does not alter the current Covid-19 regulations.
The minister also said he has instructed officials to communicate this decision to the aviation industry, embassies and other stakeholders as a matter of urgency. “The port managers have been instructed to adhere to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol and guidelines regulating the movement of essential goods under Covid-19 regulations. “The guidelines regulating truck drivers travelling across the border will continue to apply as has been the case for the past seven months,” he said.
The minister said that immigration officers will be required to assess the movement and place of origin of the traveller and not the country of origin of the airline concerned.
“Transit travellers through South Africa by air will be allowed to connect to their destinations, subject to them complying with applicable health protocols but need not produce the 72 hours negative certificate.”
Motsoaledi said that any person from a country listed as having a high Covid-19 infection and transmission rate, who wish to undertake business travel into South Africa, may, in writing, apply to the Department of Home Affairs and demonstrate reasons for their request to enter the country for business purposes during the period of the national state of disaster.
Has your workplace become toxic ?
A toxic workplace can be defined as any job where the work, the atmosphere, the people, or any combination of those things cause serious disruptions in the rest of your life. Nobody wants to work in a place with a “toxic” culture besides higher turnover, low productivity, costly legal battles all of which hurt the business bottom line.
Toxic corporate cultures can quickly kill business' future. A toxic company culture will erode an organization from its core by paralyzing its workforce, diminishing its productivity, halting virtually all innovation and curtailing its enthusiasm for serving customers.
Signs of Toxic Culture:
• 1st Sign: Feeling you will pick up when you spend time in a workplace where people don't communicate, don't smile, don't joke and don't reinforce one another.
• 2nd Sign: People are very concerned about titles, job descriptions and levels in the hierarchy.
• 3rd Sign: Rules and policies are very important.
• 4th Sign: Managers and employees make up two completely separate groups that seldom interact.
• 5th Sign: Employees are unhappy, nobody talks about it openly.
• 6th Sign: There is much talk about infractions and demerits but little to no recognition of extraordinary effort or triumphs.
• 7th Sign : People do not speak up even when they are presented with impossible goals, ridiculous plans or patently stupid ideas they are expected to implement.
• 8th Sign: Informal grapevine is many times more effective as a communications network than any type of official communication.
• 9th Sign: Employees have little to no latitude in performing their jobs.
• 10th Sign: Fear is palpable in the environment. Doors slam and whispered conversations take place in stairwells.
• 11th Sign: Narcissistic Leadership: Your higher-ups demand that you always agree with them, tell them they’re right, and feel they’re above the rules. They expect everyone else to be perfect while they can meet lower standards.
Aggressive behaviors can be indirect, taking the form of hostile jokes and teasing and/or undermining the work and accomplishment of others. It may be direct as well; shouting, ridicule, excessive criticism, bullying and scapegoating are all hallmarks of a toxic company culture. When an organization embraces blame as a blood sport, it is safe to say the company is in peril. Negativity permeates the organization, eroding the morale of the workforce and leading to chronic anger and anxiety among the staff. These are all symptoms of a toxic company culture.
Who’s responsible for a toxic workplace?
All this begs the question: Who or what is responsible for workplace toxicity? Who should be held accountable? Is it the fault of toxic managers? Is it a byproduct of rapid scaling—just another growing pain? Is it caused by high turnover that disrupts team functioning?
Individuals at every level of an organization can contribute to workplace toxicity.
Toxicity can begin with business leaders, bad managers, or disengaged employees. Often it’s all three at once.
Just as anyone can create toxicity, anyone can solve the problem too. We all have a choice whether or not to feed into that toxicity. We can choose to suffer—or to do something about the problem.
How to fix a toxic workplace
Leaders play a huge role in developing and protecting a positive culture. You need to recognize and resolve the problem, as well as reassure victims and repair culture. Here's how to go about fixing a toxic work environment:
1. Take responsibility: Leaders can’t begin to resolve the problem of the toxic office without exploring how their own conduct may have influenced the situation. It’s important to remember that your actions don’t have to be deliberate or conscious – stress, workplace politics and the desire to avoid disagreement can all cause leaders to unwittingly turn a blind eye and unintentionally allow bad behavior to exist.
2. Communicate and observe: With your own house in order, it’s time to look at other employees. A lot can be learned by observing team members, having conversations and becoming familiar with causes of tension or dysfunction in the workplace. For example, is there one person who dominates discussions? Are certain team members being excluded or undermined? Is someone using their status to control others? This simple action can mean future problems are detected sooner – and the worst consequences are avoided.
3. Re-establish a sense of security: Before you can start repairing a toxic office, it’s essential that you listen to people who feel victimized, and listen with compassion. Never downplay a team member’s concern or minimize issues; this amounts to institutional betrayal, which can exacerbate the ordeal for victims. Talking to your team will help alleviate anxiety and re-establish a sense of security, but it’s also a good way to rebuild trust. Be sure to communicate your policies loudly and clearly, and do this publicly, too.
4. Get everyone on board: Following on from this, when conveying your policies and vision for repairing office culture, you should encourage people to ask questions and give feedback – basically, ensure everyone’s voice is heard. When team members are included they feel valued and respected, and this boosts morale, restores unity and ultimately helps improve both climate and confidence.
5. Actually take action: But kind words alone aren’t enough – you need to actually take action. There’s nothing more deflating for victims than opening up about an experience only to see that nothing materially changes as a result of it. So make sure you actually have a robust policy for dealing with different types of behavior in place, and that your response addresses the structural problems that led to it, instead of just mindlessly punishing. Understand the importance of your example; if you don’t act after toxic events, employees will lose faith in your ability – or even desire – to protect them.
6. Leading by example: Ultimately, while culture is something an entire company creates together, leaders must recognize their responsibility in encouraging and deterring certain behaviors. It’s up to leadership, not staff, to ensure everyone respects the company's core values and feels represented. In instances like these, ‘keeping out of things’ isn’t a impartial action, but rather it nurtures a culture that tolerates toxic behavior. Lead by example, set the right climate and always follow words with meaningful action.
HR, OD, Productivity and Lean Manufacturing Specialist
Read full article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/toxic-work-culture-kills-business-future-delwar-hossain/
Retrenchment is widely recognised as one of life’s most stressful events. The shock of a retrenchment coupled with financial stress may leave a person uncertain about how to proceed. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about retrenchment:
What’s the first thing I should do if I get retrenched?
If your employer has given you notice that they intend embarking on a retrenchment procedure, you may want to consider getting legal advice from an experienced labour lawyer. Before agreeing to or signing anything, take steps to determine your rights as an employee and to understand your employer’s obligations through the process. Secondly, take immediate steps to put a survival budget in place and to strip out any unnecessary costs. There is no knowing how long you may be unemployed for so rather err on the side of caution and be ruthless with your budget. Rather than doing mental arithmetic interspersed with some guesswork, commit to drafting a written budget which will empower you to know exactly how much you need each month to survive and can help allay some of the anxiety.
Read more https://www.moneyweb.co.za/financial-advisor-views/answers-to-your-frequently-asked-questions-about-retrenchment/