The shifting of responsibility for COVID-19 defence

In the early days of the pandemic, even before the World Health Organisation called it such, governments across the world started to be briefed on a potential, but looming, enemy that was approaching country borders — the corona virus, called COVID-19. Many government leaders took the threat very seriously, calling for lockdown, shutting country and provincial or state borders and putting in place a series of procedures to slow down the infection rate in order to get health care systems mobilised to deal with the inevitable surge in infections. Some governments seem to have excelled — even almost suffocating the spread of the virus. Criticism will be levelled at other governments, however, who seem to have responded lethargically and inefficiently, even seemingly treating the virus with disdain.

The time for preparation is largely over now, however, as new epicentres of the disease seem to be springing up in various parts of the world. Economies need to be kick-started again and people need to take care of their respective livelihoods. The COVID-19 defence responsibility has started to shift from national leaders to business and community leaders and family heads — they now have to take responsibility for those who work for them or live with them. They have to institute the right protocols, hygiene rules and workplace health standards to ensure that everyone is as safe as possible and that the environment is sanitised. The COVID-19 defence responsibility has become everyone’s issue.

Frontline employees are particularly vulnerable to infection at this time. Information, posters and videos abound, but they have mostly not been designed and produced for this target group’s needs. Many business leaders are sharing that their frontline staff are not adopting safe behaviours and practices — this is despite all the information that they are providing. This lack of compliance not only puts these employees at risk, but also the respective organisations.

To meet this urgent need, Free To Grow has developed a cost-effective COVID-19 frontline toolkit that aids comprehension and encourages application of COVID-19 information and guidelines. It acknowledges the complexity of behaviour change and does not follow a quick fix approach. Instead, information is presented in 15 bite-size chunks that grow awareness, understanding and compliance over time. Free To Grow’s toolkit for frontline employees addresses the following 6 C’s, as seen in this model:

Free To Grow successfully focuses on explaining the WHY and not only the WHAT and the HOW. This creates a deeper level of understanding and motivation to apply what is learned.

Frontline employees need to adopt and exercise a measure of responsibility during this pandemic, not only for their own health and wellness, but also for the overall health of the whole company or community. Free To Grow has produced a world-class holistic approach, having taken into account the challenging environment in which many of these employees live. The 6C toolkit makes the principles of virus defence relevant, ensuring practical application for frontline workers.

For further information on the Free To Grow 6C COVID-19 Toolkit for frontline employees, contact Jonathan Mills on jnmills@iafrica.com

Originally published at on May 31, 2020.

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Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.

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Jonathan Mills

Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.