As protests continue across the country in response to the demand to #Endsars, companies have shown their support by lending their voices to the cause whether it is through the use of social media or by a form of donation. Twitter has been the strongest protest ground, with the hashtag trending non-stop, even outside the country.
We all have a part to play but as an employer what can you do to show support to your employees?
This is a time for companies to showcase transparency and communication – two factors that are important for any organization in a time of crisis. Employees are also affected by this movement and some of them might be eager to be at the frontline of the protest – out on the streets where voices will be heard loud and clear.
Stand on the side of justice
“There are two viruses killing Nigerian youths, COVID- 19 and SARS” – CNN. It is important for every organization to take a stand especially if your brand is one that has the youths as a major target audience – To be silent is to be complicit. Encourage employees to sign petitions and speak out for what they think is right.
We stand in solidarity with the Nigerian youth fighting for the freedom of expression, the freedom to live.
— Jobberman Nigeria (@Jobbermandotcom) October 10, 2020
Allow for Flexibility-
The protest going on across the country is for one cause and it affects everyone, even businesses. If the lives of youths are cut short, who will then build the businesses, who will be left to patronize you?
Are your employees participating in protests? Are your colleagues overwhelmed with the news and unable to focus? This is a good time to offer your employees as much flexibility as you can afford to. Surveys are a good tool to gather feedback within organisations. In times like this, it is a great way to find out how employees feel about the situation and if they need room to be part of it. In times of crisis, companies should continue an emphasis on inclusion. Organizations may also need to consider providing time off for employees to join demonstrations.
Just woke up to a message from my boss saying he’s in support of us joining the protests and asked us to draw up a schedule if we must during the week to try & balance our work.
— ibukun ⭐️ (@IbukunJoyce_) October 11, 2020
Protests are getting more attention by the day, more people are coming out and more people are getting hurt. Protesters have a message and we must all listen – to achieve this, protesters are blocking major roads and highways, traffic levels are on the all time high. Consider how the situation is making your employees feel, why not consider working remotely for the time being? The lives and mental health of your employees are also very much your responsibility.
Now is not the time to be silent, neither is it the time to jump on a bandwagon. It’s a time for real reflection and care with regards to how a brand and its leaders stand by the Nigerian Youths at this time and move forward with real steps to end police brutality and injustice.