Equipping Peermont’s leaders to help their people combat the ‘Emotional Tsunami’ of Covid-19

Globally, health experts are concerned about the continuing high levels of grief, fear, anxiety and uncertainty that individuals are experiencing as a result of Covid-19 – increasingly referred to as an ‘Emotional Tsunami.’


The need


The pandemic has also significantly impacted almost every industry, with companies in the gaming and hospitality industry particularly hard hit. Award-winning hospitality and entertainment company, Peermont Hotels, Casinos and Resorts, is no exception.

Being in tune with the needs of their people, the Peermont Executive team became increasingly concerned about the impact of this emotional tsunami on their people’s wellbeing as well as their ability to deliver on the company’s purpose of “creating exceptional memories by delivering relaxing stays and exciting times.” The reality is, no matter how committed you are to the bigger purpose, it becomes difficult to focus on the needs of others when you yourself feel overburdened.

“We definitely live in unprecedented times and need coping mechanisms,” said Nigel Atherton, Group Chief Executive Officer.

Peermont’s executive team embraced this challenge as an opportunity to demonstrate to their employees that they are valued contributors to the success of the organisation and that their leaders care. The team identified the need for a personal wellbeing programme that would build resilience and agility – personal attributes required to live the Peermont Way.


A phased approach


Free To Grow’s Staying Strong programme and toolkit were selected to address this need.

Implementation is taking place in three phases. During Phase 1, Free To Grow presented the Staying Strong programme virtually to 750 leaders, spanning 12 sites in South Africa and Botswana. This provided the leaders, from Executives to Supervisors, with an opportunity to first ‘put on their own mask’ as far as wellbeing is concerned before proceeding to assist their staff in this journey.


Experience and value of the programme


This opportunity was deeply valued by the vast majority of the leaders, as can be seen from their evaluation of different facets of the programme:

Staying Strong impact graph

Phase 2 comprised equipping these leaders with the skills to use the Staying Strong Toolkit for focused 10 to 30 min wellbeing conversations with their teams. The toolkit consists of 15 short videos with powerful, relatable messages on different facets of wellbeing. With the aid of a user-friendly, step-by-step guide, leaders will engage their teams in conversations around the message of each video and help them apply it to their lives and work.

Client photo

Malebo Mpepele, Group Training and Development Manager Peermont

Malebo Mpepele, Group Training and Development Manager Peermont is eager to embark on Phase 3, putting the toolkit to action. She says, “Leaders interact with their people all the time. The Staying Strong toolkit gives them the tools to do this in a way that has a positive impact.”

Malebo, a seasoned L&D Practitioner has full trust in the learning methodology deployed in Staying Strong.

“I love its visual nature – the images are strong and create interest.”


She described working with Free To Grow as a very positive experience. “Free To Grow is not just a service provider, they are a real partner. They care about the success of the programme and were ready to jump in and assist whenever we needed help or advice,” she says.

Malebo concludes by expressing appreciation for the commitment of the Executive team. “They are not just paying lip service to support our people to Stay Strong, their hearts are really in it. They are leading by example and this makes all the difference,” she says.