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Impact of coronavirus on the motivation and performance of the sale team within a petroleum company in Southern Africa.

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The unanticipated spreading of the Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) has had a devastating impact on the world, including South Africa. South Africa was susceptible to this impact as government enforced strict regulatory lockdowns, which required new ways of working in a workforce that was used to faceto-face business interaction. This study focused on retail sales employees within a petroleum company and the adaptation of their characteristics to drive work performance during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The main characteristic that this study focused on, was the motivational factors that influenced the employee’s lives for better or worse. The retail sales employees (Territory Managers) are responsible for the business development of service stations. Their roles include monitoring of fuel sales, convenience store sales, safety and regulatory compliance of the service station, environmental and disaster management of the site, routine corporate contractual monitoring of the equipment and infrastructure, and housekeeping of the site. Qualitative research was conducted via semi-structured interviews to 12 Territory Managers, from the perspective of the employees, to gain a better understanding of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The non-probability purposive sampling method was used. The research methods consisted of secondary research from existing academic and corporate literature, as well as primary research from the interviews that were conducted with the retail sales employees. The research found that the impact of the pandemic touched every person’s life in some way or the other. Whilst some people found ways to cope with the pandemic, others gave in to the stress which impacted on their physical and mental wellbeing. The research also pointed out the gaps in the company’s support system for employees and the company’s readiness to deal with the impact of the crisis. This study's main goal was to offer suggestions to the business, to help decisionmakers support employees’ productive ability, so that the employees remain inspired and performanceoriented during times of crisis.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.


Motivation, Coronavirus, Performance