MIT Sloan Management Review Article on What Employees Want Most in Uncertain Times

  • 9m
  • Jessica B.B. Diaz, Kristine W. Powers
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2022

Managers have always needed guidance to lead their employees through times of extreme uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global crisis of our generation, but it is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. Uncertainty and volatility continue to rock work environments as the pandemic recedes and global economic and political instability loom, compounding employees’ feelings of uncertainty. In this changing environment, traditional management and leadership approaches are insufficient.

Extant research on leadership during crises generally focuses on organizationwide strategies germane to C-suite executives, leaving direct managers with little guidance on how best to support employees. To address this gap, we went straight to the source, asking employees what they want, need, and expect from their managers in times of uncertainty. (See “The Research.”) We asked, “What is one thing your supervisor could do (or do more of) to help alleviate the uncertainty that arose as a result of the pandemic?” In total, 287 participants, from a range of organization sizes and a variety of industries, responded with 398 unique comments.

About the Author

Kristine W. Powers is a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University. Jessica B.B. Diaz is an assistant professor in the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences and director of the human resource management program at Claremont Graduate University.

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on What Employees Want Most in Uncertain Times