The Covid-19 pandemic has separated people from their workplaces, coworkers, and familiar daily routines. In many cases, it has added stress, led to a drop in morale, and fragmented team cohesion — all of which can result in dampened work performance. That’s why actively fostering a sense of inclusion at work is so critical right now.
During the early stages of Covid-19 this April, I conducted a study to find out how professionals were reacting to the unanticipated disruption of a global crisis. I surveyed 187 people working in a variety of industries and occupations in New York and New Jersey, the two states most impacted at the outset of Covid-19 in the U.S. By analyzing 253 narratives, I identified some definitive patterns in leadership behavior that gave employees a sense of stability, empowerment, and inclusion despite the crisis. While this research was conducted during the acute early stages of the pandemic, the following recommendations are deeply relevant to our ongoing, and changing, state of crisis.
1. Show Appreciation
The most frequently cited behaviors (mentioned by 44% of the participants) were recognizing, praising, and otherwise showing appreciation for a person’s work, dedication, effort, and contributions.
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