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COVID-19: What Employees Need From Leadership Right Now

Source | | JIM HARTER

How do you lead and inspire employees amid a global pandemic that’s creating anxiety and uncertainty everywhere?

This is the most unusual and unpredictable crisis most of us have experienced in our lives. But there’s no need to start from scratch in trying to confront it.

Gallup has studied global citizens’ worries, fears and confidence during nearly every major crisis of the past eight decades — including the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and World War II, the Kennedy assassination, upheavals and riots in the 1960s, 9/11, the 2008 global financial crash, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

One thing is clear. Global citizens look to leadership for a crisis management plan — and to provide confidence that there is a way forward that they can contribute to.

In times of crisis, there are two directions human nature can take us: fear, helplessness and victimization — or self-actualization and engagement. On the latter, if leaders have a clear way forward, human beings are amazingly resilient. There is a documented “rally effect.”

Gallup meta-analytics have found four universal needs that followers have of leaders:

  • Trust
  • Compassion
  • Stability
  • Hope

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