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Leadership absence during crisis leads to burnout

[ad_1] | Ashleigh Webber

Workers are more likely to become stressed and possibly burnt out when leaders are not present during times of crisis, an academic study has suggested.

Research by Durham University Business School, University of Sheffield, the University of Hull and Northumbria University, looked at the importance of senior leader presence and absence on the frontline during times of crisis.

It considered the experience of nurses on intensive care units during the Covid-19 pandemic and found many felt “deserted” by senior leaders.

Interviews with over 50 nurses from 38 different healthcare units in the UK and Ireland found that the absence of senior leaders during the pandemic lessened the feeling of “collective suffering” with leaders alienating themselves from the challenges that workers faced. This led to increased feelings of stress, burnout and absenteeism.

Those who found their senior leaders were present during the crisis had a much more positive take on their ability to work through the difficult period.

Senior leaders who showed willingness to work on the same tasks as workers also helped to provide a greater sense of togetherness, which impacted positively on team and personal morale.

Although there can be good reasons as why leaders are not as freely available to deal with a crisis as other workers – such as poor resourcing, time pressures or role conflicts – the researchers suggested that it was important for leaders to  be present on the frontline so it does…

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