As COVID-19 cases surged this spring, the pandemic led some people more than others to ponder their own mortality. A new study in China and the United States suggests that these people were the ones who showed the highest levels of stress and the least engagement at work.
But the research also uncovered a bright spot: The right kind of boss helped reduce stress and increase engagement and pro-social behavior in their workers who were anxious about COVID-19.
“A global pandemic can lead some people to think about their own mortality, which will understandably make them more stressed and less engaged at work,” said Jia (Jasmine) Hu, lead author of the study and associate professor of management and human resources at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
“But business leaders who are attentive to employees’ emotional needs and unite them behind a common purpose made a positive difference