Research: What Do People Need to Perform at a High Level?

Source: Zorana Ivcevic, Robin Stern, and Andrew Faas, Harvard Business Review, May 17, 2021
(subscription required)

The researchers identified common factors helping (or hurting) employee effectiveness. Among them were personal factors including mindsets and skills that the individual brings to the job and over which they have some control. Others are managed at an organizational level: managing rules about how work is done and showing emotional intelligence. Turning to nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic, the researchers found that these factors became even more important during crisis. They found that when the background uncertainty and anxiety are high, if the organization does not provide clear expectations and the supervisors do not acknowledge staff feelings and help them manage them, workers will not be able to work to their full potential.

Of practical importance to organizational leaders, our research provides insight about how managers can boost employees’ potential – even in times of crisis.