This Managing Resilience article for C-Suite and The Board at Resilience Forward presents the findings from interdisciplinary collaborative research published in the Journal of Nursing Management and undertaken by Professors from Durham University Business School, University of Sheffield, University of Hull, and Northumbria University. The research investigated the importance of senior leader presence and absence on the ‘frontline’ in times of crisis. The research specifically focused on the case study of ICU nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic; however, it found results that are likely transferable to various crisis response situations. Frontline staff noted feelings of desertion, which led to collective suffering and alienation of leadership from frontline pressures, resulting in further stress, burnout and absenteeism rates in frontline staffing. Conversely, instances, where leaders demonstrated presenteeism and support for staff, were regarded much more positively, providing togetherness with benefits on morale and real-time insight and decision-making to enhance effective responses.


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