There is a reciprocal relationship between employee and employer. According to the Social Exchange Theory (SET), people make decisions measuring the cost and reward of actions and relationships. The hypotheses of recent  performance science studies published in "Frontiers in Psychology," were that work stress due to COVID-19 significantly affects employees’ task performance, contextual performance (managing good relationships) and adaptive performance (adapting to perform consistently).

It is difficult to maintain consistency in operations and service given the uncertainty COVID-19 has created. In addition to job-related stress, people are distracted by the pandemic environment that has affected work patterns, workloads and relationships. This study supported a culture of safety, especially as it relates to the pandemic, which is likely to increase performance. Employers creating a safe physical environment lessen the distraction and improve performance.

Nora T. Akins of Strategic Management provides brain-based coaching and management consulting to make the world kinder, one workplace at a time. Reach Nora at 219-873-1735 or

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