Executives and employees don’t see eye to eye on employer responses to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 crisis wears on, bringing continual business disruption and lockdowns that sometimes stop and start overnight. In this environment, individuals and employers are collectively struggling to return to some semblance of normalcy—finding ways to work, play, and live while staying safe and healthy.

It’s a lot to navigate, and months of stress and anxiety are taking their toll. Families are facing difficult decisions, weighing the dangers of sending children to school against the disruption of remote learning. They’re comparing the health risks of going back to work (or staying at work) with the financial hardship that could come from staying home. And they’re evaluating the tradeoffs between visiting loved ones and keeping their distance—acknowledging the impact extended isolation could have on their mental health. Each situation comes with unique circumstances, making it impossible for businesses to take a one-size-fits-all approach as they move toward building a different normal.

In general, employers significantly overestimate the effectiveness of their efforts to support employees.

For executives, this creates a conundrum. It seems almost impossible to understand each employee’s individual needs—and balance those with rebuilding the business. From digital disruption to supply chain shutdowns, leaders are facing a barrage of threats coming from every direction. As they struggle to stay competitive—or perhaps even solvent—their attention is divided.

In this environment, it’s not surprising that executives think they’re providing sufficient workforce support, whatever it is they’re doing. After all, simply avoiding layoffs may feel like a monumental achievement. But recent research from t