The Role of Leadership in Supporting “Alternate Choice” Employees

by | Jun 4, 2024 | Managing Teams, Faculty Champions

In the world of employee onboarding, it’s often assumed that newcomers were the first choice for their roles. However, research by Sanger Research Lab member, Zoe Schwingel-Sauer, and Wharton Associate Professor Samir Nurmohamed, sheds light on the experience of “alternate choices”—those who discover they weren’t the initial pick for their positions. This study reveals that these employees, drawing on social identity theory, tend to seek less feedback and feel less socially integrated within their teams. This can significantly affect their adjustment and performance in the workplace.

However, leadership plays a crucial role in mitigating these challenges. Inclusive leaders who actively work to integrate alternate choice employees can help them overcome feelings of exclusion and encourage them to seek feedback more confidently.