Method: Longitudinal multilevel structural equation modeling was used to examine how direct supervisor and higher management leader inclusiveness influenced employee job satisfaction and ultimately employee performance. Data were collected at three time points 6-months apart from a diverse nonprofit hospital department (Time 1 n = 213, Time 2 n = 245, Time 3 n = 239).
Results: The sample was diverse with 41% of respondents self-reported as Asian, 21% as White, 20% as mixed race or other, 14% as Latinx, and 4% as African American. The model fit the data well (χ2= 12.403, df= 10, p = .26; CFI = 97; TLI = .93; RMSEA= .04). Results indicated that higher management leader inclusiveness at Time 1 positively influenced employee job satisfaction at Time 2 (β = .36, SE = .09, z = 4.15, p < .001), employee job satisfaction at Time 2 positively influenced employee performance at Time 3 (β = .26, SE = .08, z = 3.16, p < .01), and direct supervisor leader inclusiveness at Time 1 positively influenced employee performance at Time 3 (β = .21, SE = .10, z = 2.00, p < .05). Interestingly, direct supervisor leader inclusiveness helped increase employee job satisfaction through increasing perceptions of higher management leader inclusiveness (β = .19, SE = .05, z = 4.01, p < .001), and higher management leader inclusiveness helped increase employee performance through increasing employee job satisfaction (β = .10, SE = .03, z = 3.20, p < .01).
Conclusions/implications: Results suggest that direct supervisors and leaders in higher management positions have different pathways by which they can positively influence employee job satisfaction and performance. Higher management leaders who strive to be inclusive can directly increase employee job satisfaction, and it is through increasing job satisfaction that higher management is able to positively influence employee performance. On the other hand, direct supervisors who strive to be inclusive directly influence employee performance and help employees view higher management as more inclusive, which then increases employee job satisfaction. This study uncovers the unique influence of direct supervisors and higher management in employee job satisfaction and performance, suggesting leader inclusiveness at both leadership levels is critical for positively changing nonprofit human service organizations.