COVID 19 has exacerbated the people burnout crisis in the service industry, which is struggling to retain and recruit staff.


People burnout is causing a staffing crisis in the service industry. Further, it is not just the cost of staffing but other broader costs that have resulted in businesses closing or losing income.

Before COVID, the sector was struggling for the following reasons:

  • Long workdays.

  • Odd hours.

  • Lack of regular time off.

  • Often underpaid, under-resourced and undervalued.

  • No sick or holiday pay.

COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem as follows:

  • Rude and abusive customers causing tension (attributed to enforcing COVID rules and restrictions),

  • Wearing masks.

  • Workers are scared.

  • Burdens placed on remaining staff.

Worker shortages have resulted in many businesses trying to get workers by raising wages. However, studies show that many previous industry workers are just not interested in working in the service industry. So combatting burnout by shifting from traditionally transactional leadership/management practices to transformational strategies might be a good start in encouraging people to return to the industry.

Defence is not immune to this crisis as its dependency on contractors providing a range of services will inevitably impact capability.