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Employee burnout isn't new - we've been talking about it since the 80's. The topic has taken on renewed importance now with the pandemic. Surveys indicate that burnout is up across the board. However, it is highest among managers and women.

Why is this? I have my theories - some of it backed up by research, some of it simply my opinion.

With women, the studies seem to indicate that they shouldered, willingly or not, the brunt of the burden throughout the pandemic. They left the workforce to stay home with the children, they took on the empathy gaps at work, etc. It seems pretty clear that in general, women had the most stress and change during the pandemic.

With managers, I think it is something different. As I've mentioned before, I think the pandemic exposed managers - let us see that they weren't good at being managers, but were good at the existing system. When that system collapsed, they didn't have the knowledge or skills to succeed. All of a sudden, they were doing more than ever before because they weren't prepared for what happened. That is on the orgs - they may not have known the pandemic was coming, but they sure as all hell knew that the role of manager was changing.

In the end, the organizations that find ways to succeed and help employees deal with the burnout will have the advantage in the short and long term. Those organizations will have great managers - it is the one sure way to success.

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