By Steve Moran

This breaks my heart and it is 100% a leadership fail. This comes from an activities director Facebook group I belong to.

Original Post (with some gentle editing)

Anyone else ready to throw in the towel? My last 2 executive directors have killed my passion to work as hard as I used to. Every concern I have expressed has been thrown back in my face. I think it is personal because I don’t just kiss up to leadership.

I come to work to do my job for the residents. But feel like I’m fighting for my job every day. I know I make the residents happy, but for reasons I don’t understand. I get zero support, only criticism. I don’t even know what the problem is. I have been certified for less than a year. Help, please? 

I love my job and would hate to turn away from my people.

Some Selected Comments from Other Activity Directors

Hang in there, management will change, it always does!

And

Yeah, we are on our 7th manager in 12 months, lol, we just do what we can.

And

I feel your pain.  We’ve been through 5 EDs in the past 2 years 😳.  It’s a roller coaster. My advice . . . keep your head down, do your job (only yours) and be there for your residents. We do this job because it’s our passion and we have a servant’s heart. Remember we heal the spirit of our residents. Good luck.

And

I went through the same thing. I ended up quitting.

And

Honestly if you are not happy and not receiving support or solutions from management, simply leave. I worked two years longer than I should have at a place, and lost my physical and mental health because of it.

Find another place where your love and caring skills can be used! I did and I couldn’t be happier now ☺️

And

Same thing at my job. I love my residents and enjoy my time with them. It may be wrong, but I do little to deal with the executive director. She is so rude and there is no demonstration that she cares about me at all. She is friendly with everyone else but with me, she always has an attitude. I love, love what I do but I truly can’t stand the administrator.

And

You just wrote the story of my life. So sorry you are experiencing this also.

I don’t like my administrator but my director is super nice. However, my husband is a nurse and we have two kids with significant needs, meaning we can’t both have jobs that require us to work holidays.

One of our sons had a meltdown on Thanksgiving (autism) standing in the middle of the street screaming. 

The neighbors had to call the police. 

My husband and I were both at work.

It was terrible. Now they want me to work until 6 on Christmas Eve.

That will not happen! Our kids will not be sitting home all day on Christmas Eve so I will have to throw in the towel.

And

I walked off my job a week before Thanksgiving because of my executive director. I couldn’t take it. I wasn’t myself and i felt like no matter what I did, it wasn’t good enough.

And

I’m just burned out since working the covid unit. I feel like I’m the one-man activity machine and now I am. 70 residents all mine. Now it’s Christmas. I keep my head up because I love my residents and they support me.

It Shouldn’t Be This Way — Ever

You might be thinking, well maybe it’s their fault, just not very good employees, not team players. Let’s assume for a minute this is true, that these are just bad apples, then . . .

  • Why did they ever get hired in the first place?
  • Why haven’t they been fired?
  • Most importantly, most employees are neither inherently good nor bad. What makes ordinary team members great is a system that allows them to be great. Conversely, when employees are bad it is because the company, the organization, the system beats them down.

I don’t know which specific communities and which specific companies these individuals work for, but what ought to distress each leader who reads this is that the prevalence of terrible leadership is high.

We can do better than this, we must do better than this.