By Steve Moran

My natural curiosity often leads me down weird rabbit holes and to websites that seem to kind of have nothing to do with anything. Several months ago, I read about this site for tech workers to talk about all sorts of things, including compensation in an anonymous fashion. I signed up and dip in occasionally. Several days ago, I came across a poll that someone posted and found myself wondering how we would stack up in senior living at three levels:

  1. Frontline team members
  2. Regionals and property level leaders
  3. Senior leadership

One of my biggest complaints about LinkedIn is that they don’t allow you to do polls. You see the abbreviation of TC, which stands for total compensation and the reason for that term is that in much of Silicon Valley, stock options and other perks can be a big part of the compensation package.

The Danger . . .

Most companies spend a lot of time crafting mission statements and are proud of them. No one ever crafts a mission statement that says . . .

“Our goal is to make boatloads of money for senior leaders and investors . . . And maybe do some good along the way.”

And yet when I start talking to people about their companies and how the leadership in those companies really behave, it is clear that many would choose either the first or the third option and not the second one. What becomes really damaging is when senior living companies have a mission statement that is people-focused, which most are, but behaves as if the most important thing is money. Team members get really discouraged, they “just put in their time”. They actually don’t really care that much about the success of the company.

They mostly still love and care for the residents and will put out extra effort for their residents, but anything else, why should they care when it appears that management doesn’t.

Optics Are So Important . . .

I spend a lot of time knocking around Facebook and Instagram and I see some senior living executives posting pictures of fancy meals, high priced vacations, and expensive cars. While I don’t begrudge, at all, them having those things and even confess to having and doing some of those things myself, I find myself wondering if they are thinking about the optics of posting those pictures.

I am thinking that if I were a $12 or $14 dollar an hour employee who is working two jobs to be able to give my kid peanut butter and jelly or bologna sandwiches for lunch I might become cynical about how serious my leaders are about the mission of the organization . . .

When mission statements and behaviors are consistent they become powerful tools that move organizations forward and make the world a better place. How are you doing on this? How are your optics?