By Steve Moran

In the space of just 3 days, I received these two messages through LinkedIn. Both have been lightly edited to protect the sender. Tragedy.

I work on the East Coast and am very well connected with people working in the field in my area. Over the past few months, many sales directors in assisted living are worn out from the pressure of needing more move-ins, and many are leaving the industry.

COVID is real and many of these directors and executives need a different strategy other than motivation with fear of losing their job if they don’t make numbers. They need to spend more time focusing on how they have protocols in place for protecting residents from the spread of COVID.

I hear the same feedback from many sales directors that regional managers and executives are telling sales reps that not moving residents in due to COVID is an excuse. I read your posts and hope you can get a message out about focusing more on educating families on COVID as we are losing too many talented salespeople.

And this . . .

Confidentially please . . . I would love to see you cover companies who are firing sales directors and executive directors because sales are down during this COVID struggle. My company actually has an ad on LinkedIn for my job. The only reason I found out is that some of my friends are actually applying for my job. Pretty humiliating.

The senior community leaders always tout their devotion to their team members on their marketing pages, but then don’t act it out in real life. It’s still all about the numbers. I understand the importance to shareholders that the numbers are there and they are important, but at what cost?

I believe the senior living industry needs a major revival. There’s constant complaining about the high turnover rates with staff, but not an understanding the why behind it. When there is no loyalty to your team, there will not be any loyalty back.

I’m not the only one this is happening to so I just thought it would be a good discussion on your platform. Thanks, Steve. I really enjoy your articles.

I find myself thinking that I should just publish these notes with zero commentary.

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Painful Times

We, senior living, are in painful times and difficult circumstances as are airlines, hotels, restaurants, convention centers, conference promotors, and tourist destinations. 

There are two differences: senior living is a vital component of the healthcare sector and we are a 24/7 operation that cannot shut down or even slow down on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year. 

Are We Cannibals?

Not just in senior living, but in almost all industries when things go badly, leaders down the food chain get fired. And, in fairness, it does seem to be a tactic that at least delays the ousting of leaders who are ultimately responsible for company performance. Rarely is it a successful strategy, and, don’t get me wrong, sometimes people do need to be let go.

The problem with this is when you get rid of bad people, it raises morale. When you get rid of good people — who may not be performing either because of circumstances or because they don’t have the right support (training, pricing, programming, lead generation or budget) to do what they have been tasked to do — you ultimately make it harder to get where you need to be.

Over the last few months, we have seen a number of really good people laid off. And, in too many cases, for reasons other than performance. This is a time we need to be pulling together. We need to be battling the common enemies of COVID-19 and bad press, not eating our young.