By Steve Moran

The people who work for you want to know the real you, the frail you, the struggling you. They are completely unimpressed and uninspired by the perfect you.

The one you spend all your time, energy, and effort attempting to portray.

The Big Fail

Back in December 2023, Marissa Huges, a photo studio employee of Kyte Baby — an online clothing store that started out specializing in baby clothing made from bamboo — was fired. The reason was that she had adopted a premature baby who was born after only 22 weeks of gestation and weighed just over 1 pound.

She requested being able to work remotely, including from the NICU, so that she could be near her baby. The request was promptly denied, and she was fired (something that was legal).

The story of the firing went viral on TikTok, and it looked like there could be a serious and damaging boycott because the company legend was all about being a mom friendly place to work.

Beware of Your PR Department

When the story began to spiral out of control, the company PR machine created a script for the CEO to deliver on TikTok explaining what happened and to apologize — sort of. Go watch it here. It was technically correct, written by PR, and blessed by legal. Took a horrible situation and made it much worse. After reading the comments, she recorded a second video that was from her heart. You can watch that one here.

It remains to be seen how much damage has been done and how well the real apology will undo the initial damage.

Lessons for Senior Living

So many lessons ….

The #1 lesson, of course, is compassion for our team members. I think we miss that we have a huge amount of control over the lives of our team members, their happiness, their partners’ happiness, their kids’ happiness. Their economic well-being.

They want to know the real you, that you are at least a little bit like them.

They want to know that sometimes you don’t know what to do, that you make mistakes, that you struggle with things. Mostly they want to know who the real you is.

They also want to know that since you are in a caring business, claim to be a caring leader, that you live a caring life. They want to see that at least sometimes, caring comes with a price.

When was the last time you let your team, your customers see the real you?