By Steve Moran

A few months ago, almost the entire Senior Living Team descended on Las Vegas for the first ever company retreat.

Why Las Vegas, you ask, thinking that is a weird, not very productive place to hold a company retreat. The original reason was because there is a Meow Wolf immersive art experience there … and I could find an Airbnb that was big enough to hold all of us. It also turns out that Las Vegas is an easy place to fly into.

They Don’t Pay Me Enough …

After experiencing Meow Wolf, Rachel Hill, Foresight’s creative director, ducked into a nearby gift shop and purchased a few small gemstones. The clerk asked her if she wanted a shopping bag for them. She said, “No, but can you give me a receipt, in case someone asks about me putting them in my bag?”

The clerk immediately responded, “Naw, no receipt, but I am the only one who would chase you down, and they don’t pay me enough money for that.”

Is It Really Money?

My first thought was how much money it would take to make him chase down a thief, and the real answer was that there is not enough money in the whole world to make him chase down a thief (and I want to mention that Rachel is the last person in the world who would ever steal anything).

He was not actually complaining about the money, because obviously it was enough money for him to accept the job and show up for work. What he was really saying was that he was not going to care about his boss, his employer, any more than his employer, his boss, was going to care about him.

This is the “bad attitude” that many millennials have, except that it actually makes sense.

Bad Attitude Employees …

Over the years, I have had a number of conversations with senior living “bosses” who are super frustrated with their employees who have a bad attitude — who don’t care about the residents, their fellow workers, or the company.

These bosses complain that they show up to work late; they gossip; they only do the minimum required work (or less). And because these employees are so bad, they don’t put much effort into improving the culture. Fixing this requires something simple and something incredibly hard. The leader needs to start behaving as if the bad employees are good employees, that they love coming to work even when they don’t.

When that happens there will be magic. Those bad employees will become great employees. They will quit complaining; they will work extra hard; they will show up on time.

Rock Worth Chasing

Not my world, but I started imagining how the owner or the manager of the gift shop could transform that clerk into someone who would actually care if a customer shoplifted — helping him see that he is a valuable part of the gift shop organization, that he is responsible for creating a great experience for customers, and that he is helping families pay their bills.

You can turn around your employees who say, “It’s not worth it.” Most of them anyway … and the rest you should fire.