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Employment Doom and Gloom . . . Chicken Little or Reality?

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By Steve Moran

I am writing from 30,000 feet on my way to Chicago where Denise Scott and I are hosting an invite only CEO Roundtable on the Human Capital Challenges in Senior Living in collaboration with Pioneer Network. This is a very different kind of event, because . . .

  • It is invite only

  • It is a very small group of people (15-20)

  • It is a very balanced mix of not-for-profit and for profit organizations

  • It is a mix of small- and medium-sized organizations

  • THERE ARE NO SPEAKERS OR FORMAL PRESENTATIONS.  

  • The focus is solutions and not the problems (we all know what the problems look like already).

We will produce an ebook that will be available to readers of Senior Housing Forum a few weeks after the event.

In that context I came across two stories that seem to have some relevance.

  1. Psychologists say more and more young people are entitled -- The crux of this article is that a significantly higher percentage of millennials believe they are superior to others and more deserving. The result of this is that they are more likely to feel disappointed and have a higher tendency to lash out.  

    The ultimate problem is that does great damage to relationships and, ultimately, makes happiness much harder to achieve.

  1. Many Americans are too drugged-out to work -- This is a painful article to read. It is mostly about despair that leads to chronic drug use in the Rust and Manufacturing Belts of America, but I suspect it is a similar problem for frontline staff in senior living communities.  

    The article points out that loss of jobs (not a senior living problem) and wage stagnation (a huge senior living problem) end up creating a circularity problem where . . . “the loss of jobs and wage stagnation has led to widespread disaffection, alienation and drug abuse; and drug abuse has led to joblessness, hopelessness and disaffection.”

    This sounds a lot like senior living.  

    The article provides a number of examples of how drug use is impacting the ability to find enough help. It got me to wondering what senior living providers are finding. I am hoping you will complete the one question poll on drug testing at the bottom right of this article.

We formulated the round table on the human capital challenges based on two core beliefs:

  • While not taking anything away from traditional senior living conferences that include panels and presentations, there is never enough time to just sit, talk and brainstorm.

  • While there are things we can learn from outside the industry, and it is important that we do that, it is also likely we have all or most of the solutions to this and other problems inside the family.

Please take our quick survey and we will report on what we find in the next few weeks.

What are your thoughts on the relevance of these two articles?

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