Saturday, August 2, 2014
Generic & Gentiva Hospice Hurts: Real and Present
I appreciate your posts on the business side of hospice. It's something I don't resonate with. As a matter of fact, it generally makes me very uncomfortable. But I do have some understanding of people and the ways we cause harm to one another.
Most of us act out programs from earlier in life and do so completely unaware. Some courageous people become aware of and face hurts from the past, which can be deep. Others are so damaged they cannot. They built psychological structures to protect themselves as children and see maintaining these structures as core to their safety in each and every moment.
Unfortunately, these structures cause them to project their torments onto others. I venture your hospice director is such a person. This is very hard to detect in a corporate structure which relies on surface interactions and generally has no understanding or tolerance for depth.
Your leader utilizes those longstanding psychological structures, which saved them as a child, to maintain their image with their corporate bosses. This means any negative is externalized to subordinates who've failed, despite this manager's best efforts. Facts don't matter. An employee could be an outstanding nurse, chaplain, marketer, social worker, volunteer coordinator but they can quickly have their character assassinated by a site manager with a pristine image to maintain.
Corporate, with its over reliance on surface matters, cannot detect human resource patterns, whether it be in this person's evaluations of others (generally abusive). Corporate processes and reprocesses job openings where this manager repeatedly hires "stars," later firing those who haven't already quit for gross inadequacies. The bureaucracy does not monitor employee satisfaction, but rapidly circles wagons when enough staff quit or express widespread concern. Corporate ignores exit interviews or allows the abusive leader to conduct their own, the final torment for many. Even in leaving the employee cannot be heard.
Should pressure rise on this manager blame is delegated in sprinkler life fashion. Everyone can and will be sacrificed to maintain their image and status. Yet, corporate does not see this. Why? Because in one on one sessions with their bosses this manager will pretend to be vulnerable. They will cry, highlighting how hard they work and how consistently others let them down. They pretend to accept responsibility, but only in the most surface manner. When their boss is gone there's hell to pay for the humiliation they've had to endure.
Bosses like this can give an order. If it goes badly, thirty minutes later they can deny they ever gave the order. That happened to me more than once. I quickly realized this manager and I literally live in different worlds.
How can corporate love someone like this? It's resonance. They mirror one another. Both care solely about surface images. Damaged managers know whose approval is needed and how to curry it. Substance and nuance, the very things hospice patients and families need, aren't wanted.
Hospice work is difficult enough. Layer a psychologically damaged leader and uncaring corporate structure and it becomes hell. I expect this is where your site remains.
You've shared that the buyout has likely steered management attention away from discovering the Gordian knot spun by your manager. Yet, someone commented here that top leadership is trying to identify me and you. It seems we've tarnished the shiny image they wish to portray. I couldn't care less about Gentiva, but that's your bread and butter.
My focus is hospice and its dire state of service, which I see driven by bad management, obsessed with money and metrics. You are trying to provide caring, supportive service in one hospice community and are handcuffed by a tormented manager and clueless corporation. Godspeed. This too shall pass, possibly after it all implodes.