Friday, November 11, 2016

Kindred's Hollow Promises to Keep Teammates Informed

Strange Tony,

Kindred President Ben Breier opened Kindred's Q3 earnings call with his usual remark :  "Let me start as I usually do by extending my deep appreciation on behalf of the entire leadership team to our more than 100,000 teammates across the country. Each day our partners at Kindred work hard to improve the lives of more than 1 million patients we care for annually. The excellent care delivery and clinical outcomes we generate are the direct results of their efforts."

Later in the call he said, "the most important thing for us was that when we made this announcement yesterday, we wanted our employees, our teammates, our partners to be the first ones to hear it, not anybody else. So in terms of process and things that have become public, it was very important to me, and to our Board, and to the rest of our management team that we treat our employees the right way by making sure that they knew what was happening before anybody else did. And we're going through that process here internally at Kindred, and our folks are working their way through that."

How many of Kindred's 100,000 teammates heard about the company's strategic shift and dismal financial results from Ben Breier?  I read the release Monday evening and am still waiting for any internal news from my employer.  Wall Street analysts heard long before our local group of Kindred employees.

One could say why would hospice or home health employees need to know?  Answer:  Staff at our site have already been asked about the news by area nursing home companies.  Kindred employees could look informed or ignorant.  It was up to us to be informed.  Management delivered our staff a goose egg of information.

As for communication there was one telling interchange between an analyst and Breier.  The analyst asked how Breier or the company would define a mutually beneficial outcome for the nursing home division sale.  Breier replied, "Kindred's shareholders will have to respond to what that definition of mutually beneficial for us is."  Sadly, Breier may have a career in politics.

For the first time Breier spoke about premium pay rates for RN's across Kindred's business lines.  That's a new development, not at our site, but in the conversation with Wall Street's finest. Brier's opening pander to employees is not new.  Neither is the hollow promise to keep employees informed of key executive decisions.  The lesson is employees will have to listen to quarterly earnings calls to actually hear strategic information from Kindred's C-Suite.  Otherwise we're kept in the dark. 

Anonymous (from Kindredful Q3)