John O’Connor

We’re seeing some unusual developments as long-term care recovers.

One is that many employees seem to be embracing a different general outlook. And not different in an all-is-well kind of way. More like different in an “I’ve had it” kind of way.

And how, exactly, have they had it? Let us count just some of the ways: They’ve had it with a facility so consistently messed up. They’ve had it with crappy equipment and screwy work schedules. They’ve had it with me-first managers and practicing politicians masquerading as colleagues. They’ve had it with feeling like easily-replaced cogs in a dysfunctional machine. There are many more boxes that can be checked here, but I’m sure you get the general idea.

I even have a name for these increasingly vocal malcontents: The Haddits.

Now to be clear, the Haddits have always been among us. After all, it’s not like the concept of nursing facilities with annual turnover north of 100% is a new development.

But in the past, the Haddits were generally more likely to be outliers. These days, they seem to be showing up — or rather, shoving off — in record numbers.

So how to explain the seemingly meteoric rise in their ranks?

Some contributing factors are obvious. First and foremost, labor is a seller’s market these days. That’s especially true for frontline jobs located in or near the minimum wage aisle. When candidates have more options, the odds of your facility not being one of them also increase.

Then there are the relatively generous booster payments the feds have been doling out lately. The intent here may have been honorable. But any way you slice it, the urge to put on work clothes, ride public transportation and be on one’s feet for an eight-, 10- or 12-hour shift can greatly diminish when Uncle is dishing out the C notes.

But I think something more than simple economics may also be in the arena. And it’s ominous. For lack of a better term, let’s call it the Great Awakening.

To be sure, taking stock is not in and of itself a bad thing. But when workers do it in droves and conclude they’ve had it, their next step is likely to be out the door.

So brace yourselves, dear operators. You may soon find that you have a lot of Haddits on the payroll. Or rather, that you did.

John O’Connor is Editorial Director for McKnight’s.