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Brooksby’s staff at their best

ob shadowing initiative sends executive team into new surroundings

Created date

November 24th, 2015
Brooksby Director of Resident Life shadows Maintenance Mechanic Darin Murphy

As director of sales at Brooksby Village, Sue Davis can easily list all the attributes that make Brooksby unique, but it wasn’t until she ventured beyond her normal day-to-day routine that she caught a glimpse of community life that gave her pause.

Davis recently spent part of an evening shift in Brooksby’s continuing care neighborhood shadowing Certified Nursing Assistant Sarah Giacoppo. 

“We talk about the resident-centered approach across all our departments at Brooksby, but to see the respect and caring for residents in our continuing care neighborhood really touched me,” says Davis. “Sarah does so much for our residents, and I got to see the connections she builds with them.”

Team-building exercise

The job shadowing initiative was the brainchild of Brooksby Executive Director Helen Lanagan. 

“I implemented a job shadowing experience once before, when I was director of resident life [at Brooksby],” says Lanagan. “The resident life staff shadowed one another to learn more about the various positions within the department. The idea came back to me earlier this year, and I thought it would be a good team-building experience for our staff.

Members of Brooksby’s executive team were given a job shadowing assignment outside their own department.

“I wanted our directors to develop relationships with other staff outside their own areas,” says Lanagan. “I wanted them to dive into the details of what their assigned partners do on a daily basis.”

Foray into general services

Melanie Bernardin began her career at Brooksby in 2007 as a senior social work manager and moved into her current position as director of resident life in 2014. Her job shadowing assignment involved spending a day with Senior Maintenance Mechanic Darin Murphy.

“I thoroughly enjoyed spending the day with Darin,” says Bernardin. “He was so respectful and understanding of our residents and their needs. He was also a great teacher and taught me about everything in his tool bag and about the different parts of whatever it was we were fixing.”

At one point, Melanie found herself wielding power tools to change the knob in a shower.  

“I was worried that I might drill a hole right through the shower, so I was glad Darin was there to offer hands-on assistance,” says Bernardin.

For Bernardin, the job-shadowing experience served as a confirmation of what she already knew about Brooksby’s resident-centered approach to customer service.

“I already appreciated the role of every department,” she says. “But something about experiencing someone else’s job firsthand gives you a different level of appreciation.”