Work from the heart

Kate Murphy named Linden Ponds’ Leader of the Year

Created date

June 21st, 2019
Kate Murphy, Linden Ponds’ director of human resources, was honored earlier this year as the community’s 2018 Leader of the Year.

Kate Murphy, Linden Ponds’ director of human resources, was honored earlier this year as the community’s 2018 Leader of the Year.

Earlier this year, Erickson Living leaders from around the country gathered for their annual meeting in Baltimore, Md. Twenty exceptional managers and directors were honored during the meeting for their leadership qualities and their ability to inspire their team members to deliver excellent service to those who live at Erickson Living communities. 

Linden Ponds Director of Human Resources Kate Murphy was named the community’s Leader of the Year for 2018. Murphy has 25 years of experience in human resources (HR). She became Linden Ponds’ director of human resources in 2016 after working for seven years as a senior human resources manager at the community.

“Kate’s level of commitment to not only our staff as the director of human resources but also our residents, along with her understanding of the industry, innovation, and passion—among many other attributes—is why she was recognized as the Leader of the Year at Linden Ponds,” says Jim Centola, Linden Ponds’ executive director. “The Linden Ponds team is thankful for all she does for this community, and we were very happy to see her honored for her hard work.”

Combining business and caring

Murphy has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from UMass Amherst and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Lesley University. She began her HR career as a coordinator in charge of hiring and training home health aides at a health care agency.

“I found that HR combines my educational background well, in that I can exercise my responsibility to the business while caring for people along the way,” Murphy says.

As the director of human resources at Linden Ponds, Murphy oversees a team of seven professionals who help to recruit and train new hires as well as develop existing staff members. 

Murphy and her team’s work has a direct impact on the quality of life at Linden Ponds because the people they hire interact with community members on a day-to-day basis—whether they’re serving up meals in the restaurants, greeting people at the front desk, or providing health care in the on-site medical center.

“Linden Ponds—and really all of Erickson Living—has an amazing commitment to our core values, including integrity, teamwork, and respect and caring,” Murphy says. “We hire people who demonstrate these values, and we hold everyone to them, starting with ourselves as senior leaders. I drive to work every day knowing that I am fortunate to be in such a quality organization that really cares.”

Mindful hiring

Residents and visitors often comment that the staff at Linden Ponds are uniquely dedicated, kind, and compassionate. Murphy says that is not an accident. 

“We hire individuals who demonstrate a sincere desire to work from the heart. We don’t always get this right, and we’re not afraid to talk with employees about whether Linden Ponds was the right choice for them,” Murphy says. “We expect much from our employees, but I like to say that what each employee brings to the community, they will receive back tenfold in the relationships they form.”

Murphy says the focus of the human resources department is “attract, develop, and retain.” 

“We will continue to focus on hiring exceptional people and providing an onboarding experience that helps them to know they can have a long and rewarding career at Linden Ponds,” she adds.

Making connections

Those who know that Murphy loves sharing ideas and enjoys public speaking might be surprised to learn that she was extremely shy as a child. As for her leadership style, Murphy says she always tries to first connect on a human level. She has deep respect for people’s individual stories.  

“I have been told that I can make a difficult conversation sound easy,” she says. “I really do believe we are all in this together.”

Murphy notes that she and her colleagues at Linden Ponds work very hard, but their jobs are rewarding. One of the things she enjoys most is making a positive impact for employees who are counting on her to help them resolve issues. 

“The feeling you get when you step into the community buildings at Linden Ponds is real,” Murphy says. “Linden Ponds is an amazing group of residents and employees who do amazing things every day. No matter what is happening in the larger world, I know I can feel good about our little part of it.”

Murphy was born and raised in Plymouth, Mass., where she currently lives with her husband and 17-year-old son. 

“We love spending time at home, where we can walk to the waterfront and enjoy the area,” she says. “We also like to travel and will be visiting France with friends in the coming weeks.”