As Brent Langton, a maintenance associate for Avenue Living Communities (ALC), speaks upon his experiences of his boots-on-the-ground work in the community in which he resides, Moose Jaw, Sask., it becomes increasingly evident that no matter the location, the whole ALC workforce is really in it together. Every employee of ALC is truly taking steps to make sure residents feel appreciated, safe, and comfortable in their homes.
"I think we all go above and beyond – both head office and our field teams," says Langton. "Our residents are number one – we wouldn't have a job without them."
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and organizations have had to adapt their services to ensure that work is completed safely. ALC, in particular, implemented new pre-screening processes when residents call to request a work order. These measures ensure resident and employee safety, something that is being appreciated by ALC's residents, as Langton is experiencing first-hand.
"The residents are very happy with the measures in place," says Langton. "Every time I go into a resident's home they comment on the mask and gloves and that they're glad to see us using personal protective equipment."
"They understand, they're happy, they feel safe." However, the future will look different, says Langton. He sees these new measures as a higher standard of maintaining the properties he works in, which is something he will carry into the future.
"I make sure to physically distance myself. And when I'm finished in a suite, I wipe down my tools – now that these measures have been in place for so long it's almost like second nature to me."
Langton is just one of many ALC employees who have taken the spotlight over the past couple of months as we all navigate daily life amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He, along with his coworkers spread out across 18 different cities and towns in the prairie provinces, is constantly living and working by ALC's core values. He treats residents with the utmost care to ensure safety, but also to just ensure their day is a little bit better.
"They're very thankful and appreciative. They see our duty of care, they see that we're honest, and we're doing everything we can so that everyone does stay safe."
There are many examples present in ALC's growing positive culture where employees are going above and beyond, while Langton's examples appear as great showcases of his personality and his true duty of care.
"Before, a work order would be submitted, and I'd complete the work. Now with residents being home, they will explain the issue to me," said Langton. "I try to go above and beyond for the residents – I won't just do one work order if they have others."
In a recent interaction with an elderly resident, Langton discovered her phone line was not working which is her primary method of communication. Going above his typical workload, he was able to solve the problem, and reconnect her with her family. On a separate occasion, he connected a resident's cable television, as he says, "it's something they cannot live without in current times, especially while in isolation."
These acts of kindness are not going unnoticed. ALC increased wages of it's front-line teams by two dollars an hour in early April. And the overall messages received from resident's gratitude to personal messages from Avenue Living's founder and CEO, Anthony Giuffre, shows the appreciation. Langton says he is really touched by the recognition he is getting.
"The residents are very happy with what we're doing. – it means a lot," said Langton.
"Another thing that really touched me was a personal phone call from Anthony last week – that meant so much to me – it was really nice. Usually in a corporation – you don't really hear from the owner. I told Anthony this. That it meant the world to me."
"Avenue Living has been really good to me, and when a company is good to me, I want to go the extra mile and be just as good to them."