As a 10-year participant in the Run to Home Base, Marine Corps veteran Michael York is no stranger to putting in the miles to support veterans, service members and their families. This year, York is taking on a new challenge through his participation in the 124th Boston Marathon.
Last fall, the MGH launched the Know the Line Program, designed to address and prevent harassment, sexual harassment and abusive conduct – commonly known as workplace bullying. The Know the Line Program, supported by strong leadership commitment, will provide education and training, strengthened and unified policies at the MGH and other Partners affiliates, clear reporting and resolution procedures, expanded resources and support, and ongoing monitoring. A lot of work has been happening behind the scenes since the October launch, and Jovita Thomas-Williams, senior vice president of Human Resources, shares more about the program and its timeline.
MGH employees haven’t heard much about Know the Line since the program was announced in October. What is happening?
We are nearing completion the ground-laying phase of this campaign. During this time, a number of dedicated individuals from Human Resources, legal, communications and administration staff – with the help of other teams throughout the hospital – have been putting the foundation of the Know the Line Program in place, ensuring its components help us address and prevent undesirable and inappropriate workplace behavior.
During this time, we have reviewed all policies that cover these topics at the MGH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Partners HealthCare. There were 67 policies between these three affiliates, and we have narrowed them down to six. These six policies will be the same at MGH, BWH, Partners HealthCare and eventually every other Partners affiliate, taking the confusion out and adding clarity to what is acceptable and not allowed in our workplaces.
At the same time, we have been piloting our industry-leading, groundbreaking prevention and training program with a variety of employee communities across MGH. The feedback received from participants has been invaluable, and we are using it to ensure that this important training is a best practice experience for everyone.
What is the training like?
The training is called Common Ground Healthcare, and it was designed specifically for the hospital environment. It uses storytelling and interactive quizzes to educate viewers on what is acceptable and not acceptable in the workplace. This isn’t just any other training video. I think MGH employees will find these real-life scenarios engaging and educational. As the viewer, staff get to decide how the characters react to certain workplace situations. This is unlike any other training they’ve ever experienced.
Training will take about one hour and will be mandatory for all MGH employees. Those with manager/supervisor responsibilities will be asked to complete one additional hour of training.
When can employees expect to participate in the training?
We are planning a Know the Line Leadership Conference for senior leadership in March. They will be the first to complete the training. After that, it will be assigned to managers and supervisors, and eventually, all MGH employees via HealthStream.
Why focus on leadership?
Our leaders shape the work environment and the culture we experience at the MGH every day. They are the ones who set the example and encourage civility and respect among all team members. This is an incredibly important component of the Know the Line Program, and by having leaders be the first individuals trained, we set the expectation that they are responsible for championing a safe and respectable workplace for all.
When will we hear more?
You’ll hear a lot more about the Know the Line Program in the coming months. We will have a website, educational forums and other events to keep the conversation about a safe and respectable MGH workplace long after training is completed. The Know the Line Program isn’t about a one-time training – it’s a shift in culture that will happen across several months, or even years.
- Mar | 6 | 2020
Research at the MGH is interwoven throughout more than 30 departments, centers and units and is conducted with the support and guidance of the MGH Research Institute. The Research Roundup is a monthly series highlighting studies, news and events.
- Mar | 6 | 2020
This year, daylight saving time begins at 2 am on March 8. Here, Elizabeth Klerman, MD, PhD, of the MGH Department of Neurology, discusses possible side effects of the clock “springing forward” and how people can ease the transition.
- Mar | 6 | 2020
On a Thursday in February 1980, English couple Mark Smith and Kay Lund were facing a dilemma: Smith was about to overstay his tourist visa while visiting Lund, a postdoctoral fellow in Joel Habener, MD’s Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology.
- Feb | 21 | 2020
The new Massachusetts distracted driving prevention law goes into effect Feb. 23. Here, Michael Flaherty, DO, answers questions on the new law – why it is important and how parents can talk about it with their teenagers.
- Feb | 21 | 2020
The MGH Revere HealthCare Center is offering a new prescription for some of its patients who may be dealing with hunger or poor nutrition, which can lead to chronic medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity.