pring and summer at Massachusetts General Hospital typically involve many hospital wide employee recognition events. The joyful environment of the employee picnic signals that summer is just around the corner. Administrative Support Staff Day and Operations Support Staff Day provides an important opportunity to recognize those who form the backbone of the hospital. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of these events and has made fall favorites, such as Ether Day, uncertain. This has been disappointing to so many – but especially for Jill Monahan, employee programs manager, who plans these events.  

Jill Monahan, MGH Employee Programs Manager
Jill Monahan, employee programs manager

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to cancel all of our annual spring events, which was really heartbreaking to do since our staff deserves our support and recognition now more than ever,” says Monahan. “But, of course, we can’t have thousands of people in the Bulfinch Tents right now. 

Monahan says, “I was honestly worried when we had to send out the event cancelation email. I’m thankful we were met only with understanding and kindness.  

In the meantime, Monahan has taken on new projects to support many of the additional needs of Mass General Human Resources. Her team created a “COVID-19-Friendly Perks” page on Ask myHR so staff can easily find discounts to take advantage of during the pandemic. It’s really moving talking with vendors both locally and nationally who want to do what they can to help support our incredible staff,” says Monahan. “With the support of the MGPO, we were able to secure room blocks at The Liberty Hotel and employees have booked nearly 300 nights there since mid-April. 

While some 2020 events are not to be, Monahan says hope is not lost for the future of employee recognition at Mass General 

“We will re-evaluate our large events to ensure safety is at the forefront of each one,” she says.  Perhaps we move to a more hybrid model of having both virtual and in-person features. Whatever we decide, we will do everything we can to make sure our employees continue to know just how valued they are.