Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic) operates the busiest Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agency in the state of North Carolina. In FY 2017, Medic responded to over 146,000 requests for service resulting in 112,270 patient transports. To accomplish this, Medic currently has 587 full time employees. Independently operated under the direction of Mecklenburg County, Novant Health, and Carolinas Healthcare, Medic is responsible for providing care to all 544 square miles of the county and a population of more than 1.1 million.
Medic began the Night of Honor employee recognition event in 2009. The event was initially conceived as a way to honor any clinician or telecommunicator who contributed to a successful return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) on a patient experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Since then, the yearly celebration has grown in size, importance, and attendance, with more than 400 employees, friends, family members, and survivors participating in the most recent 2017 event.
What started in 2009 as an event designed to celebrate sudden cardiac arrest saves has morphed into the Agency’s marquis employee recognition event. There were several goals for this year’s event:
- Strengthen the connection to purpose for all Agency employees
- Celebrate great accomplishments by people across the Agency from the past year
- Build relationships and trust with members of the community
- Connect people to the inspiring and challenging work done by their friends and family members at Medic
- Recognize patient care providers for their outstanding work and patient outcomes
- Honor years of service by tenured employees (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years)
- Recognize employees with more than 15 years of service at Medic who retired in the past year
Planning & Implementation
The inaugural event took place in September 2009 and was aimed at recognizing employees for successfully achieving return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) in sudden cardiac arrest patients. Each employee who earned recognition that year was awarded a pin to be worn on their uniform indicating the number of ROSCs achieved.
The Night of Honor was a huge hit with the 152 people who attended, but it was quickly realized that the Agency had only scratched the surface with regard to the potential impact such an event could have.
From there, the event has only grown in scope and impact. A diverse, employee-driven committee was formed to help shepherd the event to new heights, called the Medic Employee Recognition Team (MERT). Each year, the team, led by Medic’s Public Relations Department, develops recommendations on how to improve the event. This has led to numerous positive changes over the years including the advent of new awards, better locations, significant production improvements such as professional staging and video content development, and adding relevant keynote speakers to the program.
The planning for the September 2017 event began ten months prior. The process included the following steps:
- A survey was sent out to all event attendees from 2016 to gather feedback
- The survey results were reviewed and ideas captured for consideration
- Ideas for event improvement were discussed and recommended
- Potential dates for the 2017 event were vetted and established
- Any primary logistical needs, such as event location options and keynote speaker availability were solidified
- Actual event dates were locked in with leadership and the venue
- Improvement ideas were implemented in the planning process
For 2017 this included new video components, inviting cardiac arrest survivors to attend, increased employee promotion to grow attendance.
- Project plans were built and sub work teams were established
- The event was held and considered an overwhelming success
- 365 employees, family members, stakeholders, and survivors attended
The program consisted of a 60-minute reception with light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments followed by a 75 minute awards ceremony. Post event surveys were distributed to capture feedback for the FY 2018 event
Medic’s Employee Recognition Team had several goals for the FY 2017 employee recognition event:
- FY 2016 attendance was: 288
- FY 2017 attendance was: 365
Improve the overall quantity and quality of video elements used throughout the program
- FY 2016 Medic developed and produced three videos
- FY 2017 Medic developed and produced five videos;
- Employee feedback indicated the quality of videos created for the 2017 event far surpassed those used in 2016 by 20% for overall rating of 88%
Improve employee satisfaction with the overall event
- Stats on employee survey results stated 98% enjoyed the Night of Honor event
Produce the event within the established budget
- The event came in at budget
Medic continues to invest in driving high employee engagement and connection to purpose. Our belief is that the more connected our people are to the Agency’s purpose, the more likely they are to be happy, long-term, high-productivity employees. This event is one of several ways this goal is being pursued, and the results are expected to be seen long-term, over time. In the near-term, we can draw upon the points above with regard to the impact this event had on the Agency.
This event represents 19% of Medic’s overall budget for Public Relations. The FY 2017 event came in at budget.