October 22, 2016

Sponsors: Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

What sponsors can and should do for UBTs

Sponsors are the people unit-based team co-leads go to for information and support; co-leads often report to their team's sponsor. To sponsor a UBT is a leadership role that can determine the long-term sustainability and success of the UBT.

It's important for management, union and physician sponsors to model the behavior they want to see in UBT co-leads and members. Here are some ways they can demonstrate commitment to their teams:

  • Express commitment formally and informally in oral and written communications about the desired behavior changes.
  • Model commitment by exhibiting desired behaviors. Sponsors should visibly engage in collaborative work, such as committing to huddle for 15 minutes in a public space.

Reinforce commitment by supporting desired change with adequate resources and formal and informal rewards. 

The definition of a strong sponsor

Here is how sponsors get started 

Be clear about your role 

  • Understand the sponsorship role in general and how it applies to your constituency specifically.
  • Meet with your manager to confirm expectations and determine how and when you will report on UBT progress.
  • Attend needed training and commit to apply what you've learned in your role as sponsor.
  • Become familiar with the current National Agreement to understand the background and expectations of UBTs in the transformation of KP.
  • Understand the new behavioral expectations of our performance excellence culture.
  • Refer to the resources on this website and to the Sponsor and Leader Resource Guide for UBTs (open PDF) for needed information, tools and resources.

Reach working agreements with key partners

  • Meet with your co-sponsors (management, union and physician) to reach agreement on how you will conduct your joint work of supporting your UBTs to improve performance.
  • Discuss your roles and expectations of each other as co-sponsors.
  • Meet with your UBT co-leads to share co-sponsor plans for working together and expectations of co-leads, as well as learn what the co-leads need from you.


  • How are we engaging people in improving performance of the unit or team?
  • What barriers are we finding?
  • What is needed to remove the barriers?

The definition of a strong sponsor