LMP Focus Areas

Team Communications ("I'm in a UBT—and So Are You!")

Quick quiz: Are you in a unit-based team?

 

“No, not me—Jill Doe is. She attends the meetings and tells us what happened later.”

 

Buzzzzz! Wrong. You are in a UBT. In fact, everybody in your unit is a member of the UBT. Our National Agreement calls for participation in unit-based teams by everyone in a natural work unit, including those represented by a union in the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, their managers and the unit's care providers. 

 

In a small departments, there's seldom confusion about the fact that everyone is a member of the team. But in larger departments, which typically use a representative model, it's all too common for team members to think that only their representatives—the ones who (like Jill) go to the UBT meetings—are its members. But the representatives aren't the team: They're a small group within the larger team, working on behalf of whole team.  

 

Clearing up this confusion matters, because the data show that high-performing teams are safer for patients and for employees, and they have higher patient satisfaction scores. By definition, high-performing teams have members who understand they're part of the team and who are actively participating in the team's work. 

 

How do you help everyone understand their role on the team? Good communication is essential. Use the materials below to create a stronger, more dynamic team. It's worth the effort. 

 

Before I was in a UBT, I couldn’t bring up concerns to the whole department in an environment where I felt I was heard....We need to have a voice so that we can make things better for ourselves and our patients.
Teri Carvalho Luke, RN UBT consultant, Hawaii Nurses Association, OPEIU Local 50
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