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What can you achieve through better team working in your organisation?

by Professor Michael West

4 October 2016



A recent study, “Saving Lives: A Meta-Analysis of Team Training in Health Care” found that team training can reduce patient deaths by 15 per cent and medical errors by 19 per cent. ¹

This US study confirms the findings of research in the NHS which has found significant relationships between team working, patient satisfaction, care quality, staff well-being and patient mortality:

  • Increasing the percentage of staff working in ‘real teams’ in acute hospitals in England is associated with a reduction of 3% in patient mortality. ²
  • Effective team working leads to higher levels of innovation in the delivery of patient care in primary care and community mental health teams. ³
  • Teams with clear team objectives, a commitment to learning and support for innovation have higher levels of patient satisfaction. ⁴
  • Good team working is associated with lower levels of errors, stress, injury, sickness absence, intention to quit and turnover, harassment and bullying from colleagues, and harassment and bullying from service users. ⁵
  • Good team working is associated with higher levels of staff satisfaction and engagement. ⁶

Download Team-Training-Michael-West flyer.

Research References

¹ Saving Lives: A Meta-Analysis of Team Training in Healthcare. Hughes, A.M., Gregory, M.E., Joseph, D.L., Sonesh, S.C., Marklow, S.L., Lacerenza, C.N., Benishek, L.E., King, H.B., & Sallas, E. (2016, June16) Journal of Applied Psychology.

² 24-Karat or fool’s gold?: Consequences of real team and co-acting group membership in healthcare organizations Lyuobvnikova, J., West, M., Dawson, J. & Carter, M. 2015 In : European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 24, 6,p. 929-950 22 p. and Why teamwork matters: enabling health care team effectiveness for the delivery of high quality patient care West, M. & Lyubovnikova, J. 2013 Developing and enhancing teamwork in organizations. Salas, E., Tannenbaum, S., Cohen, D. & Latham, G. (eds.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, p. 331-372 42 p.

³ Creativity and innovation: the role of team and organizational climate West, M. & Sacramento, C. A. 2012 Handbook of organizational creativity. Mumford, M. (ed.). London: Academic Press, p. 359-386 28 p and Defining and measuring effectiveness for primary health care teams Poulton, B. C. & West, M. 1997 Promoting teamwork in primary care: a research based approach. Pearson, P. & Spencer, J. (eds.). London: Edward Arnold, p. 146-161 16 p.

⁴ The effectiveness of health care teams in the National Health Service West, M., Borrill, C. S., Carletta, J., Dawson, J., Garrod, S., Rees, A., Richards, A. & Shapiro, D. 2001 Birmingham: University of Aston

5 and ⁶ Staff satisfaction and organisational performance: evidence from a longitudinal secondary analysis of the NHS staff survey and outcome data http://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/hsdr/volume-2/issue-50#abstract and Well-structured teams and the buffering of hospital employees from stress Buttigieg, S. C., West, M. & Dawson, J. F. 11/2011 In : Health Services Management Research. 24, 4, p. 203-212 9 p. and The NHS National Staff Survey – http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2011/08/nhs-staff-management/www.nhsstaffsurveys.com and Culture and Behaviour in the English National Health Service: overview of lessons from a large multimethod study. Dixon-Wood, M., Baker, R., Charles, K., Dawson, J., Jerzembek, G., Martin, G., McCarthy, I., McKee, L., Minion, J., Ozieranski, P., Willars, J., Wilkie, P., West, M. British Medical Journal Sept 2013

⁶ Teamwork and Engagement Richardson, J. & West, M. 31/01/2012 Handbook of Employee Engagement. Albrecht, S. L. (ed.). Edwin Elgar

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