The group that I am involved in at work is the Unit Action Council, I am currently the chair of this group. The purpose of the group is to discuss problems on the unit, or problems on the organization that can be addressed or changed at the unit level. We meet once a month, and everyone from the unit is invited to join. In this group, we utilize organizational communication in the form of agendas and emails to remind people to come to the group (Marquis & Huston, 2017). We have many tasks, but we have become basically a “party planning” group, which is where the difficulty is. We have strayed away from making positive impact on our practice, but have leaned towards planning parties and potlucks. Some have positive impacts, we adopted a local family in need for Christmas and purchased many things on their list. It was for a single mother with three teenage daughters, it was quite rewarding. This was a positive aspect of our group, but not why we formed.
Stage of Formation
Forming, we all work together, so our interpersonal relationships have a strong base. Meeting in this group allows us to work together in a different setting, further evolving our work relationships. The storming stage of our group allows us to be comfortable with ourselves and each other, facilitating true conversation. This stage can be problematic in our meeting though. Our group is mostly attended by bedside nurses, but our manager, educator, and coordinators attend these meetings as well. This can challenge the ability of the nurses to be comfortable expressing themselves, for fear of retribution. The rules of unit action councils were established in a larger, organization wide meeting. The norming stage established the ground rules of the meetings, but it is the chair that is supposed to enforce them. Since we have been an established group for so long, the first three stages have occurred but continue to evolve as new members join the group. The performing stage is where our problems occur. Our focus on working towards improving the unit has changed to focus on “fun” instead of actual problems. We have worked towards improving morale, which has benefitted the unit, but we need to continue to focus on other problems as well.
My role in this group has been the chairwoman. I create the agenda for each meeting, and keep the meeting on schedule. Using both formal and informal communication networks, I advertise and remind my peers of each meeting (Marquis & Huston, 2017). My tenure as chair started last year, and I have been working towards transitioning the group to focus on unit problems we can address or improve, while maintaining some of the fun aspects of the group. One problem identified by nurses on the unit was lack of CEU opportunities offered by our organization. We started discussing research articles about our area of practice, now nurses who come to the meeting have the opportunity to acquire continuing education credits, and learn in more depth about problems we frequently see on the unit. Another role as chair is to manage the members of the group in order to keep on schedule or to maintain a positive environment. This includes boosting positive discussion, discourage negative behaviors, and encouraging the quiet, shy members.
Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2017). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing:
Theory and application (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
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