Human Resource Idea for Physician Practices

The Austin American Statesman recently ran an article about Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE. In the article, he was asked about GE's approach to managing people, which focuses on rewarding stars - the top 20% or so - and easing out the bottom 10%, the low performers: "It's differentiation, and I believe in it to my toes. It's somewhat controversial at times." said Mr. Welch.

Mr. Welch advises to take the top 20% as your most important people and "kiss them, hug them, and reward them." For the middle 70%, show them what they are good at  and where they can improve and try to move them up. For the bottom 10%, bring them in and tell them they ought to find work elsewhere.

My question is: Why don't physicians and their management team follow the same philosophy as Jack Welch? Medical practices I must admit do a terribly job at human resources, whether it be hiring, training, mentoring, terminating, etc. Seems like everybody is just too busy. I also do not understand why most medical practices tolerate mediocrity within its employee group.

In the Medical Group Management's annual Best Performing Medical Practices survey each year, it is no surprise that the best performing practices have one thing in common - They do the best at hiring and managing employees.  They do the best job at keeping employees happy and wanting to come to work. They do the best job at retaining employees.

From a business standpoint, it is the employees who will make or break a medical practice, not necessarily the clinical activities of the physicians. A medical practice can have the the most busiest physicians on the planet but without a strong employee group it, it will never be as financially successful as it can be.

Think about all this seriously..............and start identifying and replacing the low performers now.

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