You always hear about the haves and the have nots in our society.  In our current political discourse — a nice word for yelling at one another — we are beginning to hear more and more about two other economic categories: the have more and the have less members of the economy.

Portrait of multi-ethnic medical teamThat is a debate I will yield to the talking heads of various stripes and the people they are talking about, Congress.

I want to focus on the doers and the do-nothings as well as the do very little crowd.  Every healthcare organization in America has employees of all three classes.  Hopefully they have more doers, because they can no longer afford employees in the do-nothing or do very little categories.  That said some might be salvaged through reassignment, coaching or both.  Those who cannot or will not change, including their cousins — those who actually work hard to thwart change in the name of safeguarding supposed corporate values or tradition, the informal vice presidents of “this is the way it has always been” — must be forced to exit the bus as soon as possible.  In addition to the aforementioned groups, healthcare organizations must jettison the executive “pets” who are kept around because they are likable, as well as the sacred cows, those who do not produce much but are protected, for whatever reason, by someone in power.

At the risk of sounding any glibber, or like a smart aleck, healthcare human resource executives have two important priorities:

  1. Get rid of those who cannot or will not become doers
  2. Establish a best-in-breed recruiting/talent management program to stop the inflow of these two-legged killer viruses that can spawn poor morale and other leadership-resistant maladies

I realize that may sound too simplistic and very cold-hearted but the fact is, if you do not have the right people in place functioning as close to 100 percent of their potential as possible, there will be a painful and very real price to pay.  The list of executives who missed that obvious fact and who are being shown the door is beginning to grow.

Why would a CEO take that kind of career risk?  Why would a CEO pay someone 100 percent of their salary and be satisfied with getting only 60 or 70 percent value for their money?