Dealing with B Team Members

Was reading Thom Mayer’s article in Healthcare Executive Sept/Oct 2010 edition about how to deal with B team members, and he makes important observations.  He quotes former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher that it is more important to make employees happy, as that is how customers will be happy.  Carrying this point forward, the questions comes how to deal with Team B in your hospital.  By Team B, we mean those who are negative, reactive, constant complainers, and all that makes them underperformers. 

He uses the phrase “holding up the mirror” to describe the first step in dealing with such members.  In every likelihood they don’t even realize the importance of the actions.  The next step, which is counseling these members, is a real challenge.  The general approach is to begin the discussion with something positive, then give the bad news, and finally end the discussion with a good new.  It may should savvy and diplomatic, but the staff members walks out of the meeting confused.  The recommended approach is the decide beforehand what is to be conveyed, not to exchange pleasantries as it a business meeting and present facts.  This way the staff member will realize the seriousness of the meeting.  This meeting should be clear and concise, and should include attribute or behavior followed by Team A members.

In addition, such members should be buddied up with Team A members.  And lastly, leaders should have courage and conviction to replace B members who cannot make a transition to A. 

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