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How Toxic Employees Can Keep You Out of Trouble

By Aline Ayoub

Avoiding a toxic hire, or letting one go quickly, delivers $12,500 in cost savings. A Harvard Business School study of more than 60,000 employees found that “a superstar performer–one that models desired values and delivers consistent performance” brings in more than $5,300 in cost savings to a company.

Amazon is known for its demanding work environment and because of this, all employees must be top of their game. Therefore, they make sure they only hire superstars. So Amazon spend their money on hiring the right fit for their business.

Is a toxic Employee working for you? 

Difficult employees in the office can cause significant workplace conflict.  There are characteristic behaviours to what is also called the “toxic employee”. Toxic employees are individuals who may work for you but can be dangerous to your business because of the problems they create in the workplace.

They are called toxic employees because of the harm they cause, and also because their bad behaviour spreads, like a virus. They are de-energizing and frustrating, and at times critical of their team-mates. Yet their behaviour may not be illegal, nor against any labour law, so they can be difficult to fire. As the business owner you may find yourself burdened by a toxic employee, watching painfully as they undo all your efforts to build morale, develop a strong company culture, strengthen the sense of team, and inspire the team to take initiative.

How your company culture can create a toxic environment

Because of the rampart growth of the muti-generational and diverse workforce in the workplace, being an employer of choice means being able to adapt and adjust the leadership style to the modern workplace.

Therefore, employees get annoyed and staff turnover increases when the leadership is not adjusting quick enough to the new trends. So being nimble, flexible and empathetic has never taken all its meaning like in today’s workplace.

It is a matter of cultural fit not money

When hiring new employees, make sure they align with your company’s culture. No matter how established your small business, bad hires negatively affect your business. Because many bad hires result in their ability of working well with other employees. Therefore, individuals who are not fit can be toxic to your culture. So culture fit cannot easily be altered through training and development.

In spite of hiring based on cultural fit, you can still end up with toxic employees. Therefore, toxic employees poison your entire business. Regardless whether your culture. Few ways to deal with them right away:

  1. Provide clear expectations
  2. Recognize and reward efforts
  3. Harness communication skills
  4. Be clear about appropriate behaviour
  5. Provide safe and supportive environment
  6. Provide support

Stay Out Of Trouble

Of course, the easy way out is to terminate your toxic employees. However, it is much more rewarding if you are able to turn them around and make them working for you (as opposed to against you). In doing that, they would keep you out of trouble and would not damage your employer brand.

Not sure where to start in tackling a difficult employee? Contact Aline Ayoub and get solid advice to resolve the issues as quickly and painlessly as possible.