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The Toxic Employee: Hands Down, the fastest way to kill a happy work environment.

The toxic employee. The truth of the matter is all business owners are one bad hire away from their workplace going from productive and friendly to miserable.   Toxic Employees are tricky.   They are not necessarily overtly breaking rules that would justify immediate termination.  In many instances they are simply habitually negative; towards other employees, clients or their job duties.    They may seem out of touch with reality, lack respect for the management chain or simply cannot get along with others. Often, the coworkers of the Toxic Employee feel as though they must always be on the defensive.  Often prone to emotional outburst or incessant gossiping, toxic employees are pros at manipulation, playing victim and skewing information.   The first step to saving your work environment is identifying the employee as toxic and not just simply misunderstood by the team.


Eight Types of Toxic Employees

  1. The Jerk – This is the type of person who is unkind to most people around them and has a tenancy to instigate fights.
  2. The Delinquent – This person has no respect for authority or chain of command.
  3. Mr. (or Mrs.) Unpopular – This person has a toxic personality and “good” employees are not comfortable around them.
  4. The Virus – This person has bad attitude to spare- likes to recruit employees to pick “sides” while their negativity spreads around the office and is hard to control.
  5. The Theater Major – This person has regular emotional outbursts; something is always wrong and they need to be the center of attention.
  6. The Gossip – This person talks a lot of trash; they can be kind to a person’s face but trashes team members behind their back.
  7. The Narcissist– This person views themselves as extra special or immune to the rules that apply to other employees.
  8. The Customer is Always Wrong – Outsiders to the business/customers indicate concern about the employee.

Manage up or Manage out

 What is most intimidating for Business Owners is how to go about getting rid of the toxicity.  As mentioned, their behavior is not always the type of offenses that business owners feel they can fire toxic employees for on the spot.  However, beware that keeping a Toxic Employee will undoubtedly corrupt your other employees.  Quality employees will have little patience for a Toxic Employees’ shenanigans.    While they may not immediately quit over a toxic coworker, a good employee’s feelings about the workplace will be forever changed if a Toxic Employee is allowed contaminate the work environment.  Good employees who were once content are now susceptible to other job offers and will no longer be motivated to give 100%   

Conversations with toxic employees can be tough.

There are ways to through Toxic Employee Management that a business owner can successfully manage a bad employee up- turning them into a productive worker who can keep their negativity under control. Alternatively, failing to manage a Toxic Employee up there exists an entirely different skill set that will allow a business owner to manage a Toxic Employee out of the company in a manner that follows Employment Laws and lessens the Business Owners exposure to lawsuits and claims a disgruntled Toxic Employee might make after termination.

Your Ally in Toxicity Removal

L4SB knows how difficult it is to deal with a Toxic Employee.  We also know that in small businesses, the damage they can create is substantial.  That is why we created the “Toxic Employee Consultation”.  For a flat fee we will put you in touch with our HR Law and Employee Management Professionals.  They will consult with you as to the nature of your Toxic Employee and give the skills set you need to “manage up or manage out” your problem employee.  

You CAN have an awesome workplace

Toxic Employees are a serious problem and solid, professional advice can help every situation.  Learn more about The Toxic Employee Consultation today by visiting here or call us at 505.715.5700.

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