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6 Ways to Identify Toxic Employees (And How to Handle Them!)

A study by Harvard has revealed that toxic employees can have a profound impact on the workplace, with 80% of employees losing work time due to concerns about such colleagues. But who are these individuals, and why is it essential to stop their behaviour in its tracks?

Toxic employees are not just those who are challenging to work with; they can actively harm an organisation’s culture, morale, and even revenue. Their behaviours can range from overt acts like bullying and harassment to more subtle forms of manipulation and passive-aggressiveness, and early identification is essential to stop toxicity from spreading through your whole company.

Signs to Identify a Toxic Employee:

  1. Consistent Negativity: They always focus on what’s wrong, creating a pessimistic environment. Instead of seeking solutions, they dwell on problems, which can substantially affect team morale.
  2. Gossiping: These individuals spread rumours or share negative information about colleagues, undermining trust within the team. This behaviour can lead to divisions and a lack of cohesion among employees.
  3. Resistance to Feedback: Constructive criticism is essential for growth. However, toxic employees take feedback personally, often reacting defensively or dismissively, hindering their own development and potentially causing conflicts.
  4. Frequent Conflicts: Regular disputes with colleagues indicate an inability to collaborate effectively. Such behaviour can disrupt team dynamics and hinder project progress.
  5. Lack of Responsibility: Always pointing fingers and never owning up to mistakes can erode trust. Accountability is crucial in a professional setting, and its absence can decrease team confidence and respect.
  6. Manipulative Behaviour: Using information or emotions to control situations or people is a red flag. Manipulative employees can create power imbalances, leading to an unhealthy work environment.

The ripple effect of their actions can lead to decreased productivity, increased turnover, and even legal liabilities. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Organisations can take proactive steps to identify, address, and even rehabilitate toxic employees. Strategies include clear communication, setting boundaries, and providing resources for personal growth and development.

How to deal with toxic employees

As we delve deeper into this topic, we would like to give you the right tools, knowledge and policies to identify these employees and stop these uncomfortable situations straight away. This is why we are excited to announce an upcoming seminar in October dedicated to identifying, understanding and addressing toxic employees.

If you’re interested in gaining more insights and actionable strategies on this pressing issue, register your interest in our upcoming seminar below. Take advantage of this opportunity to transform your workplace into a harmonious and productive environment!

Learn more about toxic employee management with our seminar on HR Best Practices

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