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How to Handle Toxic Employees in the Workplace, 14 Tips

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How to handle toxic employees in the workplace? People that constantly whine, grumble, criticize, and blame others are disruptive, detrimental, and taxing for your company. A toxic employee drains the life out of everyone in the office, decreasing productivity, and morale, and fostering an unsatisfactory environment in general.

An office with toxic workers loses vitality quickly. They are frequently haughty and like setting up rivalry among coworkers. They interrupt meetings, miss deadlines, and assign blame.

If you don’t manage toxic people diplomatically and with some plan, your team will become disgruntled, your productivity will suffer, and you could even find a personal grievance from an employee who has had enough on your desk.

The issue is that toxic employees might be hard to see during the interview process because, if they are aware of their poisonous tendencies, they are probably extremely good at concealing them when they want to. This article will give you an overview of how to handle toxic employees in the workplace. Keep reading.

What are the signs of a toxic employee?

Employees that are toxic tend to be arrogant, self-absorbed, and rule-breakers. They frequently put themselves first and don’t appreciate or collaborate with others, which can make them challenging individuals in a business setting where teamwork is frequently required.

Because it’s challenging to approach a toxic employee, many toxic employees go unnoticed or continue their activities. However, managers are also overloaded with dealing with more critical issues. Find out by reading on:

  • What to do if a toxic coworker is working with you
  • The several harmful employee kinds
  • Approaching a problematic employee: what to do

How to handle toxic employees in the workplace

Your workplace culture is determined by how employees act and interact with one another, thus both are crucial. Your staff will become poisoned by negativity and rumors, which will result in a poisonous workplace and dissatisfied workers. Employees dislike uncomfortable workplaces, and the longer the toxicity persists, the greater the likelihood that they will quit.

1. Investigate more

You should investigate more and see if there is anything bothering your toxic employee before you leap to conclusions and terminate them. They can just not get the organization’s vision, or maybe they’ve lost touch with the goal of your company.

2. Talk personally

You can have an in-depth conversation with them in private. People who engage in toxic behavior frequently experience issues at home but are unaware that these issues are causing them to behave disrespectfully or disruptively at work. You won’t be able to identify the underlying reason for the negative conduct unless you speak with them.

They could require the assistance of a leadership coach who can aid with certain coping mechanisms. If their behavioral issues are caused by a more significant medical issue, such as a mental health or drug addiction illness, they may also require medical attention.

3. Define the limits

Lack of context leads to many toxic individuals continuing their behavior. Try to set limits with your staff so that you won’t have to worry about the nature of your relationship altering if you need to be the one to enforce discipline. Don’t be hesitant to take a firm stand to stop a conversation, and be prepared to say “no” a bit more frequently.

4. Detoxify

It’s possible that they are experiencing issues at home or at work, or both. You must work to identify the underlying issues within the company and your team if you want to detoxify them.

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5. Discuss their actions, not their character

You won’t go very far in a conversation if you accuse the other person of being condescending at the outset because they will feel defensive. Saying “Hey in the meeting yesterday when you mentioned you didn’t agree with one of the ideas, it came out in a really negative tone, and such behavior is not good” is more likely to get their attention. After that, you may ask, “What was the result you were seeking when you stated that”? Let’s come up with some alternative ways you may have phrased that inquiry.

6. Provide constructive criticism in public

Although having a private talk with your employee is a smart way to address little problems, letting things slide in a group setting might give the other employees an incorrect impression. Don’t remain silent in the face of offensive behavior.

Keep in mind that your teammates are watching you, and if you remain silent, they will assume that you are endorsing inappropriate behavior. Instead of publicly correcting them, you may say something like, “You look frustrated. Do you have any constructive criticism you would want to share?”

7. Record the conduct

Large blowouts are an unusual symptom of toxic behavior. Usually, a lot of minor violations take place and accumulate over time to the point where there is a problem that has to be addressed. Keep a running note of behaviors that worry you or any other members of your staff. If necessary, this material can be used to support taking disciplinary action if the harmful behavior does not change.

Often, negative, gossipy, and lazy employees are unaware of how much of an impact they are having on the rest of the team. Bad behavior must always be stopped in its tracks right away. Employers have disciplinary procedures at their disposal if it continues.

8. Make an effort, neutrally

Starting a business might be difficult at times. I have a little plaque that reads, “Our One Rule: Use Good Judgment In All Situations,” on my wall. When dealing with toxic employees, it’s a good idea to have the phrase “do your best” in the back of your mind.

9. Let that person leave

The only thing left to do, according to certified behavioral specialist Baird Brightman Ph.D., is let that person leave if you have done everything and they are still negatively influencing your coworkers’ productivity and well-being at work. There aren’t many alternatives if they can’t get their act together and don’t contribute anything to your team.

What should you do if an employee is toxic?

Depending on how they influence the workplace, each of the five categories of toxic employees identified by GetVoIP requires a distinct management approach:

1. The Slacker

Slackers are a tremendous time and energy drain on everyone, draining the office of all its excitement. They look for excuses not to do their jobs and have little respect for deadlines, forcing others to do their duties. They frequently maintain terrible records of time and spend time when they need to be working,

  • How to control

Finding latent animosity is the best approach to dealing with a lax employee. They clearly don’t love their jobs since they occasionally lack the will to come to work. They should have a clear understanding of what you anticipate from them, and you should hold them accountable. Recognizing and rewarding them when they do make an effort is also beneficial since it will give them something to strive for in the future.

2. The Sociopath

Wherever they go, workers with sociopathic inclinations leave a wake of devastation. They create a toxic workplace, destroy team morale, and seriously harm a company’s reputation. They frequently engage in bullying conduct and violate conventions. They struggle with authority and are extremely skilled at sabotage and manipulation.

  • How to control

Nearly one-third of people have experienced workplace bullying and more than one-third (36%) of those who report experiencing workplace bullying end up quitting their jobs as a result. You may stop this from happening by adopting stringent anti-bullying measures in your organization and fostering a secure and encouraging workplace. Keep meticulous records of inappropriate actions and have faith in your gut. It could be time to fire an employee if you frequently receive complaints about them.

3. The Hot Mess

This type of toxic employee continuously solicits assistance from coworkers, but they are also fairly unreliable themselves and rely excessively on others to fix their faults. Their characteristic traits include disarray, passivity, resistance to change, and a taught helplessness that drags everyone down.

  • How to control

Offering them further training will assist them with the task they struggle with and help you manage someone with these behavioral qualities more successfully. Making them aware of their function and offering a performance development plan for them might help motivate them to desire to do better at their work.

4. The Socialite

The individual who is hilarious, charming, and everyone’s greatest friend may also be a toxic employee, so don’t let the title mislead you. They frequently occupy a lot of their colleague’s time and are extremely noisy and annoying. They have an immature and unprofessional outlook on work because they like workplace gossip and live on office drama.

  • How to control

As they may be well-liked by many people, this hazardous employee is more difficult to control. Giving them a task to concentrate on, however, can enable children to improve their communication abilities and direct their energy in a useful direction. Establish clear guidelines for acceptable behavior in the workplace and assign the workers certain social hours and activities.

5. The Martyr

Because they are unaware of their own limitations, office martyrs frequently are unaware that they are office martyrs. They put in excessive effort to establish themselves, but because they want to brag about how much work they are putting in, they unbalance the team. As a result, they frequently erode the trust of other team members while whining nonstop and viewing duties negatively.

  • How to control

Enforcing delegation will prevent a martyr from taking on too much and becoming exhausted. So that everyone feels equal, encourage a collaborative rather than a competitive workplace. Encourage this person to sometimes take paid time off while also putting stress management strategies in place.

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