In the past, before we started BELAY, I was part of a couple of toxic company cultures that inhabited toxic employees. Toxic employees can be like the black mold growing behind your walls—they fester and flourish, often without your notice, until suddenly everyone around is sick and distressed and no one really knows why.
Toxic attitudes manifest themselves in a whole host of different behaviors, ranging from passive-aggressive comments and actions, downright rudeness, and blatant entitlement. These behaviors will sink not only your organization’s culture and morale, but will eventually make their way to your bottom line in terms of lost productivity and the time and effort your managers have to exert in dealing with the destruction these toxic employees leave in their wake.
Listen. Trust me on this. Don’t ignore this. You know, deep down, that toxic employees are costing you. But you might not know how much. That’s why this research from Harvard Business Review needs to sink in, and show you the damage the toxic employees in your midst are doing to the rest of your team:
- 80 percent of employees lost work time worrying about the offending employees’ rudeness
- 78 percent said their commitment to the organization declined in the face of toxic behavior
- 66 percent said their performance declined
- 63 percent lost work time in avoiding the offender
- 48 percent decreased their work effort
You as the leader are the only one who can do anything about toxic behavior in your workplace. And if you don’t, you’re showing your team that you are sanctioning incompetence. When you let behavior like this slide, you’re telling your team that this behavior is OK with you. You’re also compromising your leadership by not acting, and showing your team that they can’t trust you to confront this kind of behavior in your teams. And that will cost you even more.
If you’ve got toxic employees on your team, get rid of them. If they haven’t changed by now, they’re not going to. Take action to defend your team and your culture, and protect your bottom line … your healthy employees will thank you later!
Let me know what you think. Connect with me on Twitter.
This post was originally published on the Miles AG Blog on 8/10/16 before we consolidated all our brands and blogs into one. It has been updated for today’s post.