The Cost of Toxic Employees

By Chuck | September 26, 2019

It’s important that employees feel safe within their environment. After all, the workplace is where they spend a good majority of their time, and everyone deserves to feel respected and secure. However, as  business owners, we often come face-to-face with toxic employees who impact company culture in a very negative way. Believe it or not, keeping a toxic employees can cost a company thousands of dollars

What Is A Toxic Employee?

Toxic employees often do not care about the company’s goals, values or relationships within the company. They underperform, display negativity, fail to follow the rules, bicker with employees, and display unacceptable behaviors. 

“The Cost Of Incivility”

Your work environment and company culture is crucial to employee satisfaction and overall success, making it one of the most important aspects of business. Employees are entitled to a safe space to work, thrive, and achieve goals, but when they are faced with a toxic coworkers, productivity decreases and sometimes even retention. Not only do toxic employees affect employee retention, but they also impact work quality and efficiency.  

According to Harvard Research:

  • Nearly half of employees “decreased their work efforts” and intentionally spent less time at work.
  • 25% of employees who experienced rude interactions with co-workers admitted to taking out frustrations on customers.
  • 12% of employees quit their jobs because of toxic coworkers. 
  • 78% of employees reported their loyalty to the company declined when faced with a toxic coworker.
  • 63% of employees lost work time avoiding the toxic employee.

Not only do other employees fear or come to dislike the offending employee or the company itself, they learn that they can “get away with” rude behavior. Disrespecting each other becomes an endless cycle, and company culture is influenced tremendously. 

How Do I Avoid A Toxic Employee?

The first step to avoiding a toxic employee is addressing the company culture as a whole. What does a good company culture look like to you and your company? How is management aiding in the positive or negative enforcement of the work environment? Toxic employees will only continue to be toxic if they are not confronted about their toxic traits and tendencies. 

When you have a clear vision as to the culture you want to cultivate and the values you want employees to uphold, it’s important that you hire people who feel the same way – who fit within that culture you want. Hiring smart, setting the example of good conduct, and staying true to your company culture and treating employees with respect and setting values and principles (guidelines for you how employees are expected to conduct themselves) will all help prevent the threat of a toxic employee.

How To Let Go Of A Toxic Employee. 

If you’re already experiencing a toxic situation, it is best to communicate the discrepancies you’ve observed and address how the employee can better their relationship within the company and between coworkers. 

If the employee continues to exhibit toxic qualities, it’s time to let them go. If you’re worried about legal issues, now is a good time to get HR involved in the termination process. What you don’t want to do is allow the employee to continue to spread their negativity to others. 

Workplace toxicity can happen, but it can also be prevented by making company culture a priority. 

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