I have been here forever! We don’t do it that way! Who do you think you are changing that policy!

Does this sound like an employee you have? I call them bad employees or toxic employees.

Do bad employees cost you time and money. Most businesses at some time have employee problems. Maybe they come in late, spend work time on their cell phones, are rude to the customers, or ready to leave work 10 minutes before quitting time. Maybe they are always complaining when you implement a new policy or have a product or system change.

Some employees are in the habit of always having bad days, sometimes conveniently just before the weekend and can’t make it into work. Then there are the drama queens that make a huge production about any change in the business.

I recently talked with an entrepreneur that shared with me that the worst employee she had ever had also happened to be her most productive employee. Because this employee was so good at her job, it took a while for the owner to figure out that this employee’s constant complaining was acting like a poison to the rest of the staff and customers. The employee was never happy about anything at work and seemed to delight in sharing her opinion with all of the other employees creating a toxic workplace for everyone. Much like a toxic waste dump, going in there you are bound to get something icky on you.

Toxic Employees Are Expensive

  • Money; That toxic employee is costing you money. Not just in the wages you pay them, but also in benefits.
  • Time; They cost you time dealing with the toxicity. Do you find yourself putting out fires they start? Do other employees come to complain about them?
  • Productivity; They are costing your other employees productivity. They spend time gossiping with other employees spreading their toxic sludge.
  • Customers; They are costing you, customers. They never limit their complaints to the workplace, they spread the toxicity everywhere they go talking bad about you and your business.
  • People; They cost you, other great employees. Great employees quit when the toxic employee is allowed to stay, they think why should I stick around and be part of this train wreck? I can find a better job somewhere else.

Stop It

If you see this in your company, find the courage to do something, and STOP IT. It is your company and your responsibility to do something. Have a meeting and discuss it then take action. The longer you wait to do something the more expensive it will be for you and your business.