If, for a moment that you were down on your luck, it is quite possible that you may have hired a bad seed in your organisation. What constitutes a bad seed in this instance, you ask?
We’re not talking about an employee who is bad at their job. We’re not even talking about employees who cause a bit of mischief. We’re talking about employees that are downright toxic. They aren’t generally positive, they want to complain about everything. What’s more is that they tend to have that effect on the people around them. Their negative energy is contagious and more often than not, it seeps into the rest of your team.
How do we deal with such employees, then? What can we do about people that just won’t back down with their whining and negativity?
Understanding the Difference between a Bad Employee and a Toxic Employee
A bad employee will probably be bad at their jobs. Theirs is a functional problem that can probably be improved through trainings, workshops or other professional development tools. A bad employee may be demotivated but the truth is that there the motivation is confined to their own person.
A toxic employee on the other hand will cause harm to the people around them. How so you ask? The thing is that they will do anything to put people down around them. Their motto is that if they are miserable in their jobs they are going to make other people around them miserable, too. This may not be true a deliberate movement; rather it was attributed to their overall negative energy.
What’s more is that what they do cannot be pinpointed as being blatantly wrong. They just make people around them miserable. And how can you possibly dig down deep enough to find out the root of someone’s misery? What they do is not technically illegal… it is just harmful.
Offer Help through Counselling
So here is what you have to do. As a manager it is your dual job to be kind of a psychologist. Figure out what it is that is making an employee toxic. Are they unhappy with the organization? Are the unhappy with their co-workers? Are there frustrations stemming from a person job misfit? Are they are happy in their personal life? Are they healthy and stress-free?
There is a plethora of things that can be attributed to someone’s bad attitude. For the first thing you do is find out the root of the problem. Then offer counselling. Be it your own advice or that of a professional where inherent problems can be identified, provide your employees with a safe space to figure out their problems.
Manage Your Priorities
Understand that some people could be beyond your help. Some people might need a different kind of intervention one that an employer simply cannot provide. Realize that you may not be equipped to handle certain situations. And that’s completely fine.
Dealing with toxic employees can be challenging, draining, counterproductive. So what you got to do it’s figure out a way to manage your priorities. Some employees will change. Other employees may not be as fruitful for you. They may not be worth all the time and the resources are going to put into their improvement. So what I really mean is learn to pick your battles. Sometimes it’s just easier to let go of something that you know will not improve in the near future.
Of course, your employee management app will be there to help you track progress, get to the bottom of certain kinds of issues and monitor any misdemeanour that might cause others harm.