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Types of Toxic Employees: How to Deal with Them


Employees are not just the best but also the worst nightmare for any business owner- it all has to depend on what kind of people you hire and who will you decide to keep. The right employees are those who can help your company grow and contribute towards it significantly. The bad employees on the other hand are those who will bring only grief and anxiety. You will only end up firing such people at the end of it. Nonetheless, in this post we are going to make your work easy. We will help you in identifying the toxic employees and how you can get rid of them.

toxic employees at work

Toxic Employee Definition:

Anyone who ruins your workplace and doesn’t allow your co workers to grow is a toxic employee. These guys are either bullies or sociopaths or disinterested. They could be gossip mongers, annoying in all forms etc. Toxic coworkers or employees are very much like cancer to your work place and all they do is sap the energy around you and leave the work place tired and exhausting. Not only are they a waste of time but also a waste of money.

Types of Toxic Employees:

The following mentioned are few tips that help you understand the types of toxic employees in the workplace.

1. The attention seeker:

The attention seeker happens to exist in every office. Not only are they toxic people at work, but also change your working environment into toxic work environment. Such employees try to show off how special they are, how great they have been doing so far and how much we should all look up to them at work. They are self seeking professionals who try to get ahead of others by any means they possibly can. Even though their ambition is something we can admire, what’s sad is that this employee is not very good at being a team player. They could be better off working on their own, starting a business for themselves instead of starting their company.

2. Wallflowers:

A second type of employee who is probably just a nuisance if not anything else is popularly called a wallflower. They don’t have the time to get to know their employee. Neither are they interested in working themselves up the ladder. They don’t want to know about the company at all. All these wallflowers want to do is sit and look at others. Not only are they ruining productivity at office but also reducing the value of your team. What you must do is evaluate whether this person is happy being in your company or if you need to make a few changes and see which one works best for your office culture and environment.

3. The good for nothing employee:

This employee comes to work all happy, energized and charged up but when it comes to getting work done on time, they would do anything but finish their tasks for the day. Instead of focusing on finishing assignments, you will find them catching up with the other employees and distracting them while they try to complete their own assignments. These employees often enjoy the idea of becoming the centre of attention. You don’t need these kinds of people. What you must do is find a replacement that works and not someone who will laze about in the office and annoy others.

4. The rebellious one:

These employees are probably the worst and ones you should get rid of as soon as possible. They don’t care about the rules and will do whatever they like. Even though they are fully aware of the company’s ethics, they will still choose to wear sweat pants. Even when they have work assigned to them with deadlines, they wont bother about finishing work on time. Instead they will take their time working and completing other projects. This kind of people can prove to be road blocks in your office and also ones who are not capable of becoming creative. They could be given a chance if they are willing to change. You should see what you can do about them before bidding farewell.

5. The victims:

No matter how much you do for some people, there are always going to be few who just can’t finish their work. They will have headaches or don’t have enough support or sometimes they won’t have much hours. The employees will always see themselves as people who are hard working but what they don’t know is they are nothing but road blocks to your path of success. The bottom line here is that you don’t always have to keep up with this attitude. You can begin your search for even better candidates and get employed as soon as you can.

6. The know it all:

Know it all, happens to be the most annoying and toxic person you could have at your workplace. These people are not just confident but also those who believe they know everything. Even though they are good at taking criticism and can handle work easily, they are still people who will just go about annoying the others. They believe they don’t need any help and can do everything on their own. They want to work independently but that is something that can never become an asset or a plus point for your company. We would definitely suggest you to get rid of such people and hire better ones as quickly as you can.

7. Non believer:

Such employees have to be the first ones to go. Even though they are getting work done and aren’t necessarily having other employees from succeeding, the attitude of company isn’t going anywhere will spread like fire among other workers too. The job of such individuals is to ruin the company and not to help it grow. If someone who works for you doesn’t even believe in you, then you probably are investing time and energy into the wrong person and its time that you cut them loose.

8. The bully:

The bully is quite a common kind of toxic employee we find these days. Bullying in fact happens everywhere but doesn’t get caught much. You know what kind of people bullies are. They behave like they are the best boss and have a great time ordering around people. They degrade people with new ideas during meetings and are always the ones to mock and joke around.

Toxic Employees Effect on Others:

Here are some of the bad effects that come with having horrible co workers! You have to be well aware of such people if you want your institution to grow and prosper.

1. Poor performance:

Having toxic employees at work means you will have to deal with bad performance at all times. Now this is something so horrible that you must address it quickly. One person’s bad attitude could have a bad effect on the business operations. For example, in case one of your employees starts to complain constantly about something, it could spread to the others as well. Bad employees and bad behaviour could really have bad effects on your company. A manager who is cranky will ruin your mood and atmosphere and will leave you absolutely despondent. You must get rid of such people as soon as possible.

2. Dissatisfied customers:

Another thing that comes with toxic employees is that the customers are often not satisfied with the work. If the customers happen to have bad attitudes from the employees, there are chances they will not want to come back again. Customers will never want to have people who are rude or don’t know how to be polite. It leads to blown up project deadlines and at the same time, nobody seems happy and satisfied. What you must do is monitor the performance of these employees and then have private conversation with them regarding it. Not only is this an effective approach but also improves the morale of your work place.

3. Very low morale:

Toxic people will not only perform badly but also pull everyone down along with them. Those who are not interested in doing their jobs will surely inspire some of their co workers to question the purpose and that will degrade the work place entirely and I am pretty sure, that is something you want to avoid, don’t you? This is quite a common problem and has happened several times. You should fire these people as soon as possible so that you can avoid such issues.

4. Lots of stress:

Having toxic people at work could lead to a lot of stress. If you have people who don’t work at all, it could lead to less productivity as a result of which more stress could be created. Managing poor employees also expects you to supervise them all the time. This could become a huge distraction to all managers and could force your co workers to pick up on the slack. In such cases, you have to be extremely careful.

Getting Rid of Toxic Employees:

The below mentioned are few tips on dealing with toxic people and how to get rid of them.

1. Start off with some tough talk:

Before you take some drastic step, we would definitely tell you to start off with some tough talk. Call the employee to your cabin, make them sit down and talk about whats been happening in the company so far and how their presence is destroying everything. You can be strict but there is no need to be harsh since this is just the first step. Say something like, they need to stop spreading rumours and focus more on themselves so that the deadlines are met and all their work has been finished on time. Talk about how much you want them to do better and not hear them making fun of others. If you want to be a bit more harsh, you could say you might cut some of their incentives and reduce their chances of getting a promotion.

2. Tell them straight up:

If you do not see any changes in your colleague even after you have scolded and threatened them, then its high time to take the third degree. By this we mean you tell them straight up that they need to leave the work place as soon as possible. You should discuss all concerns you have with your employees and then give them some documentation so that they know they can no longer work with you. End the meeting with some good and genuine wishes.

3. Hire better employees:

Before you get rid of the bad employees and employ better ones, we would advise you to hire better employees at the same time. You should have people who can uplift your working environment and help the co workers climb the stairs of success. For this we would recommend you to have at least three rounds of interview so that you know which ones are toxic and which ones aren’t. Let them ask you more questions as well.

4. Reduce their responsibilities:

If you find it absolutely impossible to get rid of these toxic people at your workplace, you can still do something better. You can reduce their responsibilities. Don’t give them any work and simply avoid them. This doesn’t mean you have to let them relax and rest inside their cubicle all the time. You just have to tell them to take a leave and come back a week later. Or you could stop giving them important work and give others importance in front of them. It will make them feel bad for sure.

This brings the post to an end. Always remember that toxic employees are everywhere but it is definitely not the end. In this post, not only have we discussed the types of employees but also given you ideas and tips that can help you improve your company by hiring those who are good for it. If you have used these ideas before and have some more to share with us, please do so in the comment box below. We would love to hear your feedback. On that note, good luck.