How to Take the Toxic Out of a Business Environment

How to Take the Toxic Out of a Business Environment


Your company no longer runs as smoothly as it once did. Indeed, your profits are down, customers are leaving and your competitors are nipping at your heels. What’s up with that? Well, it could be that you have certain employees who are causing a problem, individuals who you’ve tried to get to toe the line, but still insist on doing their own thing. You know who these people are and you also need to remove them from your employee rolls.

Disorganized Dan

Dan is a smart man, but he is terribly disorganized. He is the stereotypical absent-minded professor — big on brains, but not so much on common sense. You hired him for his mind, but it is his actions that are hurting your company.

Disorganized Dan hasn’t just missed a deadline, he delivered the wrong service. If it were an isolated case you might deal with it and move on, but it is a habit that has come up time and again. Dan’s time with your company would be better spent elsewhere.

Passive Paula

You hired Paula for her soft spoken voice and calm demeanor. Unfortunately, her calmness borders on inattentiveness and your customers are getting upset.

Passive Paula might be better off working behind the scenes instead of directly with your customers. She isn’t a lost cause, but having another set of eyes following her work can be most beneficial. Her passivity is costing you sales!

Aggressive Alex

Alex is also known as Mr. Personality, the type of person who lights up a room whenever he makes an entrance. Unfortunately, that lighting up is more like fireworks than a bright light you hoped would encourage your team. Alex is aggressive and is scaring off your more timid, but solid workers.

Aggressive Alex’s behavior borders on bullying. In fact, your Human Resources director is alarmed that he is supervising a department. She has advised you to make a change given that Alex has failed to heed numerous warranties in the past.

Resistant Rhoda

Your company has been through several changes in the past year, difficult moves that most of your employees have learned to embrace. Not so with Rhoda who continues to do things her own way. It wouldn’t be so bad if those ways worked, but Rhoda is being insubordinate and hurting morale.

Resistant Rhoda needs to be read the riot act and warned to mend her ways immediately. If her defiance continues, the only solution is to allow her to carry on her merry ways on her own time and dime.

Sulking Sam

You’ve worked with Sam in the past in a bid to help hime overcome his hypersensitivity. Unfortunately, he seems to “get it” just for a season then begins sulking and dragging down others in his department.

Sulking Sam may need professional help and this is where your Human Resources director should step in. He may be having a personal struggle that can be overcome, but with a delicate and carefully crafted response from your HR person.

Backstabbing Barb

Barb is a smart woman and she knows its. She also has a habit of smiling to your customer’s faces, but murmuring under her breath about them when she thinks that they’re not in earshot. Trouble is, they hear enough to decide that they really think she poorly represents your business.

Backstabbing Barb is a nightmare as she chases off customers and employees alike. You can’t figure her out, but you have figured that her time with your company should come to an end. And soon.

Moving On

It is true that “skills get you hired; behavior gets you fired.” Hiring the wrong person can cost your company dearly in lost sales, poor morale and in training costs as you replace a bad worker with a new person who you must bring up to speed.

Individuals that struggle and are willing to change may be redeemable. For toxic employees, the sooner you show them the door, the better for your company and your bottom line.

See AlsoDifficult Customers and How to Deal With Them



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Categories: Employee Issues

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