As a former Director, one of my concerns in the workplace was dealing with toxic people.
According to Dr. Daniel D. Elash, a Clinical Psychologist, toxic people are those whose attitudes, perspectives, or habits disrupt the organization’s peace of mind. Some of them have habits and attitudes that disrupt morale, work flow, and interpersonal harmony.
For the office to be productive, toxic people must not have been hired in the workplace, but they were already around before an Area or Regional Director assumes office in the area. Anyway, they are some of the challenges of the top officials and dealing with them is an amazing experience. Although employees may have similar skills, knowledge and experiences, but they have different characters, attitudes and habits.
Who are these toxic employees?
Victims. These are employees who chronically feel that life’s bumps and bruises are aimed specifically at them. They start the day’s work talking about their problems and expect special consideration from their co-employees until the latter feel used when these toxic employees (victims) do not move on or get better.
Self-absorbed and selfish employees see the world as all about them. These people seek attention, take credit for other peoples’ work, and are envious of what others get or have. Their attitude and behaviors, grate on peers and infuriate people with authority in the organization.
Apathetic employees are those that display little ambition to advance or improve. They come to work to get the paycheck without much regard for the quality of their efforts. They fail in multi-tasking because they always answer that they don’t know how to do the job or say “it’s not my job”.
How to deal with them?
Of course talking to them is difficult in the beginning but we have to, to understand the behaviour.
Give concrete, specific and honest feedback on the effect of their behaviour to their co-workers and the organization and offer the opportunity to change to have positive impact in the workplace.
If possible, assign them to offices where they could not do more harm and be more productive.
These actions take a lot of time and study and sometimes drastic action might be resorted to if the employee is really offensive and adamant to change to protect the organization.
Do you have employees like this in your office? How did you deal with them? Please write your comments below.