How toxic employees can ruin your business


Why do talented employees leave? They are meticulous, hardworking, result oriented and often become the pillars that support an organisation. Even though the management does their best to retain and motivate the talent force, employees often tend to leave on the grounds of exploring better opportunities.

A startup entrepreneur understands the pain of losing a talented employee more than anyone else. Losing the category of employees that you could count on is not easy and often comes with great repercussions.

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The loophole lies in your system itself, and you need to clear the air before it starts ruining your business. There maybe a few toxic people in your organisation who create discontent in the structure, driving your good employees up a wall. So here’s how you identify them:

“That’s not my job”

Toxic people are recognised as individuals in the organisation who neither want to do their work as per expectations nor take any additional responsibilities whatsoever. They would often put off additional requests and if forced to work through, the result will either be a failure or totally shoddy.

On the other hand, good employees—the talented ones—are proactive and would love to take up new challenges. They always keep their work current and do not hesitate in taking additional work responsibilities.

Toxic element: If you have recognised the potential of your good employees, it doesn't mean that you start exploiting them to get all the work done. It is important to correct the nonchalant behaviour of laidback employees and divide responsibilities equally among all. Demand results from those who work with a casual approach. Putting all the pressure on those who deliver will only result in employee turnover, and you will end up losing the ones that actually add value to the organisation.

The preferential treatment

Perhaps, your toxic employees love the biased attention they receive from the powerful people within the company. In most cases, it has also been seen that the owner of the company relinquishes so much control to a few employees that they start misusing it.

On the other hand, talented employees believe that their work and capabilities should be what speaks for them. Thus, they don’t indulge in wasting their time playing politics and rather invest their crucial work hours developing sought-after work agendas.

Toxic element: Prejudice and politics have always been a matter of concern for organisations—be it a small business or a big company. But as a startup, you cannot let this muddle seep into your system. Such partiality and bias can upset your good employees to an extent that forces them to leave in an instant. If you encounter any kind of bad blood between employees, it is only a matter of time that your talented force will head for the elevator.

It’s always someone else’s fault

A customer complains. A vendor doesn't get his payments on time. Or someone got thrown in front of the bus, whatever it is, it’s always someone else’s fault. Did you recently encounter a situation where your best employee (rhetorically) was trying to put the blame on their co-worker? Then, maybe he or she is not your best employee!

Toxic people enjoy playing the “blame game” while talented ones will always step in, take the hit and make efforts to find a fix. Saying “It wasn't me” is just a selfish act thrown by employees who don’t know how to handle a situation. Good employees understand the dictum ‘to err is human’ and take the hit because they know that they can find the solution and deliver better in the next round.

Toxic people enjoy playing the “blame game” while talented ones will always step in, take the hit and make efforts to find a fix.

Toxic element: It is a good idea to only appoint people who have the courage and understanding of managing teams without causing discord in the organisation as project managers. If your employee comes to you to blame others for the fault, make him or her understand the functioning of an organisation and how in a company everyone is in it together. Anyone who isn't ready to step up needs to go!

These are just a few reasons that can cause repeated disruptions in the workplace and can cost you your good employees and decrease your overall productivity in the long run! So, it’s time to take some action.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)


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