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Five Toxic Employee Behaviors

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The workplace is strong part of our lives and it’s where we spend the most part of our time. Whether you are a business owner or an employee, majority of your time will be spent at work. It is therefore important for organizations to not only pay attention to the nature of employees work, but, more so the social environment and those on the team – especially toxic people.

Toxic employees do not only display their negative tendencies, but equally in their nature to influence other employees in spreading their bad omen at the detriment of either losing good customers, great employees or damaging the image of the company.

Great companies painstakingly invest time and efforts building great workplace culture knowing the value of having great team that represents their business values.

Such companies are not only interested in the skills a potential employee brings onboard although that is very important, but more so in knowing who the person is in virtue, lifestyle and personality before including him on the team.

Usually, the strategy to keep out toxic employees is either to hire right or fire quickly – when there is a recruitment error.

The question is, how do you recognize toxic employees?

Before reading through to identify the signs to look for, please take note that, it’s not enough to search out these tendencies in others, but also to serve as self-assessment in order to work on shapening your human virtue to becoming more valuable and standout as a great employee in skill and attitude at your workplace.

Here are five examples of toxic behaviors to lookout for:

1. They complain a lot rather than solve problems.

Toxic employees have the tendency to always complain. They are quick to see everything that is wrong in the workplace, and would hardly be willing to be a part of solving the very problem they are complaining about.

Even when others make effort to provide solution, they will yet choose to complain on how difficult it is to solve the problem or how poorly delivered the solutions are.

2. They spread gossip instead of getting engaged in doing their assigned work.

They are usually interested in investigating and speaking bad about other coworkers. Some employers out of their own insecurity fall victim to such toxic staff confusing them to be loyalists, only to realize that the very way they gossip and speak bad about others to him, is the same way, falsehood are spread and spoken about him and the company to others too.

3. They make work difficult for others.

When co-workers need their help – in tools, materials, information and technical-know-how to getting work done, they are fond of feigning ignorance, hoarding materials, and hiding information and tools that can aid the success and easy delivery of work for other team members.

Ironically, they are quick to seek the very assistance they deny others when they need one.

These tendencies are not just shown towards a particular co-worker out of personal rift, but also to every team member and they are often known for it by others.

It is a toxic work habit developed overtime.

4. They procrastinate and are also time wasters.

These set of employees make excuses and are never on time with their deliverables.

They are often busy (or pretend to be busy) with everything except their own work and what is expected of them.

Their usual slogan is, ‘I will do it’. No matter how urgent, small or easy the request may be, they will tell you, ‘come back later- I’m busy,’ only for you to realize they were free the whole time.

5. They are intolerant, make trouble and don’t take correction.

They are usually intolerant and can’t bear any inconvenience.

They make trouble with customers, coworkers, and sometimes very subtle at instigating others to challenge authority to cause insubordination.

They have character flaws, not knowing when to speak and (or) be quiet. They hardly take correction and easily pick offence when you point out their mistakes.

They talk back at anyone and blaze in anger to whoever steps on their toes including their employer.

They have zero tolerance for work place adjustments, emergency demands and are negative in their feedbacks.

By Julius Okasor |Psychology & Human Resource Strategist – Chartered

Image courtesy of Seunmanuel Faleye - ApplesBite International Magazine
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Seunmanuel Faleye is a brand and communications strategist. He is a covert writer and an overt creative head. He publishes Apple's Bite International Magazine.


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