As a business owner or executive, you might prefer to ignore the toxic people and the office drama.  You may even feel that it is insignificant; but, when you look more closely, you might see things differently.

Toxic People Hurt Your Business

Most office drama is created by employees who respond emotionally to minor events and ruminate on issues that shouldn’t concern them. They overhear conversations, interpret them (usually inaccurately) and then spread their opinions to others; often causing entire departments to be at odds. This kind of bad behavior, when permitted to fester without acknowledging it causes tangible and intangible damage. Both the bottom line and office morale is are danger of tanking if the office gossip, bullies, and general havoc is left unaddressed.

Ironically, people who create problems are often also top performers. You allow job competence to justify tolerance of the unprofessional behavior. The cost of hiring and training a replacement is substantial; however, the greater cost that you may be over looking is the impact on your more solid employees. You risk the frustration and possible resignation of very good people due to the behavior of those who create toxic alliances. These individuals often pit employees against one another. This behavior directly impacts the culture of your organization.  The deterioration of your culture impacts your clients as well. They notice.

A View From Higher Up

If you could look down from a helicopter, you might recognize the hours of productivity lost each day when managers deal with employee conflicts.  The bigger picture might show you that it is in fact time to take action.

Questions that you need to ask

As you wonder if the benefits of replacing problem employees outweighs the short-term pain of doing so, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have I noticed toxic and passive aggressive behaviors on more than one occasion?
  2. Have I had to intervene in personnel issues unrelated to business on more than one occasion?
  3. Does this employee rationalize their own behavior yet point out the faults of others?
  4. Is this employee extremely defensive?
  5. Does this employee seem to be somehow involved in or behind every office disagreement?
  6. Have I caught this person in either direct or indirect deception?
  7. Does this employee become prone to emotional outburst when they feel threatened?
  8. Have others complained to you about the behavior of the employee?
  9. Have you tolerated toxic behaviors that you would not tolerate if the staff member were not performing well in other areas?
  10. Are you, or your managers emotionally exhausted and distracted due to dealing with this employee?

If you answered yes to five or more of these questions, you may need to replace, (or at the very least intervene with) that employee. You can’t afford the toxic behavior, your staff can’t afford the turmoil, and you can’t afford the time you waste dealing with counterproductive issues. It is time to raise the standard of conduct in your work place in order to improve the morale of everyone.

It’s time to take action

Make today the day you revitalize the team that is working positively. Make it the day you set the tone for your business to be professional, positive, and drama free. Take an action that allows your employees to return their focus to their job, and your focus to your profit.