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Managers sometimes attempt to fix this type of problem by addressing a toxic employee's attitude.
And while a toxic employee's attitude certainly affects his/her behavior, managers usually find that
controlling an employee's attitude is next to impossible.
Clever toxic employees:
- Utilize their technical expertise to intimidate & manipulate
- Know who to flatter & who they can abuse
- Turn their toxicity on & off depending on the impression they want to make
Unfortunately, organizations can work against themselves & even promote toxicity by:
- Restructuring his/her job to accommodate a toxic employee
- Tolerating toxic employees who have valued expertise
- Not assertively seeking employee feedback as to whether there is toxic behavior in the
- Not communicating to all employees the specific interpersonal behaviors that will not be
tolerated -with the associated consequences
Managers can be much more effective by:
- Discussing the specific behaviors that are negatively impacting other employees and/or the
- Using positive & negative consequences to influence that behavior
Why you should Attend
Toxic employees cause significant overt, covert, people-related &
financial damage with their visible behavior just being the tip
the iceberg. For example, in one organization the day a former employee
left the organization is considered one of their annual
Most organizations have employees who on occasion:
- Complain & gossip excessively
- Use inappropriate language
- Are mildly insubordinate
But Toxic Employees have interpersonal styles that demonstrate a pattern of counter-productive work behaviors. While
Intelligent employees being aware of their feelings & those of
others exhibit a pattern of appropriate self management.
The toxic employee problem is surprisingly prevalent with research showing:
- 95% of employees have & 64% are currently working with a toxic employee
- 50% of employees have thought of quitting & 12% did because of a toxic employee
- 25% of employees have reduced their work effort due to a toxic employee
- 20% of employees feel they are a target weekly & 10% of employees see toxic behavior daily
Areas Covered in the Session
Human & Financial Costs Resulting from Toxic Employees
Toxic Employees Create:
- Chaos & unnecessary complexity
- Overt damage
- Covert damage
- Strife, stress & emotional damage
- Productivity, quality & financial losses
The A, B, C's Related to Toxic Employees
- Employee attitudes
- Employee behaviors
- Consequences that managers can exert
The Psyche of a Toxic Employee
- Frequently seen toxic behaviors
- Utilize 'star status' & technical expertise to intimidate & manipulate
- Chameleon who knows who to flatter & who he/she can abuse Turn their toxicity on & off depending on the impression they want to make
- Three common forms of toxic behavior
Common Reactions to Toxic Employees That Frequently Don't Work
- Restructuring his/her job to accommodate the toxic employee
- Tolerating toxic employees who bring rare expertise or experience
- Not assertively seeking feedback from employees as to whether there is toxic behavior in the workplace
- Not communicating to all employees the specific behaviors that will not be tolerated - with associated consequences
Effective Approaches for Addressing & Preventing Toxicity
- Organization-wide strategies:
- Making positive interpersonal behavior an organizational value
- Evaluating interpersonal behavior as a part of the performance appraisal system
- Training leaders in how to address toxic behavior
- Using behavioral-based interview questions to screen toxic applicants
- Exit interviewing to identify any toxic behavior in the workplace
- Departmental & team strategies:
- Defining appropriate interpersonal interactions with behavior-specific descriptions & standards
- Using team discussions & role plays to clarify the application of the behavioral descriptions & standard
- Utilizing a 360-degree feedback process to assess the work environment
- One-on-one strategies:
- Stating explicitly that the behavior is not acceptable & why
- Describing both the unacceptable & acceptable behavior
- Asking the employee to commit to & describe how he/she will change his/her behavior
- Frequent, targeted counseling feedback
- Executive coaches
- Progressive discipline
- But even terminations are not a cure-all because the:
- Toxic-enabling people & organizational culture tendencies may remain
- Employees may still be resentful of the way they were treated by the employee & the time it took the organization to react
- Expertise & experience of the toxic employee are lost
Who Will Benefit
- Anyone with Managerial or Leadership Responsibility
Pete Tosh is Founder of The Focus Group, a management consulting and training firm that assists organizations in sustaining profitable growth through four core disciplines:
Implementing Strategic HR Initiatives: Executive Search, Conducting HR Department Audits, Enhancing Recruiting, Interviewing & Selection Processes, Installing Performance Management Programs, Conducting Training Needs Assessments, Installing HR Metrics, etc.
Maximizing Leadership Effectiveness: Facilitating Team Building Initiatives, Designing and Facilitating 360 Performance Assessments, Executive Coaching, Measuring and Enhancing Employee Engagement and Performance, etc.
Strategic Planning: Facilitating Strategic Planning Events, Establishing Succession Plans, Installing Business Performance Metrics, etc.
Enhancing Customer Loyalty: Conducting Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Facilitating Customer Advisory Councils, Developing Standards of Performance and Scripts for Key Customer Touch Points, etc.
The Focus Group has provided these consulting and training services to manufacturing and service organizations across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Pete has worked closely with the leadership teams of organizations such as Exxon, Brinks, EMC, State Farm, Marriott, N.C.I. YKK and Freddie Mac to :
• Align corporate organizational structures with their strategic initiatives - while insuring value creation for their customer bases.
• Ascertain customers’ primary needs and perceptions of organizations’ performance relative to that of their competitors.
• Develop and implement customer loyalty enhancement processes - based on specific customer feedback - that delivered sustainable advantages in the marketplace.
• Implement performance management programs, executive coaching, compensation systems and other HR processes to strategically direct and reward desired employee behavior.
Prior to founding his own firm 25 years ago, Pete had 15 years of experience -at the plant, divisional and corporate levels - in Human Resource and Quality functions. Pete held leadership positions - to include the V.P. of Human Resources and Quality - with Allied Signal, Imperial Chemical Industries, Reynolds Metals, Charter Medical and Access Integrated Networks.
Pete also frequently develops and facilitates a variety of leadership development programs including: Strategic Planning, Moving from an Operational Manager to a Strategic Leader, Strategic HR Management, The Fundamentals of Human Resource Management, Recruiting, Interviewing & Selection, Employment Law and Utilizing HR Metrics. Employees from over 3,000 organizations have benefited from Pete’s experience and perspective. Pete is co-author of Leading Your Organization to the Next Level: the Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable Growth.
Pete holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Emory and Henry College and Masters degrees in both Business Administration and Industrial Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.