A toxic employee can do terrible damage to your business.
A negative attitude is a cancer that spreads through your team, prevents you from growing your business and transforms working on your business from a joy to a misery.
At Abundance Global, we have worked with many inspiring entrepreneurs. These people are doing amazing things and are working with incredible teams, but a common problem we see time and time again is the presence of a toxic employee.
So, what can be done about it?
Below we will look at a simple framework to help you to quickly eliminate the problem of toxic employees from your business.
First, start by rating your team members on their skill level. Give them a rating from zero to ten, with five being the midpoint.
Next, rate your team based on their attitude. Some people may find that rating an employee on their attitude is a difficult or daunting task. An alternative way to look at this is how much joy does it bring you to have this person on your team. At the end of the day, you have started this business to create a lifestyle and bring joy to your life. If your team members aren’t contributing to this, then something has to change.
Once you have mapped out where your staff fall on this framework, you need to decide what you are going to do about it.
Highly Skilled and Great Attitude:
This is an easy one. Consider a member of your team who is a good operator, but also a pleasure to deal with. This individual will fall above a five in terms of their skill level and likewise brings joy to their work environment and the people around them.
What are you going to do with these people? The answer is obvious. As a business owner you want to do everything you can to keep these people.
Consider whether you should be paying them more, providing them with a better working arrangement, providing them with greater recognition or giving them more support? Whatever you decide you need to do, you need to ensure these good performers want to stay with you. These individuals form the backbone of your business and help to build a great company culture.
Low Skilled and Poor Attitude:
This is also an easy one. Do you have a team member who has a really ordinary skill level? This person may not be particularly good at their job, they don’t generate results, or they don’t deliver the outcome that you expect. In addition, this person has a terrible attitude at work. Maybe they’re consistently late, engaging in office gossip or contributing to negative office politics. This individual simply may not want to listen, be part of a team or collaborate with others. There are many ways a toxic individual can make the lives of your people miserable.
What are you going to do with these individuals? Cut them loose. This group of people should not be a part of your business. They contribute very little and take up space you could fill with a much more valuable worker. Let them move on to another workplace where they’ll perhaps be happier, and their skill set may be a better fit.
Low Skilled and Great Attitude:
This is a group of people who can do the job but aren’t giving you the results that you want or expect. On the other hand, these people are a pleasure to have around and work with. This group of individuals may make good team members, but you need to get more out of them.
What should you do? Thankfully there is an easy fix – skills can be trained. If you invest time and training into these people, before long they will have transitioned to the Highly Skilled and Great Attitude category.
Once you have increased their skill level, your next job is to do everything you can to make them want to stay.
High Skilled and Poor Attitude:
It’s easy to dismiss or trivialise the impact a toxic employee has on a business, but the people that fall into this category are monsters in your business. They’re the cancers that are spreading their poor attitude throughout.
This category of people is easy to justify keeping, due to their high level of skill. It makes the decision to get rid of them difficult. By letting them go, you will be losing the results they are delivering. Many of these high performers will have been in the organisation for up to twenty or thirty years. But these are the people holding your organisation back, spreading their bad attitude and behaviours.
For the sake of your people and the future of your business, bite the bullet and let them go. The losses and pain in the short term will be worth it for the gains you will make in the future.
At Abundance Global we want you to have a team of highly skilled people with the right attitude. Surround yourself with people that you want to keep forever – people that bring you great joy.
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