Myers Barnes Blog

Toxic employees: Why YOU might be the real problem

Categories: Leadership, Personal Development | Posted: May 30, 2017

No matter how carefully you screen candidates, some of them will turn into bad employees. They show up late, leave early, complain about anything and everything. These people fail to meet their goals, and always have an excuse for coming up short and the promise to do better.

You might overlook the problem for awhile. Maybe you take the person aside and extend a pep talk or mildly suggest an attitude adjustment.

When the behavior persists, however, the problem is not the difficult employee, but YOU. By ignoring the situation, you allow the unhealthy environment to continue. Your productive and valued team members undoubtedly recognize the flaws in the toxic employee. While they are first annoyed by the errant co-worker, the frustration will turn to you, as the “leader” who is allowing this individual to continue to disrupt the workflow and environment.

What does this say about you?

You’re an enabler. Your tolerance of the behavior allows it to continue. The weak link is not going to change unless you demand it. By not doing so, you’re indicating that the performance is acceptable, and, therefore, enabling it to continue.

Your standards are inconsistent. If you expect some people to meet (or exceed) their goals, while others can get by with less, the standards you think you’ve set have no credibility.

You accept mediocrity. This toxic environment will indeed fester when you let it. Otherwise good team members will see that mistakes are ok. Putting forth a partial effort is fine, because they see it happening, without any repercussions.

You don’t value your good employees. Undoubtedly, someone on your team is working harder to make up for that bad employee. Someone is correcting the mistakes and finishing the details. You’re allowing that to continue, which indicates you don’t mind others doing more than their share.

I’ve always believed that you do not fire people; they “de-hire” themselves. Those individuals who choose not to perform their jobs have made a decision. You simply need to take action in response.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.
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