Sometimes one of the biggest threats in your business is not your next-door business rival, but the very people that you’ve hired. Business owners should know that one toxic employee or a band of them somewhere in the workplace poses a serious threat to their business.
Toxic employees produce toxic attitudes and behaviors that will certainly affect the workplace, and eventually, the entire business.
Before things get worse, business owners should be ahead of this situation.
It doesn’t take a superhero to deal with the ‘villains’ that have grown inside your business premises. The good old ‘Mr. And Mrs Owner’ is enough to deal with them.
Here are the important guidelines to follow in dealing with toxic employees properly:
Maintain Patience and Composure
There is great necessity to be ahead of the employees in terms of character. Inside the business premises, they won’t look up to anybody but you. So you must show maturity at all times.
When dealing with a toxic employee, do it with compassion. Be patient with their toxic behavior, negative responses, and even with their childish attitude. Even when things heat up, maintain your composure and deal with the situation with maturity.
Your patience and composure will leave a positive impression on that toxic employee that you’re dealing with.
And one more thing: you cannot fight fire with fire. Equally toxic responses cannot neutralize toxic attitudes. That’s why patience and composure play an important role in neutralizing a toxic employee because they act as the perfect opposites of what the employee is showing.
Hit the mark as early as possible. As early as day one, employees should be aware of the business policies. It includes the rewards for good work and the sanctions for unethical actions that the business prohibits. With that, employees can have a clear expectation of the rewards and punishments that would direct their future actions in the workplace.
Business owners would not want to see employees who test the limits of the business’ tolerance on unethical practices.
Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive
Being proactive means that you take the first step in finding a solution to a problem. On the other hand, being reactive means that you mindlessly react in every situation that comes.
Now that their difference is clear, you’ll realize that being reactive when dealing with toxic employees would make things worse. You are hopelessly putting off a fire with fire.
No matter how tempting it is to be reactive when dealing with toxic employees, you need to exude maturity by being proactive. Find and initiate necessary solutions as you deal with the situation.
Remove the Focus on Toxic Employees
Toxic employees always love to be the star of the show. Do not let them use any heated situation as their stage to perform their next act. During a discussion, gently remove the focus from them and you’ll find out that heated issues can naturally subside.
As the owner or manager of the business, you lack the luxury of time watching their stunts in the workplace. There’s too much at stake in wasting your time with those things. So there’s a need to fix the problem as soon as possible.
But remember; do not be tempted to settle for a quick-fix solution; it will only temporarily subside a toxic environment in the workplace. Instead, make efforts to find an efficient solution that would stop the problem for good.
Inconsistent treatment of employees would surely ignite a fire of discontent in the workplace. If you don’t want to see rebels hiding behind your business cubicles, show consistent treatments to all of your employees.
Those who deserve to be rewarded must be rewarded, and those who deserve to be punished must be punished. It’s that simple. However, there will be moments when you’ll find it hard to initiate proper sanctions on specific employees. But these moments are the perfect time to show maturity on leading your pack. It’s in these moments where employees can have a reason to respect you more.
Right from the very start, business owners and managers should exude a character that would prevent the existence of toxic employees in the workplace. We’re not saying that you need to be an authoritarian, but you must show a character that employees would gladly respect.