Tips for Dealing with a Toxic Employee

Posted by Joseph Franks on March 9th, 2020

Some employees are difficult, but you get used to them over time or they eventually soften up. Then there are those who are simply unbearable; their presence fills the room with negative vibes and the workplace becomes a miserable place. Normally, an employer can hire or fire anybody with or without reason, under the employment-at-will doctrine. However, termination of a particular set of individuals may violate anti-discrimination laws. The toxic employee could threaten you with a lawsuit for exercising prejudice against color, age, medical condition, disability, etc.

According to Washington, DC Business and Employment Lawyer, dismissing someone should be perceived as the last resort. You hired this person for a reason, so first explore ways to mitigate their undesired attitude. A person’s awful behavior or destructive character may not be apparent at the time of interview; they may have developed an appealing façade to secure the vacancy at the time. It is likely that he/she is good at their job and there are no legal grounds for getting rid of them.  

#1 Look for the Root Cause

The toxic person was probably not born this way; also, the unpleasant manners may only have emerged recently. Therefore, you can try to have a frank discussion; ask them what’s bothering them and maybe they’ll let their walls down. If the source of frustration is from work, make an effort to solve the matter. If the problem originates from personal/household issues, then suggest professional help or a support program. In case he/she hates their job, advise them to get into a field that they prefer. Being a friend and giving a little pep talk could solve all your problems.

#2 Grant them a Reality Check

Consider the possibility that this poisonous individual is unaware of his/her damaging impact on the team. Drag them aside and let them know that they have to change. If he/she was unintentionally coming off as rude or unethical, they will realize their mistake. Bluntly, yet politely warn them of consequences that shall occur, given that they continue with their old ways. You shall commence by withholding certain privileges, such as end of year bonuses.

#3 Record their Response

Some people have no justifiable excuse for being horrendous, because they enjoy the calamity they cause. Such an employee may not be willing to change, so you must begin collecting evidence to prove their wickedness. Take fellow colleagues into confidence and document anything that could be used against them in the event of a legal implication. For instance, you can install CCTV cameras and mikes around the workspace to attain audio and video proof.

#4 Exercise Secondary Solutions

If the noxious employee is a lost cause and there’s no way to get rid of them anytime soon, compromise with secondary solutions. You can start with reducing their interaction with coworkers, or relocate them to an isolated spot in the office. The detachment will help alleviate some of the pessimism, and improve the workplace environment. Deem their personality as an infectious disease, so you just need to maintain a distance to avoid catching the infection.

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Joseph Franks

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Joseph Franks
Joined: September 16th, 2019
Articles Posted: 102

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