Toxic Employee Alert!




Toxic and negative behaviour can make or break your business.

Working in HR and Recruitment for over 20 years, I have had to deal with a fair number of toxic employees and also work amongst them.

As we all know it is very difficult to work with a toxic employee and no matter how hard you try to block out their behaviour it feels uncomfortable and mentally draining to the point you dread coming into work in a morning.




When the employee first started to work for you, they were fantastic, and you wouldn't have even guessed what you were in for....

But when the toxicity starts to raise its ugly head, the early signs are showing that trouble is ahead.

Do you currently have a passive aggressive employee who is nice to your face and then stabs you in your back at the drop of a hat?

Or do you have an employee who is always late and when they do start work, they are constantly moaning and not being very productive, I think we have all worked with one of these people.

On occasions the toxic employee is already working at the organisation and is a long-standing employee, you quickly identify who this is and choose to keep your distance or watch what you say around this person.


How to quickly spot and manage a toxic employee

When it comes to hiring a new employee always be mindful of the way they address other members of their previous team, if they are speaking quite negative in the interview, they are most likely to be a bad fit for your organisation.


If you get the feeling that they are possibly going to bring a negative outlook with them to the team the chances are that they will.


In the interview does the candidate comment on how they enjoyed working in a team and is able to talk about the achievements they had as a team and what they had learned from other senior members of staff in the team. This shows you that the candidate is a team player, adaptable and willing to learn from existing staff.

As the saying goes "Trust your gut instinct“ but, I can honestly say that going on your gut instinct alone is not the best way of identifying if they are the right fit for your organisation that is why I created the 3C's Assessment as when they are hired it is alot harder to fix the problem.



Identifying the Toxic Behaviour

Speak to your team and have at least 3 examples of the team members toxic behaviour, get the full story. Have an open and frank conversation with your team.

Remember that sometimes people are totally unaware of their behaviour be it negative or toxic, so do get ready for an open and honest discuss and ensure you get their full side of the story also.


Get Ready with an Action Plan

Organise a meeting with the employee in question, look at doing the meeting off site in a quiet corner of a coffee shop. Just as long as this isn't in the office as no wants to feel chastised.


Firstly, communicate to the employee how you value them as a member of your team and what achievements or milestones they have reached at your organisation. This helps to relax the employee and also open the door to communications.

Speak openly about that you have been approached by "X" or a member of the team and that they have said "That you have been talking down to junior members of staff and also been aggressive towards X and are causing an unhappy environment at work" Ask them if they have been going through any struggles to cause this and what is their take on this complaint.

Be ready for them to be defensive, embarrassed or quiet ensure you get them to tell their part of the story. Remember that your employee might be totally unaware of this situation or problem and become embarrassed. Make them feel comfortable to enable them to address this and how they are going to change this behaviour around.

Look at ways of how you would like this to change and put in place a plan of action to ensure this event does not reoccur again.



Stress and depression are on the rise, if your employee has mentioned that they are feeling alot of pressure at work, maybe look at ways that you can support them better as an organisation.


Organise a meditation session or mindfulness techniques that they can implement into their day.

Ensure that you speak to your team and let them know that their concerns have been addressed and a plan has been put in place and any further issues to speak to you.

Always have regular team meetings to keep the conversation flowing on what is happening in the business and any concerns or current struggles that need to be addressed.

As with any toxicity be it in business or in life, get it nipped in the bud and fast!



Let us take care of your pre-onboarding process and help you get full transparency behind the CV with our 3C's Assessment

Or call us on 09 971 2205

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