5 Steps to Tackle Toxic Employees at your Workplace


Everybody has a story ready whenever they come across the word “toxic employees,” and s/he is none but one person who sucks all the energy out of the space, or the one who doesn’t seem to be able to do anything.

It could be a guy with problems of anger management, someone who is arrogant, or someone who is openly viewing inappropriate content on his computer. (Yes, this too happens.) It’s the worker who sometimes spends more time complaining about the job than doing it.

Avoid Hiring More of Them in The First Place:

Part of keeping the company toxic-free is to introduce a system at the outset to root out these types of people.  If their talents for the job at hand seem bright and full of potential, managers often overlook the negative qualities of people or unsettle personality traits when it comes to hiring. We are willing to ignore the fact that, say, “Rahul” talks rather poorly about his former employer, since “Rahul” said he was the organization’s highest-performing salesperson for the last three years. The hiring manager has to make a decision at this point: run the risk that Rahul will be a bad cultural fit for the organization, but a huge added value for the top line of the company? Managers don’t generally switch over to the next claimant in such scenario.

If you get the impression that somebody will bring a bad attitude to the business, there are chances, they will. And that’s hard to fix when they are recruited, onboarded, and engaging with other employees.

A Thorough Analysis is Must:

Okay, there may be flame where there’s smoke. Employees may be labelled toxic by their employees, but can you always take their word? There’s just one way to find out. First, go back to what the idea of toxicity means and take time to study the actions of the employee and see if it fits the description of being ‘toxic’.

Tackle Them Diplomatically:

Remaining diplomatic, neutral, and polite towards a toxic employee is a sure way to extinguish any negative discourse or behaviour of problems. A great way to expand on this is by not feeding into or challenging the behaviour of a toxic colleague to consider taking the higher road. You should tackle it with constructive strategies that disengage their actions when the negative colleague shows negativity.

To Know More: How can Managers increase Employees Productivity at the Workplace

Listen to their Woes:

Usually, toxic employees are not harmful to the company as a whole. It’s just the wrong minds with the wrong roles in the wrong crowd. Good leaders initially listen to how their team feels about this toxic colleague and how he/she pictures him/her. Then they are taking the lead and re-forming the environment. If nothing works, it is the responsibility of leaders to defend their team and make the toxic ones leave the party.

Keep A Record of Everything:

Keep a record of the work of the employee that you think is harmful. Refer to this list to discuss their performance when you meet with the employee. Pointing out some specific examples can help them recognize types of behaviours they don’t even realize they exhibit in the office.

Give them the needed opportunity to make a change. After all, everyone deserves a second chance, isn’t it? This may involve human resources that would mean both smart from a groundwork perspective and professionally useful to you. Most HR experts will provide advice and guidance on how to make an underperforming or toxic employee turn around. We will work with you to find solutions to the problem before it becomes any bigger.


There is no easy way to deal with a brilliant-toxic worker. Your reputation as a leader is at stake, just like your team’s performance. The best approach is playing fair, engaging, following a deliberate process, documenting your steps in line with the policies of your company, and resolving the dilemma. And always note, all are listening to your decision.

Have a toxic-free office environment!

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