Toxicity is the degree to which a substance can damage an organism. Toxic employees are thus very detrimental to every organization.
Let’s understand first how people become toxic. At the level of their personality or nature, it appears all fine. However, their ‘nurture’ bit creates certain behaviors that are toxic in nature. Lets thus look at certain critical behaviors of toxicity.
- Lack of discipline: These members are fundamentally lazy and thus lack the urge to deliver or stick to norms. They are not rebels there is simply no drive and focus in life.
- Lack of humility: Some of these individuals have been very successful in past, and now the same success has gone into their psyche as a trigger of arrogance.
- Lack of principles and ethics: Their decisions are primarily self-serving and not objective in any way. Their behaviors do not adhere to the Universal values. They think they are above the law of “cause and effect.”
- Power games: Toxic elements play power games and build territories within organizations and guard them with a spirit of vengeance.
In my experience, these four are the primary traits that toxic members of the team tend to show. The discussion that is now needed is as to what is the best way to deal with such employees. Toxicity will undoubtedly bring decay in any organization owing to following resultants:
- Productivity overall takes a beating
- Creativity is stifled due to worry that sets in about resistance and opposition to new ideas
- People tend to spend lesser time at workplace to avoid toxic elements
- There is decrease in work effort and quality
- Commitment to organization falls over a period leading to undesired attrition
These resultants are probably nightmarish for organizations. Steps have to be initiated to identify and cleanse the organization of these elements. Be clear to keep yourself protected from legal tangles that these individuals can create. In such cases, documentation of deviant behaviors and building a strong case for termination of services is the key. Do not focus on remedial measures. These people carry enough clout to defend their bastions.
Assessments for identification of these individuals both formal and informal are necessary at all stages. Care must be taken that these people are filtered out during the interview stage itself.
Toxicity is the worst ailment global organizations are facing. Take steps right now to identify and eliminate toxic elements before they turn your organization into a swamp.