5 Tips for Managing Toxic Employees

Toxic EmployeesIf you are looking to have a solid working relationship with any of your workers, you should begin working towards it right from the hiring process. A candidate may seem like just the perfect option at first – with the right attitude, talent, and the ability to settle into the company’s culture and environment.

But after a while, you get to discover that such an individual had some dark sides – for instance, hatred towards other races. However, by the time you find out such, that employee would have become an integral part of the organization, with pivotal responsibilities on their shoulders.

In instances like these, you automatically find yourself in a dilemma. As an employer, you will be confused on what to do with such an employee who has never let the company down in any way. A perfect example of this was Jeff who I employed at Digital-Tutor. Later in this piece, we will discuss how to handle such scenarios, but before that, let us look at some steps that could have prevented the situation in the first place.

    1. Avoiding a toxic employee through Proper Interview Strategies
      Job seekers find it easy to say or do anything during interviews, so far it increases their chances of getting the job; it is a natural human phenomenon. While there is no perfect method to block toxic employees, you can filter, identify and outwit these potential dangers by incorporating some or all of these tips into your interview process.
    2. Embrace physical interviews
      It is best that both you and your interviewee are available in person for the interview. The most useful part of communication is not drawn from speeches. Instead, it is from the body language and the tone of the voice. Interestingly, body language and voice tones are difficult to ascertain via a phone interview.
    3. Use a male/female pair interviewers
      When there are both male and female interviewers aboard, there are better chances of getting multiple evaluations of the interviewee, especially on the voice tone and body language. How good is the candidate’s eye contact ability? Are they maintaining such contact with only the female or male interviewer, or both? These are ingenious interview tips that aid your determination of a good cultural fit for your company.
    4. The culture should be the primary focus
      In the course of an interview that lasts for an hour, it is easier for you, as an interviewer, to determine how well a candidate will settle into the culture of your company. There are different subcultures in your company; thus it is advisable that you add a team leader of your potential candidate to the board of interviewers. With such an in-depth involvement, they will quickly get along with the candidate when eventually hired and drafted into their team.
    5. The interview is not the end
      Most candidates are always well prepared for their interviews; hence it is almost impossible sometimes to discover the bad eggs. For example, you can put them on a probationary period of 30 days if they are eventually selected. This gives you time to do further observations.

The Last Word on Dealing with Toxic Employees

Humans are made to change and adjust to their environment. However, they cannot also hide their true self for long. Even if you have the most stringent measures in place to block toxic employees during the onboarding process, they are bound to evade them somehow. An instance is an employee we described at the opening part of this piece.

If such employee were to be confronted about his behavior, the chances are high that they would claim innocence and try to diffuse the situation. However, if you are the strict type, you would know that subtle racism is in no way acceptable, and a clear violation of the core values of respect. You should never tolerate such as an employer.

The best solution is to let go of such employee, although you have no replacement or plans for one at that time. You need to motivate and show your employees to do the right thing as their leader, after all, actions speak louder than words.

In the course of a hiring process, it is normal to wonder if a potential candidate is well-equipped for the role they are seeking. Yes, you may be concerned about the skills they offer, but more important is their cultural fit. If you don’t make the cultural values of your company clear from inception, potential candidates carry on with their habits from previous jobs.

The implications of this are many; one is the mixing up of several cultures in the workplace, which is bad for business and corporate expectations.

Thus, building and maintaining an ethical culture for your business begins right from the hiring process. If you get it right from the inception, it becomes easy for you to show your employees that these values are more than words, and are very important to your company. 

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