How to Spot and Manage Toxic Employees as Cases of Poor Workplace Culture Skyrockets


How to Spot and Manage Toxic Employees as Cases of Poor Workplace Culture Skyrockets


According to workplace expert and Director of Henley Training, Colin Adams, this surge in notices can be attributed to toxic workplace culture, as a 2023 report from Oak Engage found that a staggering 75% of employees have experienced a toxic workplace with far-reaching consequences, including hindering employee retention by 67% for businesses nationwide.

In addition, based on the Oak Engage survey, Henley Training reports that co-workers are among the most responsible for toxic workplace culture at 28% along with middle management at 33%.
The Most Common Forms of Toxic Workplace Behaviour
  • Feeling belittled in front of co-workers (56%)
  • Bullying (42%)
  • Forced to work long hours (32%)
  • Harassment (26%)
In light of these alarming statistics, Colin Adams has provided his expert insight into identifying the traits of a toxic coworker/empoyee in the workplace, the emotional impact this can have on your employees, and how to deal with toxic employees and co-workers.
“How working with toxic people can negatively impact the workforce“
Working with people who hold toxic traits can have long-lasting effects on workers’ physical and mental health. Toxic attitudes from your co-workers can lead to workers feeling more stressed and anxious while in the workplace as they will feel a lack of control over how to appropriately react to the situation.
Toxicity can cause psychological distress for workers, resulting in chronic stress triggers that heighten your fight or flight response, meaning they are more likely to argue with a co-worker or shy away from conflict. This is because the brain produces cortisol – also known as the stress hormone – during uncomfortable situations or in moments of conflict
Ultimately, a workplace culture that is influenced by toxic coworkers can result in depressive symptoms that can negatively impact the well-being of your employees. This includes: 
  • Repeated negative thoughts
  • Insomnia
  • Physical discomfort and pain
  • Dread
  • Exhaustion 
  • Memory problems
Traits of Toxic Coworkers 
Toxic coworkers often exhibit behaviours such as unwillingness to collaborate, not listening to coworkers, and speaking over others. But actually, they are often dissatisfied with their performance, position, pay, or experience in the organisation. This dissatisfaction can lead them to negatively impact the workplace culture and those around them.
The “Complainer”: Constant complainers are easily identifiable in the workplace as they will constantly voice negative thoughts about the workplace, which can be infectious and impact your morale and other workers. Of course, venting frustrations occasionally is understandable and even healthy, but constantly complaining can be overwhelming for everyone involved.
How to deal with “constant complainers”:
  • It is important to be sympathetic to the complainer so that they feel comfortable to share their experiences
  • However, if complaints become frequent, gently encourage them to shift their attitude towards focusing on the positive
  • If you prefer not to engage, try to change the subject subtly or distance yourself to avoid being drawn into negative conversations
The “Gossiper”: Occasional gossip about a co-worker is often harmless, but it can quickly turn toxic for workers when it becomes a regular occurrence. Toxic gossipers are likely to spread rumours about colleagues, sharing details about them that they did not consent to others knowing. The consequence of this is that incessant gossip can damage morale and impact coworkers psychologically. 
How to deal with “gossipers”:
As soon as you think there is an opening in the conversation, change the conversation to something more kindhearted like weekend plans
Express that you dislike workplace gossip or that it makes you feel uncomfortable, which may prompt the gossiper to stop involving you in the conversation
The “Credit Taker”: People who take credit may repeat and even use ideas without accrediting the source for the concept. They might also take most or all of the credit for collaborative projects or present others’ ideas as their own. They might also try to downplay the success of others on their team.
How to deal with “credit takers”:
If you are comfortable doing so, express how their behaviour is inappropriate and explain why it’s demeaning and minimises your efforts
Escalate the issue to your manager and let them know you’ve attempted to address the issue with the coworker but haven’t seen any improvement”
Henley Training Associates offers customised leadership, management, and communication training solutions to businesses, empowering professionals to achieve individual and organisational success.
Original Article: HRnews
Are you an employer or organisation that needs to hire talent in Leeds? Contact our digital recruitment specialist Gareth Allison on 01135314027
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