What One Bad Employee Can Do to Your Workplace Culture

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What One Bad Employee Can Do to Your Workplace Culture

One bad apple really can spoil the whole bunch! Toxic employees are not only harmful, rude and difficult to get along with, they also create a highly negative and stressful workplace environment for everyone else. What’s more, a single toxic employee may be the catalyst for a downward spiral in in terms of harmony, engagement and productivity.

Bad employees are unable to get along with others, emotionally unstable and often disruptive. More often times than not, you often risk losing valuable employees who are forced to work with the person.  If you spot employees who are slackers, egotists, bullies, sociopaths or gossips – take remedial action as soon as possible.

Don’t ignore a toxic employee until they breach company policy – they can affect the bottom line in extremely serious ways, including:


    1. Contaminating Team Bonding

Keep a close watch for toxic employees and identify them early on. A bad employee is often capable of forcing the team to feel frustrated, dejected or angry which in turn results in reduced creativity, increased apprehension and unrealistic communication.

They also play politics and create factions within the team and encourage an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ attitude.

    1. Impacting Team Performance

Observe team performance and analyze if it can be traced to one person’s bad attitude. A worker with a bad attitude can have a powerful, negative impact on overall team performance and prevent the team from achieving organizational goals.

    1. Increasing Employee Turnover

Bad employees often cause valuable and talented workers to look for alternate project roles – or quit the organization in frustration.

    1. Fostering Resentment

 Other team members end up spending more time discussing the behavior of the toxic employee and many often have to work harder to make up for lost performance.


Even a Single Bad Employee Can Spread Discontent, Anger and Hostility

While toxic employees affect each organization differently, they invariably create friction, drama, negativity and destroy the social fabric of the company. Even if the employee shows stellar individual performance, he or she is likely to cause hostilities among other team members and reduce overall workplace morale.

If you notice an employee whose behavior is starting to affect the workplace, you need to take immediate, decisive action in speaking to them (before their attitude results in multiple problems). It’s important to thoroughly screen prospective candidates and conduct detailed interviews to reduce the likelihood of bad hires.


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