How to manage toxic employees?

From Estrategias de Éxito Consultores we design personalized programs for the management of your work teams.

Both personal and professional life have been filled with highly toxic people for coexistence, with a considerable capacity to thin the environment and create a negative climate.

Within our personal sphere, management is easier, limiting contact, using adverse psychology, staying calm, but above all, as Bernard Shaw said, “Never fight with a pig. You will fill with mud and he will laugh at you. “

What happens if imbecility penetrates our company? Bad work habits are created, the work environment is rarefied, frustration is generated, a negative corporate culture is transmitted to our clients, our brand ultimately loses value. The first and most complicated thing is to find out if the idiot is you. As Robert Sutton says in his book The Asshole Survival Guide “be quick to label yourself an asshole and be slow to label the rest.” Once this difficult exercise of introspection is done, let’s get down to work.

First step: THE DIAGNOSIS. Carry out regular and preventive evaluations, without waiting for the alarms to go off or for the situation of negativity within the company to be very evident.

  • For internal teams: Work environment audits. Listen to the voice of your employees, their motivations, their frustrations, their expectations, their relationships with other staff, their work processes
  • For teams facing the public: Mystery shopper audits. What is the image that our teams convey, how do they relate to customers, what value do they bring to our brand, know if they are the right ambassadors for our company

Second step: IDENTIFY THE CAUSES. We already know what happens within our company, the relationships between our teams and the image we transmit to our clients. What are the causes of this situation? Are they inherent in people or have they been generated by our own company? We do not have to be obtuse and think that imbecility or frustration is brought by each one of his house, perhaps we have something to do. We will identify the causes from different methodologies:

  • Semi-structured questionnaires: We prioritize the anonymity of workers. We asked them about the causes of the detected situation and the results are worked statistically.
  • In-depth interviews and focus group: We seek to delve into the causes, the diagnosed destructive effects are important, we are interested in focusing on the nuances. We seek trust with the interviewee and the interrelation of people in the focus groups
  • Vectors and relational flows: We categorize and group work teams by relationship vectors, we compare the independence and transversality between them, we discover aspects that make them work differently, why some teams work better than others.
  • Big Data: It is essential. We can work with a large amount of data, relate them to each other, establish causalities, construct evolutionaries, discover that aspects that seemed to have no relationship between them become cause and effect

Third step: DEAL WITH IT. It is inevitable, sooner or later we have to face the situation. We have a company or we are paid to make decisions, and not all of them are to our liking. When it comes to systems or processes that don’t work, you have to adjust or improve them. When it comes to people you have to always talk about it and negotiate it from a constructive perspective, see if the situation can be redirected or if it is better to make severe decisions.

Fourth step: IMPLEMENT AND CONSOLIDATE IMPROVEMENT PLANS. Let the solution not be momentary and soon fall into oblivion, returning to the bad habits of the past.

  • Improve HR policy. In selection, in training, in remuneration, in motivation ……
  • Establish visible recognition policies. Meritocracy prevail over nepotism.
  • Improve work systems, agility, management, productivity.

In short, let’s take care of our work teams, which are the true value of our companies. We are able to create good work environments, to motivate them, to endow them with intangibles, to value them. A very close person told me “I have offers from companies that pay me much more, but what I enjoy with my colleagues and the atmosphere of my work is priceless.”

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