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Managing Toxic Employees in the Workplace

Managing other people is never easy, but some employees make it extremely difficult, more so when under pressure or going through stress. A toxic employee is one whose behaviour adds so much negativity to others and causes harm consciously or unconsciously. This toxic

behaviour can be displayed in the form of manipulation, self-centeredness narcism, psychological, mental, or emotional abuse etc.

When an employee’s negative attitude is not addressed quickly and properly, other team members could become resentful, team motivation and employee engagement would nosedive which in turn will affect their overall productivity. On the other hand, effective tackling of negative and difficult team members’ behaviour can swiftly change a toxic, drama-filled workplace to a positive and productive work environment.

Toxic Employees in the Workplace

Tips for Tackling Toxic Employees

Dealing with a toxic employee could be unnerving and disconcerting and so must be handled with utmost care and discretion.

1. Seek HR advice and raise awareness

Dealing with toxicity requires the courage to speak up, establish boundaries and call out

inappropriate behaviors. Talk to the HR team to seek trusted advice and raise awareness of the unacceptability of such inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.

2. Create a safe space for open communication and active listening

Let your employees know they are welcome to discuss their frustrations and you can actively

listen to them. Open up the communication line and let them vent without being abusive.

3. Offer feedback and discuss expectations

Provide feedback on the inappropriate behaviour and how it is affecting other team members and disrupting the positive, productive work environment of the company.

4. Explore solutions

Jointly explore and find solutions that can correct the toxic attitude and offer support to help the employee improve. This may include civility training on communication, business etiquette, cultural sensitivity, and diversity awareness. 

5. Document and Monitor

Document toxic attitude and how the organization is handling it including solutions that are

being explored to help the employee improve, behavioural changes expected through the

improvement plan and check in to know if the employee is being responsive.

6. Remind and Review

Ensure to explain the consequences of failing to make the expected changes. Provide praise for improvement and constructive feedback where there is more work to be done.

Do you need help to manage your workplace issues, get trusted advice from ConduitHR at or call 800.764.0609 ext. 101

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