Last month, Tim Gould at HR Morning posted "The 5 worst excuses for hanging on to poor performers." A few days later, Bob Corlett posted "Dealing with Toxic Employees" at HR Examiner. If you're a boss, you should read those posts.
Many bosses I've talked with over the years hate talking to their team members about performance. That's part of the job, as I pointed out in "Confrontation and Splinters" and you can learn to minimize the unpleasantness and do it well.
Toxic team members are a whole different problem. It's the difference between cleaning the house and cleaning up a toxic waste site. But, dealing with them is a critical part of your job. So here are some things to remember.
A toxic team member is one who corrodes both morale and productivity. They don't just make your life miserable. They make everyone else's life miserable, too.
Toxic team members are often also game players. They will play you and your boss and the system until all the strings run out. They are also the ones most likely to appeal your decisions.
Toxic team members do not reform. I know I should say "usually," but in four decades in business and as a consultant and coach, I don't remember one.
They won't let up, so you can't either. That means lots of conversations and documentation, but it's the only way.
The good news is that when they're finally gone, everyone feels better.
Boss's Bottom Line
Dealing with toxic team members is one of the most frustrating and wearying parts of your job, but it's also one of the most important.
Thanks to Wally Bock's Three Star Leadership Blog