To manage toxic behavior in employees, the first thing organizations should do is go on a fact-finding mission to build a complete behavioral profile.
Toxic employees can cause serious problems in the workplace, but there are steps to take to manage them
With the shortage of skilled providers many departments find themselves putting up with some toxic employees. If you find yourself in such a position, there are constructive steps you can take.
Toxic employees can lead to serious problems in the workplace, such as overall lower employee morale, lower productivity, higher absenteeism, angered patients and loss of cooperation and collaboration among staff.
Of the three components of employee evaluation – attitude, availability and ability, physicians are inclined to forgive lapses of the first two where the employee has high procedural capabilities. ‘Yeah, she’s a tough provider but she’s good.”
And when doctors aren’t guilty of overlooking bad behavior among their staff, they are just as likely to be the guilty party themselves. Many physicians simply have no idea what it is like to work for someone else. They can be oblivious to the problem, and chew people out in front of the others.
Overlooking toxic behavior because of clinical skill may be more tolerated in the operating room where abilities count above all else, but in an office environment, said Bee, it is a recipe for employee morale disaster.
When organizations are ready to deal with their toxic employees, they can turn to consultants for help or use some of the same steps consultants use to try to manage the situation themselves.
The first step organizations – or their hired consultants – should take is to get the most complete behavioral profile of the employee (or employees) as is possible before meeting with the employee. Creating that profile includes interviewing the managers and coworkers a toxic employee interacts with.
Once the fact-finding is complete, a meeting is arranged with the employee to present the findings. The meeting is not intended to be confrontational just informational.
You start by asking, ‘has anyone ever said anything to you before about …?” Otherwise they could be blindsided. you tell them all the facts that you have. ‘On this date … On this date … On this date … .’ Then you listen to what they have to say.”
After listening to the employee’s side of the story, review with the employee the company’s policies about acceptable behavior, and explain why the behavior in question can’t happen, and, importantly, won’t be tolerated.
Organizations can also use performance reviews to address the toxic behavior. Be direct, rather than nice. Be specific about expectations and give examples of the unacceptable behavior.
Finally, if the toxic employee come around to the required acceptable behavior, there is little choice but to part company.
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