Six Toxic Employee Types That Will Destroy Your Company Culture

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Here are the six different kinds of toxic employee types that can single-handedly destroy a healthy productive work environment.

  1. The “Busy Body”- This is someone who is constantly trying to tell others how to do their job while their productivity is severely lacking. They are too busy minding others business that they fail to take care of their own. This type of behavior disrupts workflow and its one of the main reasons deadlines come and go.
  2. Negative Ned/Nancy”- This person is quick to tell you why something will not work, but they do not know why, and they never have a solution to offer in its place. The payoff for them is just simply disrupting others productivity and raising unnecessary roadblocks, which in some phantom way makes them feel empowered.

3. The “Shyster”- This is someone who tells half-truths to prove a point, or better yet they just outright lie to cover their tracks. They do not add value, nor do they try. This behavior is very dangerous and self-serving. It creates the most havoc of all the toxic type of employees because it breaks down trust and respect among peers, fast.

4. “Lazy Larry/Lucy”- They rarely commit and complete the projects (or tasks) that they are assigned. Their poor work ethic makes others very frustrated, and it can set a poor standard for others too. They are superb delegators but this is often above their pay grade and just adds contention among their peers.

5. The “Know it all”- This type of employee claims to know more than they do and will lose the trust of co-workers quickly. They tend to sell themselves as jack-of-all-trades but master of none. They create costly mistakes that put projects behind, which affects your bottom line.

6. The “Bad Apple”- This one is self-explanatory, but just for fun, I will define it. This person is always up to no good. They take great pride in stirring the pot. They like to add confusion whenever possible. Their payoff is seeing others miserable. The result is, THEY MUST GO before they poison the rest of your barrel.


Cultivating Your Culture

Establishing your company’s internal culture is just as important as protecting your brand. If you think about it, they go hand in hand. They both provide the opportunity to put your best foot forward with both internal and external customers.

So hiring the right person for the job is a two-fold consideration—you must ensure the person is qualified to do the job and you also need to be sure they are a good cultural fit, meaning will they add to your internal culture in a positive way.


This read will require you and your company to do a bit of self-reflection, which is not always easy but it is necessary to ensure the desired results are achieved company-wide. It also enables you to make the required changes so that you’re able to implement what is needed to create the culture your company needs to promote your core value system.

Putting Your Culture First

What’s scary is we live in a world where bad behavior is “liked,” “shared” and even promoted to the point where it goes “viral” on social media. But this should never be the case in our home away from home, also known as our place of employment.

Creating a culture that promotes peace, trust, and personal growth increases employee productivity and engagement, this is a win-win for both you and your employees.

Here are some fun and creative ways to create a healthy culture:

– Team contests– promote teamwork, productivity and recognizes a job well done. It can be as simple as setting team goals and once achieved awarding cool prizes. We all love free food, movie passes, etc.

– Themed potlucks– are a fun way to increase morale. Good food and good company always create a fun opportunity for teams to socialize and get to know one another which means greater collaboration within your team.

– Monthly team lunches– sponsored meals go a long way, it says thank you but also gives you the opportunity to share the goals hit and new goals. The time spent should be a “praise fest” meaning tell them how their efforts played a big part of hitting their overall team objectives.

– Team building activities– take the team bowling, to the batting cages, go-carts, a movie, the golf course or whatever the group decides. Who doesn’t like a fun filled, non-work related activity on company time? The ROI is very high, employees who feel they’re invested in and appreciated are more committed on a personal level, and they’re more productive within the workplace. They want to give more and take a great sense of responsibility to give 110%. They will refer other highly productive associates to your company, and they view their position as a career versus just a job, so they choose to stay long-term.

Let’s talk about the things that will dig a little into your pockets… yeah, I’m going there.

– Competitive salaries– This concept is simple. Are you paying your employees what they are worth based on your industry and their talent? Or are you paying them what you feel is fair? Just remember fair does not always pay the mortgage. Let’s also consider why we all go to work every day—to pay our bills. And while we may enjoy what we do, it is secondary to the real need of supporting our families.

– Bonus program– A bonus program is just that, a bonus. But what better way to tell your employees that they rock than by putting your money where your mouth is so to speak? I’m not talking about just giving money away but rather creating a program that rewards productivity and supports your company goals. Nearly 80% of employers offer a year-end bonus and have found it plays a big role in company morale.

– Continued education and paid training– Provide opportunities for growth and encourage your associates to expand on their current skillset by offering tuition reimbursement or sending qualified team members to attend offsite training. Nothing says I believe in you more than investing in your employees’ ability to excel.

– Paid time-off– Providing paid time-off (PTO) as part of your benefits package gives employees’ peace of mind when they are out of the office. This means they can take stress-free time-off whether it be for an unforeseen illness or a planned family vacation. Keep in mind this benefit ranks within the top five for employees.

I’m not going to go into the many other sought after benefits that speak volumes to employees such as medical, dental, vision, life insurance and retirement plans because that’s part of a bigger conversation, so we will save that for another time.

Let’s part ways with this, do the people in your organization represent your company’s culture well? If not, it’s time to clean house and start looking for new ways to cultivate the culture you want.


Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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