Toxic employees can drain all of the productivity out of even the strongest organization. Not only do they cause headaches for their managers and coworkers, but they can also make your customers unhappy, which could potentially impact your bottom line. The answer may seem pretty straightforward: just fire them. The problem is, many employees who exhibit toxic behaviors also happen to be extremely talented and have the potential to be a huge asset to their employer.
So, how can you strike a balance? If your property management company is home to a few troublemakers, here’s how to overcome the issues and turn things around once and for all.
At first glance, the eagerness of a person who is willing to take on whatever you toss their way may seem like a positive asset to have for your company. Unfortunately, you’ll learn quickly that these types of employees also tend to have a number of faults. First, they often take on too much and ultimately end up dropping the ball on something. Second, they tend to struggle in team settings. To address this, offer incentives for team-related activities and offer plenty of paid time off.
These folks always take the “I’ll do it tomorrow” approach to work. Then, when tomorrow comes, they’ll push it off again. Missing important deadlines can not only cause a hassle for your other employees, but it can trickle down to your clientele, hurting service levels and potentially losing business for your property management company. You can help overcome this behavior by raising accountability and being more hands-on as a manager by surprising them by unscheduled reviews.
An employee who brings his or her external problems to work with them can be a major distraction to others. The emotional rollercoaster they’re constantly on can also get in the way of completing their work satisfactorily. These attention-seekers are no good in any business, particularly a busy property management company. The best way to deal with these individuals is to address their behavior head-on. Be supportive, but gently remind them that work hours aren’t for dealing with their personal problems.
On the surface, a little bit of gossip may seem harmless, but it can actually become extremely toxic. That’s because gossipers breed mistrust amongst their co-workers and managers. This tension can turn into bigger problems if not addressed. To deal with an overzealous storyteller, pull them aside and speak with them individually. And be a strong example by publicly sharing positive stories about other employees. This may encourage them to modify their behavior.
Of course, these are only a handful of toxic behaviors. In particular, these are the ones that have the potential to be corrected without having to take drastic action. The reality is, if an employee is exhibiting more serious bad behavior, such as a resistance to authority, anger issues or problems that have not resolved despite your addressing them, it may be in everyone’s best interest to relieve that individual from his or her role. After all, you know the old saying “One bad apple spoils the bunch.”
How about you? Have you had any experiences with toxic employees? How did you deal with those individuals and what was the outcome? Please share your story in the comments below.