The Naughty Employee Costing Your Company More Than $12,000
By: Millie Dent
“Avoiding a toxic worker (or converting them to an average worker) provides more benefit than finding and retaining a superstar,” the study says. As a result, “it may be that spending more time limiting negative impacts on an organization might improve everyone’s outcome to a greater extent than only focusing on increasing positive impacts,” the study concludes.
Toxic employees are so costly because their behavior drives out other workers, forcing companies to spend more money training replacement hires. The bad apples also make frustrated co-workers less productive. “In extreme cases, aside from hurting performance, such workers can generate enormous regulatory and legal fees and liabilities for the firm,” the study says.
Removing toxic workers isn’t always easy — especially because, according to the study, they may seem to be more productive than their colleagues, at least in terms of quantity if not quality. If they seem to be a good employee, a manager is less likely to want to let them go and might look the other way in terms of their negative behavior. But authors Michael Housman of Cornerstone OnDemand, a talent management software company, and Dylan Minor, a professor at Harvard and Northwestern, say ditching those workers is still the best way to go.
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