7 Toxic Behaviors Killing Your Bottom Line

Imagine going to work each day dreading an encounter with that one coworker who makes everything miserable. Or imagine you’re trying your hardest to contribute to the company’s success, only to have a team member slacking off and wasting time.

There are many faces a toxic employee can take, and they can be found in every position. As the owner of your home services company, you have to be able to identify these employees and understand the consequences of hiring them. Service Excellence can help you become more effective at building a healthy team — and making difficult decisions if you need to.

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Signs Of A Toxic Employee

While every HVAC, plumbing and electrical company looks different, negative employees tend to look the same. They exhibit the same patterns and attitudes. Here are seven toxic behaviors to look out for:

  • Negativity
  • Passive aggression
  • Bullying
  • Gossiping
  • Procrastination
  • Violations of procedure
  • Being overly critical of others

Create processes that allow you or your team managers to report on these kinds of behaviors and keep an eye on any worsening behavior.

Anyone who has ever had a job knows that there are toxic coworkers everywhere. We learn to deal with the toxic person or we move on. The problem with that is employee turnover is expensive for companies. And there are more side effects than just employee turnover.

How A Toxic Employee Is Costing You Money

Toxic employees not only increase employee turnover, they also cost your company money in other ways. This chronic negativity can result in the following:

  • Decreased productivity — It is hard for your team to perform at their best when they’re walking on eggshells around coworkers.
  • Decreased morale — Toxic employees suck the synergy out of a company, potentially reducing motivation in other employees as well.
  • Team division — They dramatically impact teamwork and the drive to achieve goals.
  • Time theft — You can spend a lot of time managing a toxic employee, and the underperforming member may be wasting far more time on the clock than you think.
  • Lost revenue — Decreased customer satisfaction leads to a loss in company success.

If we’re aware of the consequences of allowing a toxic employee free reign in our companies, then why do we allow them to stay?

Why Firing Doesn’t Solve Everything

The fact is, it’s difficult to fire someone. The time and energy already invested in training them is important to take into account — as well as the time it would take to interview, hire and train a replacement.

However, if your team is constantly coming to you with complaints about one person, and they have documented the issues, then why keep them around? Often, the answer to that is it’s complicated. In many cases, toxic employees are really good producers. It is hard to fire someone who is good at their job, but not great at being professional.

Some things to consider when facing this issue are:

  • What is the real cost of firing them?
  • What are the far-reaching consequences of keeping them?
  • Are they disrupting other team members’ productivity?
  • Are they causing other good team members to leave?

Although these things are hard to quantify, it’s important to think of them in terms of dollars. One recent study from Harvard estimated that keeping a toxic employee costs more than twice the value they add to the bottom line.

Hire Smart With Service Excellence

The best way to avoid dealing with the consequences of a negative employee is to identify them before the hiring decision is made. With DISC profiles reviewed by the experts at Service Excellence, we can help you avoid hiring toxic employees.

If you’re dealing with a toxic employee and need help with handling them, reach out to talk to one of our business coaches. We can help you navigate the choppy waters of dealing with a negative employee. We’re proud to offer coaching for HVAC business owners because we IGNITE THE POWER WITHIN!

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