3 Ways Toxic Employees Are Destroying The Workplace

Published on January 7, 2020

A full-time job in the American workplace is usually more than 40 hours. Regardless of the profession, we usually have the same routine: get up, breakfast, get ready, leave. We should definitely enjoy where we work, but if your job is the reason for your emotional and mental stress right before going to bed, then it is definitely a toxic workplace.

Apparently, toxic workplace are more common than I thought, with one-fifth of American workers to considering their environment toxic. There are different kinds of factors that create this kind of workplace environment. The number one you should keep an eye, however, is the one toxic employee at your workplace.

#1 — Vendettas

Okay. I lied; there are more than one toxic employees in the workplace. I can’t speak to anyone else’s experiences, but mine. First, there is always is the employee that won’t let things go. Whenever they have an issue with anyone, they hold on to grudges and develop personal vendettas against those who have wronged them. They display attitudes that make it difficult not only for their “enemy,” but also everyone else around them. They are also the most likely to have arguments with management, which again causes them to behave in such a manner that puts productivity at risk such as calling out and being late.

#2 Poor Communication

In this category, we have both regular employees and management. I work at an undisclosed airline that has a contract with an undisclosed company (for obvious reasons). I belong to a group of people who take care of a lounge and a buffet. I am part of the afternoon shift. For some reason, whenever the kitchen runs out of key items, the afternoon shift is often not informed of it. It is then up to us to decide what to cook for the passengers. Sound insane? It definitely is. We are also not told what to do with extra items. Same issues occur often with management.

There have been plenty of times in which I get to the kitchen just to find out my coworker called in about five hours before the start of their shift, which leaves causes me to panic because there is nothing prepared. Poor communication often stems from poor management. This is usually the reason why expectations differ amongst groups. The morning crew does not do not what they are supposed to do, then afternoon crew complains (and vice versa).

The issue is that after the complaints happen, that’s it. There is no change reinforced by management which causes enough frustration for employees to shamelessly and verbally express that they no longer care about the job. Therefore, functional employees leave and the toxic ones stay. When management decides to not take any action against toxic employees, it leaves more room for blunt people and, therefore, bullies.

#3 Bullies

I am currently dealing with two kinds of bullies. No, I don’t mean high school bullies. I mean those bullies that expect you to do the work for them. First, we have the lazy bully. The lazy bully is an interesting one, for they don’t coerce you to do their work; they simply ask nicely. The more you say yes, the more they will take you for granted. This employee is known for being there longer than anybody else, so they do get some leeway. Overall, however, they can get away with doing nothing; they know someone else is going to do their job so they will continue do what they do until someone tells them no.

Finally, the lone wolf bully. These walk around as if they either don’t know anybody or they are alone in their shift. They don’t talk to their coworkers: no greetings, no pleases, no thank you, no excuse me. They basically pretend you don’t exist and will only talk to you only if you initiate conversation. Here, however, is where it gets interesting. They won’t help you fulfill facets of your job description, even when you clearly need help. They will, though, not hesitate to boss you around. They will also go out of their way to make sure people around them have the same train of thought. Nonetheless, they will expect you to help them when they have issues with their jobs and act shocked when you call out the ironies in their behavior.

By the next day, the cycle will repeat. You do have choices, of course. You may report the conditions to your Human Resources manager or you can put in your two weeks’ notice and leave. At the end of the day, you decide what you want to put up with. It’s all up to you.

Related: Emma Watson Partnered With Time’s Up To Launch A Helpline For Workplace Harassment Victims

Argenis Ovalles is an Editorial Intern at Grit Daily. He currently writes at Vocal Media and Theater Pizzazz.

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