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8 Types of Toxic Employees Behaviors That Are Destructive To Any Companies (And How To Deal With Them)

8 Types of Toxic Employees Behaviors That Are Destructive To Any Companies (And How To Deal With Them)
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Toxic employees suck all the productive juices out of any organization. They turn out to be an expensive investment. They contribute nothing to the growth of the business. Also, they demotivate and infuriate all the team members. They are not traced easily in the beginning. They show their true colors after spending some time with the company.

How to deal with these troublemakers? Is there any way to keep a check on these potential threats? Yes, there are some powerful ways to remove the poisonous elements in your workplace. Here are 8 behaviours of toxic employees.

1. They believe in a One Man Show

Toxic employees are on first sight really hardworking employees who devote a lot of time for the company’s growth. You must be thinking: It’s great to have such an employee. A big NO. These type of employees becomes arrogant in their approach. They don’t believe in group work.They roam around with an ‘I-Know-Everything’ attitude and disturb the flow of the workplace.

They constantly demotivate co-workers by teaching them the right way to do things. They are always found interfering in other’s work by looking the project with their vision only. They don’t care about other’s efforts.

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How to tackle these Interfering Employees? Give them a paid break. Due to excessive work, their mind needs some rest. If you can’t afford a break, introduce some stress-busting measures in your office. Start giving more incentives to team effort.

2. They are creative monsters

They are the masters in finding ways to avoid work. Instead of finding new solutions for the company’s growth, they are busy in finding creative solutions for  their ‘avoidance rate’ growth. These type of employees assign themselves in multiple teams.

Then, they start avoiding work by giving lame excuses: I am unable to tackle the workload; there is so much stress in helping all the other team members. But, their contribution is negligible. When the salary review comes, they are always seen standing ahead to highlight all their fake achievements.

The best way to tackle these employees is to give them an individual job. Give them deadlines for job completion. Highlight their solo efforts and award them for their dedicated output. This simple approach will make them feel special. Who doesn’t want to feel special?

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3. They are ‘big time’ procrastinators

They believe in the ‘I-will-do-it-tomorrow’ approach. Do you know the worst part? Tomorrow never comes. Most of the time, they are seen doing all the stretching exercises in their chair and wasting time with a yawning job. They spread dullness in the group and decrease the productivity of the whole group. They don’t pay any attention to deadlines. They are on the top ten list of absentees. They don’t  care what managers or other team members thinks about them.

How to tackle these lazy creatures? Surprise them by unscheduled visits and reviews. Give them some authoritative work. When they are held accountable for a particular task, they will take things seriously.

4. They make a trap by creating an emotional scene

Beware of employees who try to make you an emotional fool. They mix their marital, financial and health life with their corporate life. They make innocent faces to take out work from other employees. They are experts in creating a ‘self-pity’ zone. They are always hungry for free attention. People look at them with a sad look. They love to be patted consolingly on their shoulder.

In order to stay away from their deceptive looks, don’t connect family matters with official matters. Your employees get the salary for their work only. There is no harm in giving leave to the genuine employees. But, keep a watch on these drama kings (or queen)

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5. They are always busy with negative gossiping

These type of employees create mistrust between co-workers and the management team. They love to start rumors about the company and spread nonsense stories about co-worker’s personal lives. Despite getting the perfect work environment, they always waste time in filling the workplace with their negative vibes. They usually start their conversion in this way: ‘Do you know about that thing’. They bring down the productivity level of the whole team.

Talk to these employees individually. Don’t blast their emails with this type of cold message: ‘Don’t involve yourself in negative office gossips’. Meet them and ask the reason behind their negative attitude. Develop the habit of positive gossips. Share positive stories of employees who come up with innovative ideas. Spread the news of your productive employees.

6. They always desire to resist the authorities.

These type of employees form a secret group with their co-workers. They raise the issue by involving other people to fulfill their personal motives. Their rebellious nature disrupts the smooth functioning of the workplace. They always test the patience of the authority. When their boss takes any strict action, they are the ones who break the unity of the group by leaving it instantly.

It is very easy to tackle these type of employees. There is no need to teach them anything. Nothing will go in their heads. Have a meeting with the other group members. Tell them about the selfish intention of these employees. They are nothing without the help of the group members. When the group members leave them, they feel powerless.

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7. They are busy in virtual shopping

The digital era has revolutionized the way of shopping. Toxic employees don’t bother about the company’s growth chart. They are only bothered about filling the favorite items in their wishlist. These virtual shopaholics boast about their purchased products. They finalize their deal from the office only. And, give the address of the office for picking up the products. In short, these kinds of employees turn the office into a shopping palace

How to tackle these virtual shopaholics. Most of them, make the transactions from office card only. So, keep a track on the company’s credit cards of these employees by checking the expense reports.

8. They yell at their co-workers and clients

These short-tempered employees always create a nuisance. Many employees have lots of complaints about  them. They disrespect co-workers and speak rudely with clients. As a result, high performing employees think about searching for a better option. And, the clients look out for other service providers.

In order to tackle these kinds of employees, understand their psyche. Sometimes, a productive employee behaves in an awkward manner. They might be having some personal issues. Meet them personally and clarify all the problems. Keep a track of their progress. If they don’t control their temper, it is better to leave them.

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Yatin Khulbe

Positivity Advocate

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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