Advertising
Advertising

10 Kinds of Toxic Persons that Will Poison A Good Business

10 Kinds of Toxic Persons that Will Poison A Good Business

In order to run a successful business, you need a strong team. Your team doesn’t just mean employees. It could be investors, suppliers, or other stakeholders in your company. Every person that comes in contact with your business has the ability to affect it in some way. The goal is to keep as many positive and helpful people around your business as possible, and to eliminate the negativity.

Even if we don’t want to admit it, the people we hang around with have a significant impact on us. One study showed that each positive person you let into your “circle” increases your chances of being positive by 11%. And just as quickly as a positive person can improve your corporate culture, a Negative Nancy can bring down team morale as well.

Now, it’s up to you to determine if each member of your business is contributing positivity and good vibes, or if they’re actually a toxic piece that has to be removed. Here are 10 types of people who are bringing your business down.

1. The people who feel entitled

There’s nothing worse than someone who feels entitled to everything. Working hard and feeling as though you deserve the rewards you earn is a good thing. Failing to contribute to the business, and not working towards growth, but expecting to reap the rewards of the business’ success however, is an entirely different story.

These are the people who will perform mediocre work, or just enough to keep their job, then will cause a ruckus when it’s time for bonuses to be given or raises to be distributed, wondering why they didn’t get more. You’ll always be the bad guy in their eyes.

Advertising

2. The people who agree to everything

Yes Men. It’s human nature to want to be praised and congratulated. Having people tell you how good your ideas are is a great feeling, but having people tell you the truth will have a much better effect on your business.

You need to have people you can go to who will give you honest, well thought out advice on your ideas and business decisions. The problem with yes men is that they’re going to tell you whatever you want to hear, no matter how bad it is. You could pitch them your idea to open up a tattoo parlor for toddlers, and they’d be 100% on board.

3. The people who always have their hands out

As your business starts to grow, you’ll undoubtedly attract people who ask you for favors. Whether it’s your time or money, they’ll always want something from you, but typically offer nothing in return. It might start off seeming innocent enough. Can I borrow a couple of dollars to hold me over until next month? But six months later when they’re still asking you for money, or to do them one “small” favor, you’ll realize that you’re being taken advantage of.

You’ve worked too hard to get to where you are to give it all away for free. Helping people out is fine, but don’t become a permanent lifeline.

4. The people who promise you the world

Being in business, you’re probably very accustomed to the world of selling. But every now and then, you’re bound to come across a few people who will make you wonderful promises of doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling your revenues and expanding your business beyond belief.

Advertising

So you’re excited. It sounds great! But nine times out of ten, it’s just hype to get you to buy into something that’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

5. The people with no follow-through

Some people are great at generating ideas and being creative. But when it comes to executing those ideas, they’re completely lost. That’s where you come in. They get you to invest your resources to push their idea. But after a while, they realize it’s not something they want to pursue and you’re left with a burden on your shoulders that has taken your focus away from your own business.

If someone pitches you an idea, triple check to make sure they’re the real deal and are invested in making it work. If they don’t show the same passion and drive for their business ideas as you have for yours, then it’s probably not going to end well for either of you.

6. The people who shoot down your dreams

Just as yes men can be toxic to your business, someone who constantly shoots down all of your hopes and dreams can be equally damaging. Constructive criticism is helpful, but if someone is completely ragging on every idea you have, that means one of two things:

  1. All of your ideas are awful (very unlikely)
  2. They’re putting you down for their own personal reasons

There will always be people who tell you that you can’t be successful. The secret to success is ignoring the noise, and staying focused on making your business work.

Advertising

7. The people who hate their job

Do you have employees that you know hate being there? They come in unexcited, they always leave at 5:00 PM on the dot, and show no interest in furthering their career with your company. It may sound cruel, but sometimes the best thing you can do in this situation is to let them go.

Why? Because sooner or later their attitude will spread to other employees. They’ll constantly complain about being underpaid, problems they have with the company, and other issues they have. Before you know it, your company is filled with people who don’t want to be there and aren’t working their hardest like Peter Gibbons.

8. The people who love drama

Unless you want your business to be made into a soap opera, stay away from people who can’t seem to avoid drama. A little bit of office gossip is normal, but when it starts to affect people’s ability to work productively and be cohesive, the problem needs to be addressed.

9. The people who bring the wrong kind of attention

I’m not sure what it is, but some people just seem prone to negative publicity. No matter where they go, they always seem to leave a bad taste for everyone they come in contact with. You don’t want your business to become attached to people who have a bad reputation or are synonymous with trouble.

Whether it’s an investor that was tied up in a horrible scandal, or a high level executive that can’t seem to stop getting arrested, sometimes it’s best to just cut your business ties altogether.

Advertising

10. The people who try to change your vision

When you started your business, you had a vision of what it would be. You have your mission statement, your branding, and have even thought about what type of corporate culture you want. But as your business grows, you’ll have different people try to alter that vision and transform what your company is all about.

A little bit of change is OK, but doing a complete 180 from what you intended can have a very bad impact. For one, there’s a good chance that you’ve built up a customer base and clientele that chose your company because of its foundation. Stay true to your overall vision and be authentic. Don’t let others deter your company from its essence.

The key is to keep as many positive people around your business as possible, and cut off any of these toxic ones. Have you had any run-ins with any of these toxic persons?

Featured photo credit: Man on smart phone – young business man in airport. Businessman using smartphone inside office building or airport. via shutterstock.com

More by this author

25 Common Phrases That You’re Saying Wrong Has Technology Made us Lazy and Dependent? 10 Kinds of Toxic Persons that Will Poison A Good Business 10 Reasons Why Your Friends Should Be Jealous of Your Workplace Culture Watch These Office Hacks To Keep Your Desk Tidy

Trending in Work

1 How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work 2 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding 3 10 Business Networking Tips: Grow Your Professional Network 4 4 Effective Ways to Motivate Employees During the Busy Holiday Season 5 8 Things to Remember When You Don’t Know What to Do with Your Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 5, 2018

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

How do they do it?

By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

Advertising

3. Demand Learning from Your Team

CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

“The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

“We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

  • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
  • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
  • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
  • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
  • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
  • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

Advertising

Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

  • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
  • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
  • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
  • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
  • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

Advertising

  • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
  • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
  • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
  • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

10. Empower Your Employees

Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

Advertising

If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

11. Nurture Your Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next