When a body has a tumor, sometimes it’s simply an annoyance to remove. A quick surgery to return your body back to normal. Other times, it’s cancerous. If not dealt with promptly, it will grow and spread and infect healthy parts of your system. Office organizations, at times, will encounter one of these “cancerous” employees – someone who brings down office culture and infects their coworkers with negative vibes, therefore inhibiting productivity. But how do you spot one of these problem employees before it’s too late? Here are a few warning signs:
- Gossip – When a new hire is brought on and suddenly there’s a gossip train in the office, this may be a sign. Gossip is natural in many settings, but in the workplace it can be toxic.
- Excuses and blame-shifting – We all make mistakes, it’s natural. But to progress, we own up to them. If an employee can’t take the blame for their own mistakes and instead shifts it to other repeatedly, the team as a whole will suffer as trust slips away. An occasional excuse may be alright, but continuous scapegoating is cancerous.
- The anti-cheerleader – Occasional complaints are expected. But constant negativity about the company is a no-go. Your company may need to reevaluate its culture standards, but an anti-cheerleader who seems to discuss negative aspects of the company often will bring down your team, especially new hires.
- “That’s not my job” – Oh, really? If an employee isn’t willing to help out others, they won’t be good for the company long-term. Especially in small organizations, employees must realize that being a team-player means wearing several hats.
Once you’ve found the source of the cancer, it’s imperative to remove it quickly. You may be able to remedy the situation with a one-on-one talk. However, if the employee continues to not remedy their cancerous tendencies, it’s time to let them go. Have you dealt with a cancer employee recently? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments!