Toxic Workers – What to Watch Out For

Posted on February 14, 2016 by

It is an unfortunate fact of life that there will always be gossipers and those who will spread gossip, though never create it. Nowhere else is this fact more evident than in the office workplace.

It is beyond any doubt that almost every office worker will have to deal with a situation created by a “toxic worker”, or interact with one of these workers themselves. Fortunately, there are warning signs that anyone can use to watch out for these gossip spreaders.

1) Their Work Habits

It may come as a surprise, but recently a Harvard Business School study found that a “toxic worker” may not necessarily be the lazy, good-for-nothing person you may expect. Contrary to expectation, most “toxic workers” are in fact extremely productive individuals, who may even border on the verge of work fanaticism.

Two observers found that such workers, “.. corrupt, but they excel in work performance”.

2) Their Overly Obvious Egoism

If their work habits came as a surprise, their next characteristic is much more obvious and to be expected, however. Just as you would expect, “toxic workers” think the world of themselves, and that they are the next best thing since the invention of sliced bread. Not only this, but they are overly selfish when it comes to most situations.

You might especially notice this behavior in the worker who tries to claim all the credit for any group project or work assignment. Combine this selfishness with their habit to work in over-drive, and you have the perfect recipe to create a “toxic worker”.

3) They Can Never Be Wrong – No Matter What

You may have entire pages of facts, data, examples, and more to show how they may be wrong about something, but a “toxic worker” will never ever accept the fact that they were mistaken. They might sooner shout obscenities or end the world than accept this fact. Everyone knows how unpleasant it is to work with such an individual, and it is no small coincidence that there are many vulgarities in the English language to perfectly name such a person.

4) Everything Must Be Done By The Book

Almost every company, business, manufacturer, and etc. in the world has created sets of manuals or rule books to show how procedures are managed or how to work specific systems. For the “toxic worker”, this is like their bible. They believe everything must be done by the book to the tee, and there can be no straying from the rules written within. Unfortunately for such people, often times manuals employ theories which never work in practice. It is therefore then that much conflict is created with “toxic workers”, who just don’t seem to live in reality.

No one likes to deal with them, but “toxic workers” are in every workplace throughout the country. They are so popular that even television programs are made about them. Fortunately, however, with these warning signs you can identify a “toxic worker” and hopefully come to avoid them.

Learn More on steps your can take

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