How to Get Rid of Toxic Employees With a Bad Attitude


Have you ever encountered a toxic employee in your organization? If yes, you’re not alone. Many employers have come across unfriendly workers on several occasions. What matters the most is how you act when you spot a toxic employee within the team. How you decide to deal with such an employee can either make or break your business fortunes. There is no doubt that a single bad employee can spoil the work experience for other employees, breed issues with absenteeism, frustrate beneficial initiatives, and even make your workplace a hostile environment.

Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to handle a toxic employee exhibiting unethical behavior. If you turn a blind eye on such an employee, your business is bound to suffer financially due to the decline in productivity. It doesn’t require rocket science to understand that employees’ productivity depends primarily on the working environment’s state. Therefore, if the environment is toxic, expect the least from your employees.

With that in mind, let’s look at the steps on how to get rid of toxic employees with a bad attitude.

  • Collect Information First

If you suspect that an employee might be toxic, the first step is to gather the necessary information. Dismissing the person on the spot is not a professional way of handling such matters. The most effective way is to talk with that person and inform them of behaviors they need to work on if they are to remain the company’s employees. If they continue to display the same bad manners even after cautioning them, then firing them becomes the only viable option.

  • Set Boundaries

Once you have collected the information, invite the employee for a one-on-one conversation. Inform them about the unpleasant behavior and how it has ruined the team, using the facts you have gathered. The culprit needs to have an insight into the repercussions for bad behavior and the need for decent behavior.

This step will definitely prompt the toxic employees to work on their past behavior. Remember to caution them that if there is no notable improvement in their behavior, they will be subjected to a performance review.

  • Create a Plan

Sometimes you can feel reluctant to part ways with a toxic employee, especially if he is a top-performer. To address such a scenario without hurting your company fortunes, Marshall Goldsmith, a coach, and business educator, recommends a feedforward approach when dealing with such persons. This method doesn’t focus on what transpired in the past. Instead, it presents a set of actions an employee can undertake to solve toxic behaviors. However, it is worth noting that the feedforward approach is suited for successful people.

  • Keep an Eye Out

When boundaries have been set for a toxic employee and several ways they can use to improve on their unpleasant behavior, it’s essential to keep an eye out to make sure the person is not exhibiting the same undesirable behavior.

Another way to solve unpleasant behavior in an employee is to refer him or her to a counselor. The counselor will help him to work on his toxic behavior once and for all.

  • Immunize Your Employees

To continue getting the best out of your employees, make sure the troubling person is incapable of dragging her colleagues down. To achieve this, isolate him or her from the rest of the team to restrain him from influencing others.

  • Dismiss him if it is the only viable option

If you have done all you could to help a toxic employee moderate his or her behavior, but all have been futile, then dismissing such a person is the only sensible option. No matter how many times you caution some toxic employees against their undesirable behaviors, they will continue to repeat it and hope to go unpunished. In such a situation, cutting ties is the most practical course of action.


If you have a toxic employee in your team who is gradually dragging down your team, adopt the discussed above techniques to help him work on her behavior. If he doesn’t, then dismiss him from your company.


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