Make Toxic Employee Syndrome Obsolete in Your Organization

 In Business Operations, Career Development

Background checks and due diligence followup are keys to ensuring that you do not hire a toxic employee!  Bad attitudes, lack of proficient work skills and possessing an “entitled” attitude ensure that you will have challenges from day 1.


Doing a thorough job interviewing the prospective employee identifies behavioral characteristics that may not comport with your enterprise.  Is the candidate really a good fit?  Sometimes, decision-makers become blinded by a prospective candidate’s skills, experience, and background, or they like their personality and want the employee to join the team, only to find out later that although each of those traits was positive, there were other factors that undermined the new employee ‘fit.’  Avoid such an outcome by having the candidate meet several people, from the janitor to the Chief Executive Officer.  Then, have each individual provide his or her individual assessment of how the prospective employee may be successfully integrated into the firm. An objective form-field questionnaire might help, with a series of scaled answers to make sure you can compare the assessments.

You’re seeking positive and negative feedback.  If the inputs are all aligned one way, we suggest that you continue to have the candidate interview with more employees.  Then, should the majority of the interviewers feel one way or the other, it is probably a strong indication about what action you should take.

Be cautious about surface impressions: look beyond the fancy clothes, jewelry or talk.  This is one time when your gut reaction can be quite valid.


Check out references, too. Remember though, a thorough review of references is an incomplete method of detecting toxicity in an employee. Employee-provided references will rarely identify bad behavior or work performance.  Why?  The writer simply might not want to risk the possibility of legal action for possible defamation.

So, what’s a good approach?  Do an extensive search on social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of other platforms yield insights and help identify traits and behavioral characteristics that an employee may manifest that are in-congruent with your organizational culture, goals and values.

A thorough vetting of a new employee before hiring means much better hiring decisions.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.