Toxic employees in the workplace can have drastic effects causing expensive losses within companies. However, it can be difficult to identify an office bully. They can intimidate fellow employees that keep them from speaking with management, and at times, they will even bully and intimidate company management inhibiting their ability to address the negative side-effects this Rotten Apple is causing within a company.
A company bully can present itself in many ways:
- The person who quietly undermines every decision, relationship, and process that isn’t theirs
- The Conversation Dominator in your meetings who interrupts others, makes snide remarks during discussions, or always wants to have the last word
- The overbearing power grabber who intimidates others with words, actions, and sometimes even their physical presence
It can be difficult for leaders to fire Rotten Apples for a myriad of reasons. For example, the Rotten Apple may be a top performer who brings in a large profit for the company, or maybe they have key relationships with clients that leaders are afraid they might lose.
Moreover, because of the toxic culture the Rotten Apple creates, leaders can be afraid to take legal action, fearing the retaliation the Rotten Apple may take if fired.
Finally, Rotten Apples cause fear and disorganization throughout the workplace for employees, and employees look to their leaders for guidance and action. When leaders fail to address the problem, faithful and productive employees feel unsupported, and their trust starts to erode. If no action is taken, leaders could lose those faithful employees.
Here at The Shuler Group, we find that if there are Rotten Apples at a company, the leaders intuitively know this, at least subconsciously. When we’ve brought this to their attention, like through our Company Climate Inventory where data doesn’t lie, they almost always nod in agreement. On some level, they feel relieved, as their intuition has been validated. Or they can feel relieved that now they understand what the source of some of the problems are.
We then work with them to address the problem, creating a clear pathway that rebuilds trust within the company, repairs the culture, and reestablishes work productivity.
If this sounds like something your organization would be interested in, whether you suspect you have Rotten Apples or not, please be in touch, and let’s make sure your apple barrel is full of good, ripe apples.