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Rory
Post  Post subject: Toxic employees  |  Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:18 am
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38220078

They're only "toxic" if you don't want to listen to the truth. Probably I would be categorised as "toxic" well I don't mind if there's something that needs to die in your company culture.

From my experience, workplace bullying is ignored as long as it's in the interests of management to ignore it. So, you will select for employees willing to be pushed around by others. Nice company you have, there.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Toxic employees  |  Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:00 pm
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Workplaces are often like sports teams. There are different players with different skillsets and different backgrounds and capabilities playing in different positions and with different purposes.

Sometimes there are superstar players who make everyone around them better, and sometimes there are players who bring the whole team down making everyone lose and making everyone worse off. Sometimes, everyone is just about average, but they do and achieve amazing things together.

In the vast majority of places, work is a team sport. The company thrives when the team collaborates and in a way that makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. When the company thrives, so do the employees (with greater salaries, raises, pride, flexibility, better work/life balance, and related opportunities, etc.).

IMO, being a toxic employee is nothing to be proud of. If you're a lone wolf and can't play nice with others, fine. Everyone is allowed to be who they are and unashamed of that, but it does mean you should make different choices than the median citizen.

If that's you, then go do something on your own and respect those around you enough not to bring them down due to your presence. If you're unwilling or incapable of going out on your own, however, then you need to check your ego at the door and do what's best for the group around you. Toxic is a label any of us should want associated with us in any context.

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If there are bad leaders or they're heading in a bad direction, that's something different and not necessarily captured by the idea of toxic employees (though, toxic leaders, maybe?).

There are those who see problems and seek to fix them, and there are those who see problems and want to make them worse by burning everything to the ground. Which will you choose to be?

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Toxic employees  |  Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:33 pm
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Quote:
iNow wrote:
If there are bad leaders or they're heading in a bad direction, that's something different and not necessarily captured by the idea of toxic employees (though, toxic leaders, maybe?).


That's what I mean: the article (and, from my experience) management in general take the line that if you're venting frustration as an employee then the issue is with you not with your colleagues or the workplace culture in general.

The last Science job I had I was sat opposite a guy who was constantly negative, nothing was ever good enough for him, the support team in his eyes were crap, and he would "F" every two minutes or so. Then in the weekly Lab meeting he would turn on this artificial politeness. Management never saw any wrong in him because they didn't want to see it.

But when I complain I am the "toxic" employee.

And, no, the official channels of communication/redress do not work. Management has already picked its favourites.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Toxic employees  |  Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:47 pm
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Well, I can't get on board with the broad, overly-sweeping generalizations you're making. Managers are people, too. They face their own hardships and constraints and generally want to do what's good for their people, but sometimes are limited in resources, time, or control. I'm not ready to treat them all as a monolith and act as if being part of "management" somehow removes ones humanity and character as you're doing here (and have done in the past).

That said... Let's look at this productively...

How about instead of going to your boss or leadership with complaints and whines, you try instead going to them with suggestions and ideas? Put a business case behind it. Show how much money the current process is costing and how your recommendations will return on the investment you're asking for.

I suspect you'll get a lot farther if you do. Recognizing the problem is just step 1. There are other steps still to take. Show them that you recognize the problem, you want to solve it, and you've thought about ways to make a meaningful difference. That's all extremely positive. It also positions you well for management and a better paycheck in the future.

Don't come to leadership with problems. Come to leadership with solutions.

By example, I understand when my team is frustrated and upset, but coming to me without potential solutions just wastes both our time. I'm not your effing therapist. Pull up your big girl pants or go lay on someone else's couch if you're too pathetic to even do that. We're here to do our jobs and if you approach me maturely with ideas and feasible solutions that we can actually act upon, then I'll likely not only agree with you, but fully support and stand behind you in trying to get it implemented.

Come to me with childish complaints, though? Sorry, no. That's no better than leaving a giant flaming turd on my doorstep and I have 192 other people complaining to me about stuff, and 853 deliverables due by tomorrow. Take a number, sister. Add your complaints to the pile and maybe I'll be able to determine where they rank in the priority of shit I need to do before the start of the second Trump administration.

You want me to do something about it, though? Meet me in the middle and lean in... offer to help instead of scapegoating me for all of your problems. I can behind that. I can help you with that.

Anyway, managers are people, too. You should avoid generalizing and treating them as some faceless borg. It's lazy.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Toxic employees  |  Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:52 pm
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:) :)

But what when your problem is the general attitude of a co-worker you are forced to work with closely?

What solution can I suggest to management, that we perform a personality transplant on said co-worker?

Also my immediate co-worker was pals with the middle manager (literally used to go to the gym together every day). And the middle manager was pals with the senior manager. They basically lived in each other's pockets and management always backs management. In that case you have three choices:

i. Give up on reform, stay silent but miserable
ii. Vent your frustration (until you get kicked out)
iii. Leave of your own accord

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Toxic employees  |  Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:57 pm
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Rory wrote:
:) :)

But what when your problem is the general attitude of a co-worker you are forced to work with closely?

What solution can I suggest to management, that we perform a personality transplant on said co-worker?

Also my immediate co-worker was pals with the middle manager (literally used to go to the gym together every day). And the middle manager was pals with the senior manager. They basically lived in each other's pockets and management always backs management. In that case you have three choices:

i. Give up on reform, stay silent but miserable
ii. Vent your frustration (until you get kicked out)
iii. Leave of your own accord

Reminds me of this quote:
"A bad manager can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation."
More people need to focus on being leaders than bosses:

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