toxic employees

24 Apr


Don’t Let Toxic Employees
Poison Your Growth.

” I can’t seem to face up to the facts.
I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax 


So, maybe they really aren’t actually Psycho Killers. 

But the Talking Heads were onto something when they were talking about what we call “Business Killers.”


These are toxic employees who in ways either covertly or overtly create an environment that is pure poison to your growth.


When you own and/or operate a business with 10, 20, 50 or 100 employees, having people with the right work ethic, passion, drive, and experience is the key ingredient to growing your business. In fact, having one wrong people in any seat in your company that size can be devastating.


Nothing can bring a team – and your business– to a standstill faster. 


Tell-Tale Signs You’ve Got A
“Business Killer” In Your Midst.


Eben Pagan describes Toxic Employees or Business Killers as “black box builders” whos only job is “job preservation.”


If you’re starting to think that you might have Toxic Employees or “Business Killers” on your payroll. Here are a few questions to ask or things to look for.


  • If you ask them how to do their job, their answer will be long and confusing. Their plan is to confuse you to the point that you believe they are invaluable and can NEVER be replaced.
  • The create chaos in your business to draw the focus away from their (lack of) performance. There is always a bigger issue to deal with, and they are often the ones that bring it to your attention.
  • They are always missing deadlines, making mistakes and complaining to you about how busy they are.  Even though you don’t know quite what they are doing.


Regardless of the form it takes, you need to recognize the problem and take immediate steps to solve and keep your team focused, inspired and motivated (not to mention rewarded.) Put simply, If you want your team to rock, you have to roll quickly when you have a Business Killer on your team that is creating a bad atmosphere.


Isn’t “Business Killer” a little Dramatic?


Nope, not really. And here is a very simple, and very accurate illustration of how they can destroy your business and keep you from growing to the heights you want and deserve.


In the illustration below I’ve used A, B, and C to represent:

  • A = High Impact Talent – People that meet deadlines, bring ideas/improvements, take initiative, overcome obstacles and are conscientious. In short, they take things off your plate and allow you to focus on other areas of the business.
  • B = Neutral Talent – people that will meet a deadline if they have all the information, will do it as you say, will wait for you to clear any obstacles, are conscientious. They will deliver but require constant direction and management. You are still driving the bus. You’ll be pulled back into their work at the expense of getting other work done.
  • C = Negative Talent – Business Killers – these are the people that actually make more work for you. They won’t make deadlines, you’ll spend valuable time correcting their work and dealing with problems they create in your business that have nothing to do with business.


What you need to know is this:toxic employees


  • If you have a lot of Negative Talent, your Neutral Talent will perform below their ability and your High-Impact Talent will leave.
  • If you have a lot of High-Impact Talent, your Neutral Talent will perform above their ability and your Negative Talent will leave.


At the end of the day, it’s critical to be aware of the costs, both internal and external, that Toxic Talent causes and find ways to contain it. In short, do all you can to put up an invisible emotional sign that says “No Pyscho Killers Allowed.” 


Our article “Roll With The Changes” – When It’s Time To Upgrade Your Talent will walk you through how you can upgrade your talent.


Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for our next installment of Talent, Tunes, and Tidbits.



Corey Harlock
Principal Consultant


Make Your Business Rock

Mobile:  832.807.9583


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