Employees want to work in a positive environment where they feel respected. There are four toxic behaviors that you must stay on top of to ensure good employees don’t become miserable. They may eventually leave for another company if these problems aren’t addressed.
Many new bosses make the mistake of accepting excuses too often. It’s hard to not feel sympathetic when you hear some of the reasons given for a deadline not being reached. Unfortunately, many of these bosses find themselves trapped in a cycle of endless excuses when they do this. When you allow employees to make excuses frequently, your business will suffer. Meeting deadlines and responding quickly to customers is imperative in business. You also don’t want to overwork yourself by constantly taking on tasks that were delegated to others.
Don’t lash out at employees, as this isn’t healthy behavior either. The right way to handle the situation is to express disappointment and explain how it negatively affects the other team members, such as everyone having to stay later to finish the work that wasn’t completed on time.
Substance abuse can happen to anyone. Learn how to recognize the signs of potential substance abuse and perform drug tests to help maintain a drug-free workplace. Even addiction to hard drugs can begin with innocent use of prescription medications. A majority of heroin addicts now say that their addiction began with prescription opioid use. There has been an increase in use of opioids, both non-prescription and prescription, over the past two decades, so it’s something you should know how to spot.
Addiction can negatively impact team effectiveness because the member may be irritable or unreliable. If you find out that an employee is struggling with addiction, talk with them privately and encourage them to seek treatment. Some businesses have incorporated recovery support or mental health services for these types of situations.
Dishonesty on any level should never be tolerated. If someone told a small lie about something, it indicates they may be dishonest on more serious issues. You could have problems down the line with the employee not fulfilling the responsibilities of their job or even stealing from the business. Another problem with dishonesty is it impairs cognition and increases stress levels on the individual. They can’t work at their best if their brain is busy keeping up with the lies.
Gossip is the discussion of negative or inappropriate topics and may be about people outside of the workplace or within it. In order to maintain a healthy work environment, you must take steps to curb gossip. Gossip distracts employees from their work and causes unnecessary disputes or tension among employees.
When you have noticed someone is gossiping, have a private conversation with them about the damaging effects it can have. Also give them a verbal warning, so they know to not do it again. If the individual continues to gossip after several warnings, then it’s best to fire them. Ignoring the problem will only drive away good employees and cause tension in the workplace.
To be a strong leader, you must stay vigilant to ensure a positive, uplifting environment where all team members feel safe. Don’t allow gossip or dishonesty to slide. Also address any potential substance abuse problems, so the individual can get the help they need. By staying on top of these four behaviors, you can become a strong leader.
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