Toxic employees could be amongst Australia’s biggest workplace issue, based on new data. Written warnings, probationary termination, and termination for serious misconduct top the list of conduct matters.

It is clear, a staggering number of workplaces are dealing with toxic behaviour. If ignored, toxic employees can soon lead to cancerous workplaces, ultimately effecting the success of any practice.

Only a portion of practice owners are aware of what they can and can’t do when dealing with difficult behaviour. They can remove toxic behaviour by developing solid employee contracts, workplace policies and a performance management program.

Tips to manage seven types of toxic employees

The Fibber

This employee fibs, gossips and tells tall tales. Employers should be most concerned about them lying to other employees and practitioners about tasks/outcomes/etc. This may seem trivial but it can be damaging and that’s why it’s covered in legislation. You can make it clear that this kind of behaviour is not appropriate in employee manuals and covering it in the induction processes.

The Offloader

This employee will not hold back when delegating. They do little work and somehow manage to take the credit for other people’s hard toil. As an employer, you can put a clear performance and review policy in place to monitor poor staff performance. These programs can empower and encourage an employee to deliver results, too.

The Frequent Indulger

This employee can often take sick days that coincide with public holidays, or arrive at work late feeling the effects of a big weekend. Employers need to train staff on good conduct and they can include clear descriptions of unacceptable behaviour in an employment handbook. Introduce return-to-work interviews, an employee is less likely to take a sickie when they must face the practice manager or clinic owner the next day.

The Pilferer

Ever had some unexplained transactions on a business credit card? Or are staff members complaining that personal items are missing? You might have a thief in your midst. The Pilferer is confidently sneaky, and their behaviour may go unnoticed for some time. Employers have a couple of options to protect themselves and other staff members from thieves, including a Right to Search Policy and a Surveillance Policy.

The Bully

Reacting to stress is one thing, but yelling, threatening or swearing at colleagues is an immediate red flag. As an employer, if you don’t address bullying immediately, you could find yourself dealing with it in court. In 2014, The Fair Work Commission introduced an order for employees to submit applications to stop bullying they may have experienced at work. This means any employee can lodge a bullying claim. Implementing an Anti-bullying Policy can protect businesses before a bullying claim is made. Training managers on how to conduct themselves at work is another option. Practice managers are highly influential. If a good example is set, employees usually follow this.

The Royalist

This employee is far from treating the patient as they should. It is their way or the highway and you only find out about the patient relationship deterioration until it is too late. They may need to be performance managed and a disciplinary procedure should be used to investigate the wrongdoings.

The Divulger

his employee over-shares internal clinic/business information at healthcare conferences attended by competitors or with other employees at other local practices. It can be very damaging to business when that information is your next big clinic idea. Employers are in danger of running into this issue if they don’t have a Conflict of Interest Procedure and a Confidentiality Agreement in place. These need to be explained to all new employees when they start and the agreement needs to be signed by everyone.