The Real-World Impact of a Toxic Team Member

Firing an employee is never an easy task, even for the most seasoned practice owner or manager. Unfortunately, there are times when – as they say – “one bad apple spoils the bunch.” The reality is, a toxic employee can have a devastating and lasting impact on your clinic’s success. Let’s take a closer look at just how much a poor performer can harm your business.

Employee Morale

When one employee either isn’t pulling their weight, consistently messes up or has a negative attitude, it can have a ripple effect to the rest of the team. Not only does keeping someone like this around make life miserable for everyone else, but it could end up costing you the best employees on your team in the process. Chances are, you’re not the only practice in the area, and when your good staff members grow tired of picking up someone else’s slack, you could lose them to your competitors. 

Practice Culture

Regardless of how hard you work to create a strong and positive company culture within your practice, all it takes is one toxic team member to cause irreparable damage. Think about it. If your good employees have begun to dread coming in due to a tense or frustrating workplace environment, it doesn’t bode well for your reputation as an employer. Not only can this cause existing staff to jump ship, but it could make it much more challenging to bring new team members on board in the future as well.

Client Experience

People can sense when there’s tension between others. Even if your toxic employee doesn’t deal directly with clients, the trickle-down effect of poor morale and a struggling culture can also negatively impact the client experience. When your other employees are constantly walking on egg shells or feeling stressed out when at work, they will not be able to deliver the kind of service that will keep your clientele coming back, and that’s bad news for your clinic’s longevity.

Dealing with a Toxic Employee

If you’ve come to the difficult conclusion that one of your employees simply isn’t making the cut, it’s important to take action as swiftly as possible. Depending on the situation, you need to determine whether it’s possible to coach the employee toward improvement. In a case where it’s a performance issue, you may be able to salvage the relationship and right the ship. If it’s a case of a bad attitude, on the other hand, the odds of turning things around drop significantly.

Make a decision on how you’d like to move forward and schedule some one-on-one time with the team member in question. If you’re going to try and work things out, be clear about exactly what the issues are and be specific about what steps will need to be taken in order to resolve the situation. Set a deadline and measure progress accordingly along the way. If your expectations are not met, be ready and willing to take action.

If your final decision is to terminate, again, the sooner you act, the better. This can be difficult – especially if you like the person as an individual. At the end of the day, however, it is your duty to protect and preserve your good employees and do what’s right for the benefit of your practice. If that means cutting ties, then so be it.

And if you need assistance replacing that toxic team member, or learning how to avoid hiring another “bad apple” in the future, get in touch with Dream Team Elite today. We’re here to help!

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