Traits of Toxic Employees

business_ethics_highlights_2Everyone has suffered through working alongside a “toxic” co-worker. But just what traits does such “toxicity” imply? The article linked below discusses the results of a Harvard study on just that topic. As explained by the reporter, the study found that the key traits of toxic workers are:

  • They tend to be “…insanely productive, much more so than the average worker”…”
  • They “have what’s known as high ‘self-regard’ and a lower degree of ‘other-regardingness.’ Or put more simply, they’re selfish.”
  • They have a “tendency to be overconfident of his or her own abilities”
  • Finally, there’s obsessive rule-following. While this might not mean toxicity, “those employees who claimed in the questionnaire that rules should always be followed with no exceptions (as opposed to those who said sometimes you have to break rules to do a good job) were the most likely to be terminated for breaking the rules.”

>>>

LINK: Beware the rule-following co-worker, Harvard study warns (by Ariana Eunjung Cha for the Washington Post)

…In the continuum of toxic workers, there are those who are simply annoying and might just be a bad fit for an organization. At the other end are those who engage in harassment, bullying, fraud, theft or even violence in the workplace. The study zeroed in on those at the most extreme of the extreme who were fired for their toxic behavior….

What do you think?


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