Cut the Weeds - Stop the Toxicity Within Your Team

Are you looking to create a team that considers work more like a second home? In order to create a work environment like this, you have to be sure to weed out the toxic employees that tear down the environment and mindset of others. Read this article to learn the traits of toxic employees and how they might be affecting your company morale.

As a business owner who has had a large role in the hiring, you may have carefully picked every person on your team so that not only do they work well but they also contribute to the atmosphere of the workplace. As a result, you may think of your team as a family and your team members may consider work a second home.

However, this may not be the case if there is toxicity brewing underneath the surface. What many owners don’t realize is that they are actually the root of toxicity.

There are many ways that we can promote toxicity, but one of the most unsuspecting ways we can do this is by promoting individuals solely based on results. This may surprise you as most of us would think to reward team members who are producing positive results that contribute to the growth of the company. We get it.

The issue does not lie in promoting based on results, but in the notion of this being the only factor to consider. When considering results you must also consider factors such as work ethic, personality, teamwork. Don’t make the assumption that those who produce great results will make great leaders.

There are three key problems with this.

Lowers Team Morale

Be aware of those who seem that they are excelling at the job but lack team work. These are the people who do not work well with others and only focus on meeting goals. Often they add additional stress to the team members to meet deadlines. They do not empathize with the team members and make them feel undervalued and overworked.

Creates Animosity

If other team members feel that others have been unjustly promoted to leadership, this will make them feel resentful. Keep in mind those who produce good results, may not always hold company values. So, if you are promoting these people over those who care for the business with the values you’ve set out, then you are creating a situation where they will become envious and spiteful. 

Creates High Turnover - Cost of Employee Turnover

Most people will not take the stress of working under poor leadership. In return, you may see team members leaving. This creates problems for you, as you have to replace those who leave and retrain new members on procedures and knowledge. This is an additional cost for you as often it is more expensive to replace an employee than retaining current ones. You can see how high-turnover can cost you big in this article here.

As you can see, there are devastating effects that can occur by hiring the wrong people into leadership. You can effectively prevent this by considering employees' level of trustworthiness, relationship with others and longevity in the company in addition to their results.

Be Cautious of These People

If you want to reduce employee turnover and promote talented people to lead, take heed of the following types of people.

  1. “I Did It”- These are people who take credit for everything. They did all the research, the compiling, pricing, and put the project together- so they say. If you ask other team members, you’ll see that they haven’t been contributing very much. They do the bare minimum of tasks or don’t complete them. Ironically, they are fast to point out others' mistakes and shortcomings and try to distinguish themselves from the herd.

  1. False Promiser - When you need something done, they are the first to raise their hand. They try to please you by offering a “can do” attitude with no reason to doubt their abilities.  But they rarely deliver on what they say or rely on other team members to pick up the pieces, even though they made the promise. Once the task is complete, they still take the credit.


  1. Along for the Ride - They usually coast through projects by doing the bare minimum, if anything at all. Once again they want to take credit for the positive results, but they lack accountability or ownership. They often push responsibility off to other members sticking to doing the least they can do to obtain positive results.


  1. The Lone Ranger - These are the team members that often work alone - mysterious, right? We typically value those who work independently and don’t rely on others to complete work. This isn’t a bad thing, however, when they prioritize working independently over contributing to group results, that is a problem. They may undermine the team dynamic and responsibilities to reach personal milestones or recognition.


  1. Whine with Cheese – Unhappy and unsatisfied, these toxic team members criticize and point fingers. They always find something wrong and always complain that things can be done better. They believe they would succeed if the other team members did more or if different procedures were in place. They don’t contribute to finding solutions, however, and would rather complain and focus on  what they can’t control.

You may recognize a few of these people. You may have them in your company or recognize them from group projects in school. This is one of the reasons why group projects fail and are so hated. Too often people do not pull their weight but are rewarded in the end. You can relate. Don’t make the same mistake with your own team.

These are people that within your business, you may be very close with and have great relationships with them. But, these types of people typically do not do well in leadership roles and have the potential to bring down the team if promoted. Consider other, more promising team members over those who only produce “good results”. 

Escaping a Toxic Work Environment

Nip it in the bud when you see toxicity brewing. Do not become complacent to toxic behaviors in pursuit of results because in the end your business wil suffer. Address it spot on by having one-on-one conversations with your team members to understand their experience. Then talk on-on-one with the perpetrators. For more information on detoxifying your workplace, you can read this article by

If you need backup or more tips to help you weed out the toxicity in your company, contact us for a complimentary coaching call. We can help you recognize toxic behaviors and make a plan to address them.

Who is Tim Campsall?

I am a certified Business Coach, providing business help, business advice, business coaching and mentoring services to successful and emerging business owners. I have a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.

As your Business Coach and advisor, I will help you deliver the results you desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, tested and perfected over tens of thousands of businesses worldwide for over more than two decades. I will hold you accountable for your results and just like a sports coach, push you to perform at optimal levels. Let's schedule a complimentary Business Coaching session to get started.

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Tim Campsall Certified Business Coach

Coach Tim Campsall

Is an award winning trainer, certified Business Coach and business owner of a local ActionCOACH Franchise here in Indiana. He has over 28 years experience running businesses and coaching leaders /teams. He provides business help, business advice, business coaching and mentoring services to successful and emerging business owners. He has a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.