8 Types of Toxic Employees and How to Deal with Them

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8 Types of Toxic Employees and How to Deal with Them

During my experience in different organizations working in different fields I’ve come to know about one of the best performers you can find in each and every department I ever worked for. Sometimes, I found them so talented and smart that I started feeling bad about myself. In struggle for coping up with their abilities, I started underestimating my own potential. Maybe you’ve also faced or are still facing the similar situation in your life. This not only happens in corporate world but also in our daily life. Sometimes your family members are smarter than you are, or prettier than you or have that charismatic personality that drives you nutz. But there is always a different side of that coin (I mean most of the time, not including everyone). I observed that such individuals have a tendency of being toxic. Whether they are a family member or working in your office. Maybe he is your supervisor or is your subordinate. You never know, but you have to deal with their attitude every single day because not only they are smarter than you are, they believe that too.

That behavior generates a negative energy and develops a toxic environment. Here I am going to discuss8 Types of Toxic Employees and How to Deal with Them. We usually see in these types of employees in our organizations. Note: If you find any of those traits in yourself, then acknowledge that toxic behavior in yourself and try to recover from it as soon as you can. There is nothing to be ashamed of and self-assessment is a key for the self-development. Stay honest with yourself.

1. Dragger

The Dragger usually drag the whole team with his incompetence and under-performing attitude. This employee lack not only skills but purpose and motivation as well. Instead of team focusing over their own projects, the team usually spend time in guiding this employee and correcting his errors ultimately slowing down the whole project. Most of the times, they don’t know what or how to do a task or maybe they are not willing to do it due to different reasons. For example working for a job they have no interest in, or family problems, etc.


  • Extra Training for Technical Skills Development
  • Coaching for Behavioral Development
  • Frequent Check-ins for improved awareness
  • Provide Support if Required
  • Perform his personality assessments
  • Get Medically checked for any Physical or Mental Stress
  • Encourage screening of ADHD, ADD or any similar issue

2. Cheater

There are some employee who just don’t want to work. Whatever is given to them, they either drag it to the deadlines for no reason, give excuses, or try to put off their own burden ton someone else’s shoulders. They usually don’t care what their colleagues or managers think about them but they will be lagging on their job whenever they get the chance to do so. Similar to dragger, they also slow down the performance of their team members on their own projects. They have no motivation to work, can’t manage their own time, no input in the development of projects, usually waste time on the internet and usually absent from work. Cheaters are the employees that are becoming a hurdle in development of Remote Working Environments, because their performance and work ethics are questionable.


  • Uncover Hidden Resentments
  • Clearly Assign Goals and KPIs
  • Develop a sense of Accountability
  • Continuous Performance Evaluation
  • Recognize & Reward Effort

3. One-Does-All

This is the employee who believe that only he can do a certain task. He is certainly facing Trust-issues and don’t usually feel comfortable in delegating the tasks to subordinates, colleagues or clients. The problem arises when he is trying to do everything on his own but this leads to slow down the other tasks of the project. To cover that, the same employee tries to work overtime to cope up with the project timelines, ultimately complaining about his job being tough for him. They try to work too hard to prove their worth, but that leads to major problems including the risk of burnout, stress, etc.


  • Enforce Delegation
  • Develop a Collaborative Environment rather than developing a Competitive Environment
  • Encourage taking vacations and paid leaves
  • Design Stress and Work Management Programs for Such Employees
  • Encourage Teamwork instead of Individual Efforts by offering rewards to teams

4. The Negative One

The negative ones are those who trying to do no good for the team or organization. Continuous politics, negative feedbacks, bad mouthing are the core traits of such employees. Such employees poison the atmosphere, and generate a sense of distrust and lowers morale of the teams due to their personal negativity. Sometimes they develop a bullying behavior towards their colleagues and subordinates, and sometimes for their superiors in some cases. They also manipulate the facts and anything communicated to them and use that manipulation to feed their own grudges.


  • Realization of Safe and Supportive Environment
  • Consider his complains as serious matter
  • Strict actions against Bullying Behavior
  • Document Negative Behaviors and inform about consequences

5. The Talker

The talkers are generally not considered toxic but in fact they are. They are funny, entertaining and friend of everyone. They usually spend their time while talking to everyone for no particular reason at all. Usually you can find them chatting with their colleagues over a water cooler, or maybe busy with them over long lunch and smoke brakes. This all interrupts their regular productivity which directly and indirectly effects the pace of their own projects. They are also loud and distracting which also interrupts the work of other fellows and their own supervisors. For them, the office is not just a place of work but a place of enjoyment as well.


  • Regular Redirection Required
  • Define Social Time and Activities for Staff
  • Clearly define the appropriate behavior
  • Managers should learn to use their communication skills in a more meaningful way
  • Redirect their Interpersonal Energy

6. The Past Performer

These are the strange ones. They usually come from different companies with a promise of a better job but then due to some internal issues, miscommunications or other similar matters the promises are not fulfilled thus develop a toxic employee. Such employees are always complaining and relaying everything with their past organization and even neglects the positive steps taken by the current organization and keeps on spreading negativity.


  • Coaching/Mentoring required
  • Involvement in Major Projects
  • Clear Communications related to expectations and Rewards

7. The “Why Me” One

These are similar to the cheaters just more vocal ones. Whenever they are given a task, they consider it a conspiracy. They have a sense of “Ranks” for tasks in the organization and have developed a rank of their own and they measure the allocation of tasks according to their own ranking system. Such employees never appreciate the efforts of their supervisors and are always, I mean seriously always, questioning the objectives of their supervisors and organization itself. They also think that they are the ones who are running the organization and maybe the organization will not be able to find such a resource if they leave. They are wrong about it but don’t realize that.


  • Clear Communications related to expectations and Rewards
  • Performance Based Rewards System
  • Coaching on Work Ethics and Mutual Interests
  • Regular behavioral evaluation by the supervisor
  • Programs to inject core values of the organization

8. Pointer

These pointers are the ones who always related themselves with everyone else. Their problem is they believe if someone else is enjoying a favor from their supervisor or organization, they must also be given the same otherwise they won’t work. In another situation, when a supervisor asks the employee to abide by some particular rules or policies they will always point at other departments which do not follow those rules or policies. Them not following may or may not have the same impact as it is for this employee, but he is not willing to understand that because of his own terms he developed in his own mind.


  • Clearly communicated Goals, KPIs and Deliverables
  • Extensive Coaching
  • Realization of Safe and Supportive Environment

Toxic environments make people sick, make projects fail, and make best employees quit.

Uncovering with such types of toxic employees we expect you to understand them better and resolve such issues within your organization effectively. If you believe there are more types of toxic employees, do share the details in the comments section below.

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I am a Digital Marketing Expert with 8 Years of diverse work experience. I usually write about Digital Marketing, Social Media and Video Games (Oh I just love video games). I am always looking for new things happening all around the world and am eager to share once I get to know something (Just cant keep it in myself). So get connected with me, follow me... ask me... I will be there for you ;)

One thought on “8 Types of Toxic Employees and How to Deal with Them

  • March 14, 2020 at 12:48 am

    In which Catagory do I fall?


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