Cleaning Up Toxic Employees with Gratitude

Several consultancies have recently reported on the concern executives around the world have for retaining their top talent.

Deloitte reported:

“Nearly half of senior global company executives are worried about losing top talent during the recession while 30% saying they are looking to bring in more leaders. 44% of business leaders cited a decline in employee morale, rising to 60% in financial service.”

The Financial Times reported European boss’ concerns about repeating the same mistakes of past recessions by cutting too many skilled jobs, leaving them exposed when the market turned. John Griffith-Jones, head of KPMG in the UK and joint-chairman in Europe, said, ”What we did suffer from is, when the upturn came, we were desperately short of people in some areas.”

At the same time, however, leaders are faced with an increase in both the number of toxic employees and in their impact on an organization. Harvard Business Review reported:

“Among those on the receiving end of incivility in the workplace:
• 48% decreased their work effort,
• 66% said their performance declined,
• 80% lost work time worrying about the incident, and
• 78% said their commitment to the organization declined.”

No company can tolerate those kind of engagement and productivity losses at this time. So how do you clean up those toxic workers? Lead with gratitude.

“Complaining is a dead-end road; it feeds depression and hopelessness. The next time you complain, ask yourself, ‘Is this conversation adding any value?’ The fastest way out of being a complainer is gratitude that stems from acknowledging the roles that others have played in your life and career.”

What are you doing to make your corner of the workplace better – to make it a place where your top talent wants to stay? Tell me in comments.

Derek Irvine

About Derek Irvine

The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition, he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.

2 Responses

  1. Rhonda Donnelly - QualitySmith says:

    We are sending out a lot of congratulatory emails – recognizing both individuals and teams. When one team has a win, we send a note to the rest of the company. We have a section of our weekly staff meeting dedicated to celebrating successes. We’re also sharing our financials in even more detail which helps engage people more.

  2. Derek Irvine says:

    @Rhonda — excellent approach on all fronts.

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