Small Businesses Don’t Need a Toxic Workforce

October 23, 2015

It is hard enough operating a small business with an excellent workforce much less operating a small business with a toxic workforce. Frequently when small business owners are pressed for time when hiring, they often neglect the due diligence that is needed to ensure a new employee had the right experience, the right attitude, and generally an all-around good "fit" for the business. With a relatively small number of employees, the "right" employee helps the business grow and prosper whether the employment is seen as fairly short-term or, perhaps, a long-lasting relationship. 

On the other hand, when the hiring process breaks down and wrong employees are hired, they can create a toxic work environment almost overnight. These are employees who:

•    Have an overall bad attitude toward work, co-workers, and the business
•    Feel any task is not in their "job description" or beneath what they should be asked to do
•    Feel they have "paid their dues" based on their experience
•    Constantly gossip, nitpick, and cause trouble with other employees
•    Want to take credit for anything good that happens in the business but ready to blame someone else for anything bad that happens
•    Put pressure on other employees to jump on their "bandwagon" rather than vice versa

No business should have to operate with a toxic workforce and no employee should be made to work in that environment. It is simple to hire, yet difficult to fire! The moral of the story is that small business owners need to be cognizant of the consequences of hastily hiring employees without background checks and thorough reference checks. It is far better to have fewer employees and keep recruiting and interviewing than to be adequately staffed with toxic employees who poison the minds of good employees or, eventually, run the good ones off. 

Good hiring procedures are a must for small businesses and owners must place a priority on hiring competent employees who "add to" rather than "subtract from" a motivated workplace.

Posted by Richard Weinberger, PhD, CPA
Chief Executive Officer
Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants


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