Every organization has them. You know, people who are great at getting things done, movers and shakers, get right down to business when it’s time to act. I could be talking about two categories of people at this point. The Superstars or the Toxic employee. Yes, according to a recent study, toxic employees are often task-oriented, productive individuals.

Findings by Dylan Minor and Michael Housman indicate

“The toxic employees in their sample were also more productive than the average worker, in that it took them less time to complete a task than it took their colleagues. The authors say this is consistent with other research that has found a potential trade-off when it comes to unethical workers — they may be corrupt, but they are high performers. And aside from performance, bad guys often win at work because they exhibit other valued traits, like charisma, curiosity, and high self-esteem. Still, they aren’t likely to help the organization in the long term.”


Although the Superstar may positively impact their company by increased revenue, dealing with the Toxic employee would end up costing over twice that in turnover hires, and even more if you count lost time, legal costs, low morale and disenchanted customers.

How do we avoid hiring toxic people?

Focus on what kind of employee would contribute to the overall culture of your organization. Productivity being a major indicator, but also what other attributes should a new hire possess? How would you define corporate citizenship in your context?

Over the long haul, these are the characteristics which will most benefit the bottom line and build positive corporate culture.

To find out more about building corporate citizenship contact us. We’d love to hear from you.