How To Make Your Employees Less Toxic

Bullying is bad by definition. It can imply things like classroom unrest, toxic relationships, facebook blackmail, and other personal-life things. But what does bad mean for business? Should business owners or top-management care about such things?

Yes, they should since bad in the business environment means ineffective. A toxic atmosphere can hit your brand, corporate culture, and revenue. Any personal life blackmailing can be managed by specialized services like But what if the problem is within your team? What if toxicity became a new norm for the everyday routine? You can’t ignore this problem, and it won’t go away on its own. Workplace bullying is much easier to prevent than mitigate. How? Let’s find it out.

Types of Aggressors


Aggressors are one of the worst types of toxic employees, as they lower not only the productivity of specialists but also the company’s corporate culture and employee turnover. As a result, it affects the entire business. So what are the types of aggressors?

  • Outright Aggressor: Outright aggressors aren’t shy in expressions. They want everyone to know their point of view or opinion about someone, even if the discussion subject is nearby.
  • Passive Aggressor: You can’t be sure whether the passive aggressor offended or praised you. One of their main characteristics is that they can say one thing, think another, and do something you’ll never expect. This uncertainty and disbelief ruin the whole chemistry within your team. The main problem is to detect such aggressors, as it takes much time.
  • Dominant Aggressor: Dominant aggressors are quite an interesting type. They may not even realize that they are bullying someone. Dominant aggressors tend to be DISC personality D, which means they are dominant and result-oriented. The key features of these people are straightforwardness and occasional aggressiveness, which others can perceive as bullying over time. Sometimes such behavior can be forgiven, but they must understand and be aware of what they say, how, and to whom.
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Types of Victims


It’s important to note that in most cases, the entire responsibility for the workmate’s humiliation lies with the aggressor, not the victim. People who succumb to bullying do nothing on purpose and certainly do not provoke aggressors in any way. Who is at risk of being humiliated?

  • Rookies: New employees are the easiest prey for toxic people who are ready to mock them, guided by the hazing method.
  • Former Workmates Who Have Taken a Leadership Position: Aggressors don’t accept a former workmate’s leadership on purpose and belittle their authority in every possible way.
  • Differently Looking- or Minded People: As a rule, aggressors humiliate employees who are not like everyone else, communicate less with workmates, do not attend corporate parties, or simply do not meet their imaginary standards.
  • Timid Guys: Aggressors perfectly feel when the victim is weaker and cannot fight back, so they actively abuse the vulnerable people.

Why do aggressors bully other employees?


There is no exact answer since the reasons for this behavior can be completely different. For example:

  • Aggressors might have some complexes, so the humiliation of others helps them assert themselves. A staff psychologist might fix this kind of problem;
  • Aggressors simply love scheming, spreading gossip, or humiliating other people because of their character traits. This type is the least improvable, so their importance should certainly be revisited. Raising a professional is easier than fixing a rotten core;
  • Low level of culture: rudeness, crassness. It’s just a matter of self-improvement. If the rest of your team is not that wild, aggressors might assimilate with time;
  • Aggressors constantly envy other people’s achievements and successes and cover up their lack of progression with bullying. Like with the first type, you can consider hiring a staff psychologist;
  • Aggressors have a lot of negative energy that needs to be thrown out somewhere. Most often, it’s generated by their personal problems. Talk to your employee. Maybe they need a few days off to fix their issues;
  • Aggressors were harassed and are now taking revenge on others. Again, it’s the work of a staff psychologist.
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How to Prevent Bullying


As you can see, bullying has a serious impact on a company and its employees. It’s not just about morality and proper behavior. Not every business owner cares about such things, but the problem is definitely about long-term revenue decline. When your staffers are led by subjective vectors like bullying or making fun of others, they can’t focus on the work anymore. Let alone any high-value professional who, after becoming a victim, will just leave your company. You might know perfectly well how hard it’s to find a good performer. The toxicity within your team will result in you being stuck with the worst workers. So, you get the point. Sometimes, it takes months and years to make your team ‘healthy’ again. What can you do to avoid this? Let’s figure it out.

  • Take employee complaints seriously: It’s necessary to not only make sure that every employee understands that bullying is bad but also to listen and react to complaints. As practice shows, most employers don’t take bullying and victims’ complaints about it seriously.
  • Develop clear company policies and rules: Make a statement in written form about the company’s corporate culture, indicating that such behavior is unacceptable and punishable. Also, provide support to employees who have been or are subjected to psychological, or even worse, physical abuse.
  • Conduct communication style training for executives: Very often, violence comes from top management. It can be avoided if you train top managers to communicate with employees and explain what to do and how to react if a subordinate comes with a complaint.
  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy for violations: Inform employees that the rules are written for a reason – there will be severe punishment or even dismissal. Be prepared for the fact that you will have to part with even the most effective employee if they humiliate others regularly.
  • Have 1:1 meetings: Regular 1:1 meetings will help you determine which employees are subject to humiliation, as well as identify the instigator. Establishing a trusting atmosphere during the conversation is essential so that the person is not afraid to share their problems with you.
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