Corrosive employees are, in majority of the cases, aware of their genius, but unaware of their dark side. Once the driving factors are identified, it is time to have a face to face conversation with the employee and make them aware of their drawbacks

Fremont, CA: High performing employees with a bad attitude are typical in every workplace. These employees may consistently deliver high-quality work, come up with game-changing innovation, or complete complex projects in record time. However, their abundance of talent often comes with a series of toxic behaviors such as dominating meetings, intimidating juniors, or always acting in blatant self-interest. Finding and retaining the best talent is quite a difficult task. Managers understand the challenging task that lies ahead of them, but they also understand the need to remove a rotten apple before it affects the morale and performance of the company.

This makes the task of dealing with brilliant jerks even more difficult. In most cases, this task is procrastinated until it blows out of proportions. Here are four tips to help HR professionals deal with the complicated scenario.

Using Data to Detect these Employees

The first and also one of the most challenging stages is to identify these employees in your workplace. They are often quite good at hiding in plain sight and maintaining a good reputation with their superiors. With the amount of quantitative data available today at the disposal of HR professionals, organizations can quickly identify the troublemakers. Regular absenteeism can be indicative of a corrosive employee. These employees are capable of bringing down the company morale and can have a bad influence on the rest of the workforce. Performance metrics can be used as a reliable indicator of bad employees. While brilliant employees often have their numbers covered, they cannot do the same for the rest of the employees in a team. Observe the patterns and reference them with a timeline. Take note of promotions and the effect it has had on an individual's and a team's performance.

Identify the Driving Factors

After identifying the corrosive employee, HR professionals need to determine what is driving the downward spiral. It is essential to find out if the employee has always been reckless or did an incident trigger this behavior. This can be found from the employee's team leader. The team leader will have a sense of any professional instances that may have triggered such behavior. This could be in the form of a close confidante leaving the company, a new manager, or an overdue promotion.

If the problem is not a professional one, then it has to do with the employee's personal life. In some cases, a line manager may be aware of individual incidents in the employee's life, which may have transformed a quirky genius into a disturbed person. Regardless of the trigger factor, such instances cannot be used as a reason to excuse such behavior. Instead, HR professionals should see this as additional data to identify the extent of the problem faced by the employee and whether or not the brilliant mind should be kept in the business.

Do Not Lose Objectivity

Corrosive employees are, in most cases, aware of their genius, but unaware of their dark side. Once the driving factors are identified, it is time to have a face to face conversation with the employee and make them aware of their drawbacks. However difficult this confrontation might be, it is crucial to ensure that it takes place before the situation goes out of control. The golden rule is to make sure there are no emotions involved when the conversation takes place; it should be a strictly professional one. It is essential not to lose objectivity when it comes to these situations. These employees may be exceptionally good at their work, but the question here is how they make the rest of the workforce feel? Help the employee realize the various aspects of the problem and what kind of impact they have on the company morale and work environment.


Evaluate the situation over a while. Help the employees in every way possible and allow them to correct themselves. However, if there is no significant difference after the evaluation time is complete, then the HR professionals must consider contract termination. These decisions can be challenging to make, but they are necessary. No matter how brilliant they are, putting up with a toxic employee always causes more damage in the form of churn and lost productivity.

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