Toxic employees resistant to change initiatives

Darryl Bachmeier
Mar 12, 2019

In some organizations, chronically resistant employees occur, who will consistently resist any change initiatives. These employees are afraid of change, attacking all things that are outside their comfort.

Toxic employees use social hacking to manipulate others using rumors, silent treatment and intimidation. These employees need the environment not to change so they can hold onto their informal power.

If no other employees on the team behave in this manner, then it is clear the employee does not fit well with the organization. If they are a valuable worker, the organization may attempt to find them work in a different area of the organization that could perhaps fit the personalities of the employee, creating a beneficial scenario as the employee is removed from their current toxic role and can still add value to the organization. All employees have unique personalities, values and needs and may benefit in different job roles.

Business is always changing and organizations must continuously adapt anything that hinders the ability to change must be fixed or else the organization could eventually become obsolete and face failure. Management may not usually deal with these employees because they are uncomfortable with confrontation or they may lack the skills required to manage these employees. These have harmful effects on morale, performance and profits. Prevention of these behaviours is the best strategy. Educating staff about toxic behaviors and their negative impacts as well as using 360 assessments can help to detect and minimize these behaviours.

When a change initiative will benefit the team or organization and there are no justifiable reasons why the change initiative should not be implemented, there are no reasons for an employee to resist the change other than their own interests preventing the development. Employees become toxic to the environment as they will spur their own opinions and try to carry others onto their side therefore increasing those to resist the change and may eventually lead to the initiative failing altogether. Management should attempt to encourage the employee to accept the change initiative through various team building exercises, and if fail, terminate them. It is important for management to document all communication with the employee, especially around the effort made to improve the situation, to make the termination process move smoothly.

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