Gain tools to skillfully step into any difficult conversation: click here to learn about Juice’s corporate training program, Power of Conversation!

According to Gallup, 24% of employees are actively disengaged, and likely to spread negativity to their co-workers.

As a leader, your first reaction may be “Well, if they’re not doing a good job and are toxic to the workplace, we don’t need them.”

But what about the disengaged yet mission-critical employees you do need?

You can’t fire them

Some toxic employees are hard workers, brilliant at what they do.

They seem practically irreplaceable—despite being absolutely terrible for overall morale.

But they are simply too talented to let go. Their skill-set is critical to your profitability.

So as a manager, how would you handle this kind of employee?

Would you discuss their behavior with them? Or would you avoid the issue altogether?

Today’s business reality

At Juice, we hear the same thing from organizations all the time: their leaders tend to put off difficult conversations.

And the result is always the same: those same leaders consequently have to spend 10 times more mind space and energy putting out fires and repairing relationships.

That’s a lot of energy and time you as a leader could be putting towards actually developing your people and creating the future—instead of worrying about what to do about Joe:

  • constantly badmouthing management and the company,
  • dismissing every one of Dylan’s ideas in meetings, and
  • suggesting his coworkers are all basically incompetent.

Not to mention, that’s a lot of wasted energy and time on every employee’s part talking about all the drama Joe creates—precious resources that could be better spent on actually getting things done.

What to do?

Done effectively, leaders can step into this tension by connecting with employees through conversation—producing:

The challenge is in stepping into those much-dreaded, tension-filled conversations.

Keep in mind: as a leader, your reticence is not unusual.

But armed with the right tools and know-how, having a difficult—as well as productive—conversation can be made much easier.

Why are some employees so toxic? Learn 7 brain-science truths to help you understand negative employee behaviors: download the free white paper, The Engagement Paradox, today!

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Brady Wilson

Brady Wilson

Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author

Alex Somos

Alex Somos

Co-Founder of Juice Inc.

Jean-Francois (JF) Hivon

Jean-Francois (JF) Hivon

Vice President, Business Development

Michael Torrie

Michael Torrie

Business Development, Juice USA

Juice Inc.

Juice Inc.

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Rick Boersma

Rick Boersma

Co-Founder Floworks Training, Design & Innovation