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Compensating Competence in Your Company Culture


I had an interesting conversation this weekend with another business owner about what is more valuable, the super start employees or getting rid of the toxic ones?

Over the weekend, a friend of mine and I were enjoying a casual conversation and were talking about some of the superstar employees that we have.

I mean, I’ve got guys that I have the pleasure of being able to work with that are just amazing. They’re able to be self-sufficient, they bring ideas to the table, they bring the value of our company up so much that they’re invaluable!

I remember one NFL coach once said that ‘You can never pay a star player too much, you can only pay a bad one too much.’ 

And then we started talking about the detriment of toxic employees and how to identify them, and what’s more valuable… And the conclusion that we came to was that replacing toxic employees is infinitely more valuable to the company as a whole than putting all of your time and energy into just recruiting superstars. The reason why can be explained with the analogy:

If you do the same type of job 10 times 9 of those jobs go absolutely perfectly, the homeowners may tell 1 person about it, but that one customer that didn’t have a good experience will tell 9 people about their bad experience. So, it’s like a 90% return on bad!

That’s why having a negative employee that drags the rest of the team down is so detrimental. And as an owner or a manager, I think it’s very important that you recognize this and try and address it as soon as you possibly can. Toxic employees are even more detrimental because of the amount of time and energy they take up trying to get them sorted out.

So I wanted to encourage you to keep an eye out, if you see that bad behavior or that negativity try and reach out so you can get ahead of it. Try and understand first what’s going on and see if you can help them improve their thinking or behaviors, but take action if that fails.

I assure you that your company will be more profitable and more productive if you focus on your company culture a little bit differently.