Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hire a Superstar or Dump a Toxic Worker?

Should you make it a priority to hire the next superstar talent for your team, or remove the toxic worker who is dragging the group down?  Which action has the most impact?  Kellogg's Dylan Minor and his co-authors have examined this question.  They define toxic workers as those who engage in violations of company policy and/or act unethically.   These scholars find that toxic workers actually induce others around them to behave inappropriately at times.  Moreover, these people drive good people away, leading to costly turnover in the organization and a talent drain. For these reasons and others, they can do serious damage to a team.  These scholars actually quantified the positive impact of adding a superstar to your team versus the impact of removing a toxic team member.  They conducted their study based on more than 58,000 hourly service workers at 11 firms.   They found that removing the toxic member and replacing them with an average performer created more than twice the value of simply adding a superstar to the team to replace an average member. 

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