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Your Toxic Co-worker Costs $12,489 A Year

Business articles love to talk about the "toxic co-worker," but what does "toxic" actually mean? Well, researchers at Harvard have analyzed data from 11 companies and 50,000 employees to offer up a personality profile of today's toxic co-worker!

Of course, the word "toxic" can have a wide range of meanings in today's workplace, from the co-worker who undermines us to the co-worker who snitches on us to...sigh, we all have our own stories, right?

But this Harvard paper is interesting in that it paints a personality portrait, if you will, of the typical toxic co-worker. Who is this co-worker, anyway?

First, our toxic co-worker tends to be a highly productive employee, which might explain his or her longevity on the job -- especially if he or she might be on the less ethical side, which could very well be the case in some way, since we're talking about the toxic co-worker.

Second, these co-workers tend to be highly selfish employees. Third, they can be very overconfident.

But the worst part? The toxic co-worker is all about the rules at work! This rule-minded co-worker will talk about the importance of the rules while potentially bending them. Surprised?

The researchers put a price tag on the average, toxic co-worker, too: $12,489. This figure, in case you're wondering, is the cost of replacing the toxic co-worker's colleagues who leave the company.

So what have we learned? Most of all, that toxic employees tend to be productive rule followers who are prone to being selfishly overconfident. And they can lead to high turnover costs.

You can read the full Washington Post story here.


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