Co-workers who steal your lunch can cost your company more than $12,000

Posted at 7:51 AM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 07:51:57-05

RICHMOND, Va -- If you have a co-worker who likes to gossip or steal other people's lunch, a new study finds they may be costing your company a lot of money.

According to research from the Harvard Business School, toxic employees can cost a business more than $12,000.

Researchers looked at the results of a job test from 50,000 employees, working at eleven different companies. The test included questions about personality and behaviors, allowing the researchers to evaluate behaviors which might be considered toxic. Those range from stealing things from the office, to sexually harassing co-workers.

They found toxic workers can cost a company about $12,489 since they may lead co-workers to leave, causing hiring expenses. Additionally, toxic employees can demoralize a workplace, leading to reduced productivity.

In extreme cases, such employees can become a liability, leading to legal expenses.

While companies are better off firing toxic employees, they are often reluctant to do so. The research finds those employees are often very productive themselves, so managers will look the other way.