The Impact of Bad Company

One of the best things about being a small business owner is having significantly more control over the company you keep, in more ways than one! This can be both your own small business, and the individuals you interact with daily. However, sometimes the impact a negative coworker/associate/client can have is much more significant in small businesses than it is larger ones, and can create a toxic environment in record time. We include a few shocking statistics about “bad company” in today’s post (thanks to and for providing many of the statistics!), and will offer solutions on how to work through negative clients/employees in next week’s post.

  • One study by researchers at Tel Aviv University, they found that coworkers had the biggest impact on your health. What they found was that the factor most closely linked to health was the support of coworkers. 62% of participants reported that coworkers cause them more stress than bosses, while the other 38% said that their bosses cause them more stress than coworkers.
  • A study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that employees who experience frustration over a rude colleague have their negative emotions spill over into their relationships at home.
  • According to research by Kronos and Future Workplace, 87 percent of HR leaders are aware of the importance of employee retention and consider it a primary concern. According to research from Willis Towers Watson, over one quarter of employees are at a high risk for turnover. Many of those people possess mission-critical skills and are top performers, or have the potential to become top performers.
  • Employees who are “engaged and thriving” are 59 percent less likely to look for a job with a different organization in the next 12 months.
  • Employee happiness is 23.3 percent more correlated to connections with coworkers than direct supervisors.

So what does all this mean? We can’t control others, for sure, but it’s important that we try to enforce the small business owner’s ability to have more control over who we surround ourselves (and valuable employees) with. It’s equally as important to realize the magnitude of impact negative relationships can have, as the numerous statistics above clearly indicate. Understanding the reality of potential major problems is the first step to being equipped to prevent and change it! In next week’s post, we will discuss methods for coping with the bad apples that can find their ways into small businesses and methods for maintaining a peaceful, cooperative, and productive workplace for all.

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