A single bad apple in a barrel can taint the other good apples and eventually even rot the barrel itself.
A bad apple staff member can have the same effect on the office environment, his or her particular negative influence impacting other staff members and the running of the office.
You may already be familiar with the different bad apple personalities. There are many of them but they all share a common characteristic; that of being interested in one person and one person only, themselves.
There's a particular type of emotional and psychological toxicity that occurs when a bad apple is in your midst. This is because this type of person pays no mind to the effect their behaviors have on those around them and they will do whatever it takes to get them to the top. Even if that means they tread hard on the toes of others to achieve their goals. If there's a ladder they want to climb, they'll push you off of it, and maybe even break the wrings, once they're up where they want to be, to prevent you from climbing up too.
They can also be work shy. The bad apple isn't interested in achievement based on merit, he/she only aims to get as much as possible in return for very little actual input. Often, as personalities they appear to be valuable and integral members of a team. Because we all know that a good mix of personality types makes for a good team we tend to overlook the fact that that the bad apples can bring nothing of worth to the workplace.
If you are to address the issue of having unscrupulous members on your team you need first to be able to indentify the different types. Yes, just like apples there are many varieties. Only once you are aware of them can you take steps to dealing with them.
It's often said that backstabbing, selfishness, laziness and greed are synonymous with certain office environments. It's frequently a complaint regarding larger companies where, perhaps, the corporation is so large it becomes out of touch with what is really happening at grass roots level or on its shop floor. In all cases, the bad apple character blights the overall operation.
The most common types of bad apple can be categorized in six separate groups, although there will be others who fit into various brackets.