Dealing With a Passive Aggressive Employee

Have an employee who’s hostile and hard to work with? They may be passive aggressive.

According to Merriam Webster, passive aggression is defined as: “Being, marked by, or displaying behavior characterized by the expression of negative feelings, resentment, and aggression in an unassertive passive way (as through procrastination and stubbornness).”

People who are passive aggressive tend to act out in covert ways to sabotage others. That’s why, when you have someone on your team who is passive aggressive in nature, you need to deal with it head on. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows if you don’t, it could seriously impact your culture, productivity and bottom line.

So how can you properly handle a passive aggressive person at work? Here are a few tips:

Be clear.

Dealing with this type of behavior can be challenging. After all, the reason someone is passive aggressive is because they aren’t confrontational in the first place. They might instead mumble comments under their breath or purposely miss a deadline to hurt another team member.

That’s why, when you’re confronting a passive aggressive employee, you have to be clear about the behavior you’re seeing. Document specific examples of the issue so you can talk to your employee about them.

Be calm.

It can be easy to get angry at a passive aggressive employee. However, you need to stay calm and collected when dealing with the situation. If you over-react or attack the person, it’s going to make the situation worse. A passive aggressive personality does not respond well to attacks. They’ll simply shut down and become more problematic going forward.

Be practical.

This is someone’s personality you’re dealing with – which can be difficult to change. Oftentimes, these types of behavioral patterns are deeply rooted in a person and it’s their way of coping with stress and insecurities. However, if you create a company culture that encourages communication, support and openness, it can quiet down negative behaviors like passive aggressiveness before they take root.

A passive-aggressive employee can cause a great deal of stress for you and your other employees. So if you have a passive aggressive team member, it’s important to confront them about their behavior. But it’s just as important to ensure you have a culture built on trust and communication to prevent feelings of passive aggressiveness in the first place.

Do you need help hiring people with a positive attitude and great work experience for your team? Call the recruiting experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire search process – from sourcing and screening to hiring and retaining top talent. Contact us today to get started.