3 Ways You Can Deal with Passive Aggressive Employees

Managing employees is not always easy. 

Sometimes there are situations that can be very frustrating. This is especially true in situations where you find yourself dealing with passive aggressive employees. You will need to come up with a plan of action but don’t be surprised if this type of employee chooses to ignore the goals you set out to achieve with that employee or those employees. 

If you find these employees are consistently saying one thing and then doing something else, you might want to give these three tips a try. 

1. Give the employee feedback – Explain to your employee what you see and why his/her action is not acceptable. Describe to him/her how their behavior is impacting both their relationship with you as their supervisor and their relationship with their coworkers. Make suggestions how they might change.

2. Put your focus on performance rather than personality – Regardless of your employee’s passive aggressive behavior you need to get the job done. There’s no point in wishing he/she will change because it probably won’t happen, so instead focus on the task at hand and how well they accomplish that. Then decide where you want to put your focus when talking to them. Perhaps the behavior is more tolerable if the work is getting done on time and the way it supposed to be done.

3. Ask for a commitment – Meet with the employee about your concerns and then at the end of the meeting you need to ask him/her for a commitment to change their behavior. You can work together to create a plan that both of you can live with. For example, a set of steps to help him/her avoid their passive/aggressive behavior or a method to identify it so they can make the needed changes.


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