Do you run a construction company? If YES, here are 12 steps on how to deal with passive aggressive employees in the construction business.

A construction business is one of those businesses that demand that you are proactive and firm if indeed you want to continue to deliver on projects and of course continue to get new construction contracts.

If you run a construction company, no matter your capacity, you should be able to have under your payroll a professional human resources and administrative executive that will be saddled with the responsibility of handling the welfare of all your staff.

But on the other hand, as the chief executive officer, you must also keep tabs on happenings amongst your staff members. The fact that you must employ different people to carry out different job descriptions under your organization (construction company) means that once in a while you can hire passive aggressive employees.

Who is a Passive Aggressive Person?

A passive aggressive employee is a person that tends to express hostile and antagonistic feelings in non-aggressive ways. The passive-aggressive employee subtly exhibits behaviors that appear on the surface to be passive, but in reality are directed and purposeful, and intends to control, injure or assign negative third-party perception, while avoiding real responsibility.

The essence of this article is to give you insights on how to handle passive aggressive employees if per – chance you happen to hire one or more in your construction business. The truth is that you must tackle such staff or else they can influence other staff members, cause bad-blood in the organization and ultimately slow down your productivity.

Here are some steps you should consider when dealing with passive aggressive employees in your construction business;

How to Deal With Passive Aggressive Employees in Construction Business

  1. Invite the Employee for Talk

The first thing to do when you notice that an employee under your organization is passive aggressive is to ask the human resources and administrative manage to invite the person for discussion. You can only know what is wrong with an employee when you invite them for a talk.

You can afford to delegate this responsibility to your human resource manager, a project manager / coordinator or if you have time at your disposal, you can talk to the employee yourself. The truth is that talking the employee and hearing the employee out might be the simple solution that will make him or her turn a new leaf.

  1. Schedule Counselling Therapy Session for the Employee

If after talking with the employee you still realize that the employee refuses to change, the next step you should take is to schedule a counselling therapy session for the employee. No doubt, not all employers of labor would want to go through this route especially if the staff in question is not an asset to the organization.

During the counselling therapy session, you will be able to help the employee to become a better employee. You can assign the responsibility of counselling the employee to your human resource manager or a professional counsellor.

  1. Issue Query to The Employee

Another step that you can follow if you want to deal with a passive aggressive employee in your construction company is to issue query to the employee. You can decide to make this the first move after you must have gotten series of report from his or her team mates or from the field supervisor.

Usually, when you issue a query to an employee, it is expected that the employee should truthfully respond to the query and it is filed under the employees file for future reference. Come to think of it, query usually makes employees sit up and amend their ways because they know that they can be sacked if they continue with their attitude.

  1. Re-Train The Employee

It is expected that when you employ a staff in your organization, you should subject them to training. Let us assume that the reason why the employee is now passive aggressive is because they are not well – equipped to carry out their duty in the organization; what you should do is to ensure that you schedule the employee for a re-training. In some cases, after trainings, employees are re – energized to become more productive and professional in carrying out their duty.

  1. Redeploy The Employee to Another Project Site/Location

One of the chief reasons why some employees might become passive aggressive could be that they are not happy with the location they are working on. It could be because it is far from their home, or the climatic condition of the area is not favorable to them.

What you need to do to get the employee to be responsible and productive is to redeploy the employee to another location or project site. Although not all employers of labor especially in the construction industry would want to go this route, but if the employee has the potential of becoming an asset in your organization, then nothing is too much to do to get the employee to full productivity level.

  1. Reassign Another Job Description to The Employee

Another reason why some employees can become passive-aggressive in a construction company could be that they are not happy with the job description that was assigned to them. In such situation, you can reassign another job description to the employee. For example, an employee that is trained to operate a crane in a construction site can become passive aggressive if they are asked to start operating concrete mixers.

  1. Reassign the Employee to Another Team

Some employees can become passive aggressive if they are not comfortable with the team that they are assigned to work with. If after talking with the employee you realize that it is the reason why they have become passive aggressive, then what you should do in such situation is to reassign the employee to another team; a team that can bring out the best in him or her.

Please note that you should do your own studies to be sure that you are making the right moves or else the passive aggressive employee might go to a new team and sow acrimony amongst it members.

  1. Ask the Employee to go for Leave/Vacation

In the construction industry, the tendency for field workers to be away from their home and family members for months cannot be ruled out. Some employees that are subjected to such situation can become homesick and in turn become passive aggressive.

If you find out that this is the case with the employee, then you can ask the employee to go for a long or short leave / vacation. That could be the therapy that such employee needs to become more productive and responsible in the workplace.

  1. Issue Warning to the Employee

Usually, one of the ways of dealing with erring employees especially after some corrective measures including issuing query have been done is to give the employee warning. With that, it is expected that the employee will make adjustment and change for the good. So, if you have a passive aggressive employee in your construction company, if you have done most of the things listed above, then you should go ahead and issue the employee with a warning.

  1. Issue Final Warning to the Employee

If after you issued warning to the passive aggressive employee and you did not notice any positive change, then the next step that you are expected to take is to issue a final warning to the employee. Usually, after final warning what should follow next should be suspension or outright sack of the employee.

  1. Suspend The Employee

In reality, we cannot rule out the fact that some employers of labor might not have the patience to tolerate an employee that is passive aggressive. With such employer of labor, they usually go straight ahead to suspend the employee to serve as a deterrent to others.

So part of what you may have to do if you want to deal with a passive aggressive employee in your construction business is to suspend the employee. The suspension can be for a short period of time with pay, or for a long period of time without pay.

  1. Sack The Employee

If you must sack a passive aggressive employee in your construction company, then you must be ready to follow due process. One major mistake some employers of labor make is to sack erring workers at the slightest mistake so as to instill fear amongst other staff members.

Research shows that people are hardly motivated and productive in an atmosphere of fear; you can hardly get the best in terms productivity if you use fear as a substitute for motivation.

Of course, passive aggressive employees can be sacked, but due process must be followed. If any staff member is sacked, the process that leads to the sack must be seen to be fair and just. That is only when you will encourage your staff member towards increase workplace productivity

Ajaero Tony Martins