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What to do with passive aggressive employee in small business.

(20 Posts)
IslaValargeone Sat 19-Jan-13 14:25:32

Dh runs 2 small retail outlets, the manager in one is causing some problems.
Dh has said that he needs to be a bit more vibrant in projecting the business forward in the tough economic climate and has had had conversations with him before, re some lacklustre performance and miserable attitude that he often shows in the shop.
This appears to be continuing and causing other staff members to feel quite down.
There have been some instances where he has been asked to do things and hasn't wanted to so has 'sabotaged' the situation, but in such a way that you can't really discipline him.

Yesterday he asked if he could close 3 hours early as the place was quiet and they hadn't had a customer for a few hours, it turned out they had had a customer 20 minutes before. Trust me, there was plenty more work he could have got done, it's not a tiny corner shop or anything.
A very capable member of staff has said he is looking for other work as he feels he cannot work under this member of staff any more.
There are other examples too, it's like he's not doing enough to get fired but he's having a negative effect on business and we don't really know what to do?

Give him specific targets then if/when he doesn't do them give him warnings and then sack him.

You need to be specific though.

ClareMarriott Sat 19-Jan-13 16:42:09

Do you know what he had to deal with outside of the time he is working for you ?

IslaValargeone Sun 20-Jan-13 12:52:02

Sorry Clare, I'm probably having a thick moment, but I don't understand your question.
Do you mean, why did he want to go home early?

IslaValargeone Sun 20-Jan-13 13:09:20

If so, I do know that his gf was off work that day and shortly before he asked if he could go home, she posted on Facebook asking for people who were around to go sledging in the snow.
Obviously one cannot put 2 and 2 together and make 5, but if I were a betting man and all that...

hermioneweasley Sun 20-Jan-13 13:10:45

When did the manager start there?

hermioneweasley Sun 20-Jan-13 13:11:59

Ask for upward feedback for the manager's performance review or do an engagement survey and then set improvement targets.

Earlybird Sun 20-Jan-13 13:17:07

How long has he worked for your dh?

What specifically, would your dh like the manager to do differently (other than being more 'friendly' to customers)?

Was he previously more vibrant and less depressed, or has he always been the way he is now? (Wondering if he is depressed, or if a gloomy attitude didn't matter much when business was better.)

lottiegarbanzo Sun 20-Jan-13 13:23:37

Well he could just be lazy, disinterested and taking the piss, or, he might not know how to do things better but is too proud to admit it. He might find the niggling sense of failure disheartening, so be running away from responsibility.

Try discussing ideas, agreeing some specific approaches and breaking these down into specific, defined tasks, with dates (and sales targets, if relevant) attached. That also gives you an agreed work programme that you can measure progress against, so gives you evidence if he is not doing what he's agreed.

IslaValargeone Sun 20-Jan-13 13:58:12

I don't think he is up to the job tbh and I think he knows it.
I also think he is threatened by the particularly competent staff member and is creating an atmosphere so that this staff member leaves.
He has been offered a sideways move on the same pay but with a different set of responsibilities which he hasn't taken up.
From what I can gather he has had a few lifelines, but I think my dh is going to have to toughen up a bit.
Thanks for your help.

IslaValargeone Sun 20-Jan-13 14:22:33

Lottie, he's just been given a revised target and task sheet only this week.
Turnover has dropped, so all staff were given a bit of a pep talk but also told we couldn't keep everyone on if figures continued dropping.
Dh was obviously quite astonished at then being asked if he could close.

hermioneweasley Sun 20-Jan-13 18:06:40

Isla - when did he start?

IslaValargeone Sun 20-Jan-13 18:46:17

3 years ago (ish) iirc.

annh Sun 20-Jan-13 20:47:18

Did you allow him to go home? If so, why?

IslaValargeone Mon 21-Jan-13 09:21:40

Close the business 3 hours early? Of course not.

orchidee Mon 21-Jan-13 09:30:34

Isla- before doing anything different with this employee, you could get employment law advice to safeguard yourselves. I think acas, internet etc could help as well as a solicitor. Your accountant may even be able to help. Tread carefully, keep records of conversations and commitments (and wanting to close early!)

A conversation in private or as a group about recognising low morale and dealing with it may allay the other employees' concerns. There's little as demoralizing as working in that at.osphere and seeing it being ignored.

Good luck.

HestonsFatCock Mon 21-Jan-13 09:31:36

Isla I am not a manager and I would hate to be one because I would be rubbish at it, but disclaimer aside: These numerous small things are not enough on their own and fall short of being serious enough to be fired, but you do have to think cumulatively. If you/DH make a list: negative attitude to staff and customers, reduced turnover, lack of initiative, lack of commitment to the company (in wanting to go home early), amount of sick leave (does he take a few sickies?), then you have enough to at least give him a written warning.

Could/would DH have the hide to spend a "friendly" day alongside the manager breathing down his neck and micromanaging everything he does, going over every single detail so it is absolutely clear and so that boundaries and expectations are refreshed?

That could go hand in hand with the written warning, so it could give you ammo and also,, when he does have to go, no one can say you didn't invest in him and make things clear.

Reaa Mon 21-Jan-13 10:02:12

Cut down his working hours bit by bit, due to his feedback on lack of customers, as you can no longer afford his wage (or something like that anyway).

hermioneweasley Mon 21-Jan-13 11:24:48

If you can find another way to cover that outlet, then making his role redundant and reallocating duties may be the simplest way to get rid of him, but you can't just make his role redundant and then hire someone better

badguider Mon 21-Jan-13 17:18:17

I am not an expert but have trained in performance management. I believe that the most important thing is to set measurable and tangible targets for him to achieve and then assess/review them regularly. In most cases this is enough to manage up performance but it also forms the basis of a case for dismissal if targets are not met.
Does your dh have a system of regular objectives/targets and appraisals? If not, he needs to start one right now.

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