What To Do About Aggressive Behavior From an Employee

aggressive behavior
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Did you know that 2 million people become victims of workplace violence every year? This can result in workplace injury or even workplace homicide.

Aggressive behavior leads to morale issues in the workplace since other employees will become scared and uncomfortable. When this behavior stems from a coworker, this can be distressing.

Are you currently experiencing it at work? We have you covered. We’re going to break down everything you need to know about aggressive behavior and what you need to do about it.

Let’s begin!

Recognize the Warning Signs of Aggressive Behavior

If an employee is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it is a sign of aggressive behavior:

  • Withdrawing from normal social interactions
  • Becoming argumentative or combative
  • Exhibiting uncontrolled anger
  • Acting out in aggressive ways
  • Making threats or violent statements
  • Making comments or jokes about violence

If you notice any of these behaviors in an employee, it is important to take action immediately. Talk to the employee and let them know that their behavior is not acceptable.

You can also view here for more steps on how to prevent violence in your workplace.

Investigate the Root Cause

If your employee is exhibiting aggressive behavior, investigate the root cause. This will help you determine whether the behavior is due to a workplace issue or a personal issue.

Take disciplinary action if the employee is unwilling to discuss the issue. This could include a warning, suspension, or even termination.

In some cases, aggression may be a sign of a larger issue, such as mental health problems. In these cases, it is important to get the employee help from a professional.

Understand the Underlying Causes

If an employee is exhibiting aggressive behavior, try to understand the underlying causes. This can help to prevent the behavior from occurring again in the future.

There may be many reasons why an employee may become aggressive. This includes feeling threatened or feeling like their work is not appreciated. If possible, talk to the employee to see what may have led to the aggressive behavior.

Address the Issue

If the cause is personal, you may be able to help the employee get counseling.

If the cause is workplace-related, you’ll need to take steps to address the problem, such as changing the work environment, providing more training, or taking disciplinary action.

Diffuse the Situation

The first step to diffusing any aggressive behavior is to remain calm. If the person has behavioral aggression, the last thing you want to do is match their energy. This will only escalate the situation.

Once you have calmed yourself, you can then begin to talk to the person in a soothing voice, using short phrases. This will help to de-escalate the situation and make the person feel more comfortable.

Try to redirect the employee’s behavior in a more positive direction. If this is not possible, or if the situation escalates, you may need to remove the employee from the premises.

Involve the HR

If you are not able to resolve the issue, or if the employee’s behavior escalates, it is time to involve HR. They will also be able to provide support and resources to the employees involved.

They will also investigate the incident and take appropriate disciplinary action. Depending on the severity of the aggression, the employee may face termination.

If the aggression is physical, it may be necessary to involve law enforcement as well. In either case, it is important to document the behavior and keep a record of any incidents.

Establish Clear Rules and Expectations

It is important to establish clear rules and expectations with employees. This prevents and manages aggressive behavior. Employees should be aware of the consequences.

You need to communicate clear expectations. If an employee does exhibit aggressive behaviors, take swift and appropriate action.

Have a System in Place for Addressing Complaints

It’s essential to have a system for addressing complaints. This will help you to determine whether the behavior is a one-time thing or if it is a recurring problem.

Keep a record of any previous incidents. This will help you to identify patterns of behavior and determine if the employee is a danger to others.

Take action to prevent the employee from behaving in the future. This may include changing their job duties, suspending them, or terminating their employment.

Be Proactive to Potential Triggers

This means being aware of what might set them off and taking steps to avoid or diffuse those situations. It’s also important to have a clear and concise policy about aggression in the workplace. Make sure all employees are properly educated about it.

Being proactive and taking decisive action can help to prevent workplace violence.

Provide Resources for Managing Stress and Anger

Provide resources for managing stress and anger once you’ve identified the root cause. This may include offering more support, adjusting the workload, or providing counseling services.

Understand the causes and take steps to address them. This will make the workplace can become a more positive and productive environment.

Prevent Aggressive Behavior in Your Workplace Today

If you are dealing with an employee whose aggressive behavior is causing problems in the workplace, it is important to take action. You should first try to resolve the issue through discussion and coaching.

If that does not work, you may need to take disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Remember, you always need to maintain a positive and secure environment for all of your employees.

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Patty Souza, an accomplished education and career expert, leverages a wealth of knowledge to guide individuals towards professional success. Patty's insights are a beacon for those navigating the educational and career landscape, providing trustworthy advice that transforms aspirations into achievements.