One of the most recurring problems of today’s corporate world is employee insubordination. Here’s an article solely dedicated to the issue. Have a look!

Employee Insubordination

Workplace is a platform where a number of people from several walks of life meet and work together towards a common goal. These people bring with them number of conventions, attitudes, view points and different ways of working with them. While some would always try to be centre of attraction, using gimmicks to take crown of success in their name; others, silently do their work, without entering into common work-place politics. Yet another class of employees exists in the workplace which comes with its own set of rules and regulations. These employees believe in disrespecting the orders from their direct supervisors. Not that they always mean to, but somehow do end up on that side more often than not. Such employees are also sometimes seen to be involved in negative confrontation with the supervisor(s) and/or with other employees. The problem of employee insubordination has a reverse effect on the organization. This includes deterioration of the departmental morale and erosion of managerial authority.  As an HR personnel, are you ready for such an alarming situation in your own organisation?
Signs of Employee Insubordination 

Employee insubordination often begins with a bunch of white lies which are easily recognisable. These lies should be inquired at their initial stage otherwise the employee would feel encouraged to take you for granted and would continue to tell you stories without actually making efforts. 

The incompetent employee, with slow or negligible learning speed, will become a live example of employee subordination unintentionally. As such employees are likely to have difficulty in understanding the manner of work, they would be more prone to insubordination. 

Resistance to Change
The employee who has problem with changes in his/her work habits and work timings is more likely to exhibit insubordination. This employee may have a negative attitude towards new changes installed in the system, with overreaction to such changes. 

Lack of Dependability
If the employee is not an accountable one, surely you are going to have at least one case of employee insubordination in your organisation. If an employee consistently shows lack of dependability whether naturally or deliberately, the problem of insubordination will exist in the organisation. 

Impact of Employee Insubordination
In both cases, as an owner of small firm or HR manager of a company, you have to take care of all the day to day problems coming in the way of your employees. Talking in terms of employee insubordination, you need to take an extra care of the issue as overlooking of the matter can result in huge costs to your business. Here are some broad perspectives in which its adverse impact can be seen.  Have a look!

Decline in Employee Productivity
Many might not agree, but it is a bitter truth that the insubordination from even a single employee will lead to decline in the overall performance and productivity of the organisation. The person in question will set his own rules at workplace including time to finish the delegated assignments and workspace. Things would get even worse when such a behaviour is ignored as other employees may begin to reflect the same behaviour. 

Rise in Employee Safety Issues
Do you think an employee rejecting all the set of rules, would follow safety rules? Probably not! The person, if get injured for working without using any safety measure, can take you to court and you may have no measure to protect yourself and the image of your company. You may be liable for not enforcing the rules. Also, other employees may also have to bear the consequences for insubordination of one. 

Reduction in Employee Morale
If ignored to a significant level, such insubordination can lead to drastic reduction in the morale of employees. When the violation of rules by a particular employee gets neglected again and again, other employees may feel frustrated and may file a lawsuit against your organisation for being biased.

How To Prevent Employee Insubordination
As you are now aware of the probable signs and severe impacts of employee insubordination, it is the time to talk about the remedies and preventive measures to prepare the workplace against such issues. 

Be Prompt
The promptness in announcing and implementing the policies and procedures will make the task half done. When employees see prompt actions being taken by you against indiscipline, they would become cautious in doing anything variant from what is expected. 

Have a Systematic Approach
Whether it is a new department in your organisation or an old one; remember to have an unbiased and systematic procedure to handle unexpected behaviour from employees. It would be better if your employees know the policies and procedures along with the consequences of variations. 

Understand Your Employees
Many a times, an employee working perfectly throughout the year begins to reflect undesirable behaviour that includes reluctance to abide by the laws framed by you. In such cases, you are supposed to show HR qualities. When you try to analyse his behaviour, you may come across a significant issue disturbing his mindset in turn, spoiling the workplace environment. 

If you have one or more employees disturbing the workplace peace with their insubordination actions, here is a list of actions you can take.
  • Examine the Situation. There may be some hidden factors provoking the employee to work against rules imposed by you.
  • Discuss with personnel and HR department, presenting the issue as a case study for them. Let them find the unique solution to the problem and implement the most pragmatic one.
  • Speak to the employee in question and try to sort out the issues. Maintain the decorum and try to understand his view point. Make sure that the communication does not get turned into a heated argument.
  • When nothing works, painful step of terminating the services of employee is a must to save the organisational amity and productivity.

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