Employers can address insubordination at workplaces differently; However, the most straightforward method is to terminate the employee. But you need to be aware that insubordination occurs regardless of morality or camaraderie between employees. If you are going to respond to an insubordinate employee, ensure they’re aware of your company’s policy on the proper conduct of employees. Also, make sure that employees of the HR department Human Resources Department are well-versed in specific situations of disruptive employees.
What Is an Insubordination?
Our definition of insubordination is an indefatigable refusal to comply with an order or comply upon a reasonable request made by the employee’s direct supervisor or a leader of a higher rank. This can include not adhering to an established policy or procedure by the company they are employed by or exhibiting behavior that threatens or is abusive.
Remember that there are many different situations to consider. Subordination could mean various things at work. The severity of the action and what constitutes insubordination are graded. It can result in a variety of disciplinary actions in line with the displayed behavior.
Examples of Insubordination at Work
The recognition of signs of insubordination will aid authorities in dealing with these issues within the workplace. The resolution of these issues will aid them in maintaining a positive and productive work environment that encourages improved relationships between the employees and their managers. Here are a few examples of what you could encounter as an example problem with subordination at work:
Refusal to Finish the Task
As previously mentioned, employees are insubordinate when they do not perform an obligation imposed by their employer and fall within their work. For instance, the job description for the barista could include cleaning the cafe tables after the workday is over. If a supervisor asks the barista to finish this task and refuses or ignores them, the manager may claim that they are insubordinate.
But, employees can decide not to perform duties based on the circumstances. If the barista voiced reservations about the table’s cleanliness or gave reasons why they couldn’t complete the task that day, they may be able to arrange with their supervisor. In the same way, if the manager requested the barista to do an illegal or unethical act or act, they can refuse without being judged to be subordinate.
Refusal to Attend Work
When employees begin a new job generally, they must accept specific terms of employment, which include the working schedule. These guidelines require employers to show up at specific times and on specific days, for example, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If a person does not attend work during their scheduled or prescribed time, this could be interpreted as an instance of insubordination.
If, for instance, an employer discovers that the employee is running late, the employer may contact them to inquire about when they’ll be arriving. An insubordinate person might not answer the call or respond and inform the employer they will not be coming to work on that day. If there was a legitimate excuse and allowed them to attend work, for instance, due to an illness or an emergency or if they’d requested permission before their arrival and received permission in advance, they shouldn’t be considered to be insubordinate.
Refusal to Continue at Work
During the onboarding process, employees must agree to stay at work for the time set. If they violate these rules, it could be considered subordination. For instance, an insubordinate employee is scheduled for the end of his shift around 3 p.m. However, they decide to depart by 1 p.m. without informing their employer or asking permission. If their employer informs them they cannot leave, they will either react negatively or disregard the directive. The employee could be protected from insubordination by requesting permission from employers before going to work in the morning or by giving reasons for their departure that are deemed acceptable by the employer.
Refusing Authority Figures
Employees may display insubordination by blatantly disliking people in authority in the workplace. For instance, employees may cause conflict with their bosses through yelling or employing vulgar remarks towards them. They may also ridicule or oppose their orders or decisions in front of their colleagues and put the boss’s authority in doubt. Specific workplaces may identify more subtle disrespectful behavior as subordinate, like employees who scowl at an authority figure whenever they give orders or announce their decisions. The workplace can establish standards for insubordination so that it is easy to determine what behavior is appropriate and acceptable.
Sabotaging The Team or Other Organizational Activities
The term “sabotage” refers to instances where someone takes actions designed to weaken or destroy an object. In the workplace, these scenarios could include actions against a specific project or initiative. A worker who is unwilling to fulfill their tasks in the context of a project could be considered a sign of sabotage or insubordination. For instance, if an employee fails to submit a report by the date specified in the order, this could affect the team’s ability to provide their final deliverable for their customer. The failure could have adverse effects on the relationship with this customer and their image.
Additionally, they could do tasks that their boss specifically instructed them not to perform because they harm the team or the project in any way. For instance, an employer could require an employee to discreetly keep documents or information about the project. If an employee refuses to comply with the orders and copies of these documents to give them to rivals is insubordination and sabotage. Sabotage can harm the work done by the company and may endanger its reputation or that of the manager who supervises the employee.
How do you handle subordination when it occurs?
Whatever good manager you are and how well you observe rules and guidelines, you will experience subordination from time to time. Here’s how to handle the insubordinate employee.
Recognize The Problem Immediately
The consequences of ignoring insubordination are more subordination. Even if the issue is minor, leaving it to go sets an example that your guidelines are only suggestions, not guidelines. It doesn’t mean that you should be an uncontrollable micro-managing control freak. There’s no need to provide instructions for everything, and you do not have to manage each aspect of employees’ workdays (and you shouldn’t attempt to manage their schedules). When you’ve made clear your instructions and your employee fails to follow them, be sure to point it out.
Effects of The Issue
Naturally, this will vary according to the specific circumstances. It could be insubordination if employees lock the doors at 17:05 instead of 17:00. However, it’s not significant. A simple reminder “We need to lock up right at 17:00.” If the behavior persists and continues, you should issue an official warning and follow the guidelines for disciplinary action of your business.
If the behavior is indecent immediately, a swift punishment is appropriate. For instance, when employees lie to a customer and then say they disagree with the statement they made, a quick note or suspension may be required.
When managers don’t usually take note of minor violations and wait until they’ve had a significant rebellion before taking any necessary action, this can set the stage for the possibility of failure. Every termination should have a formal trial. This will help you from being in court. Record the incident, ask witnesses to give statements, and file everything appropriately. Contact your HR manager to get advice on the entire process.
Managers are humans and naturally choose certain employees over others. However, it is essential to have one norm when it comes down to insubordination. Before you suspend the one you consider to be less preferred workers, turn it around to examine it. Would you be able to judge this as subordination if the employee you like most did this? This is essential for keeping the morale of your employees up and increasing confidence among employees. A fair and honest manager is an effective one.
In dealing with subordination, be aware that this is a common occurrence globally, but this doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Be sure that you aren’t in the habit of micromanaging or mistreating employees. Set boundaries, taking action promptly, and correcting issues in the present, can decrease the likelihood of poor behavior.
Subordination at work is, unfortunately, inevitable. However, there are ways to stop the behavior of your employees that is subordinate as is possible. Making clear the boundaries and being attentive to employees when they don’t agree with you about something is a great step to take in the right direction. If it’s too late to take prevention, appropriate actions are required. Identify the offending behavior, impose consequences, record the actions, and perhaps most important – be fair.