Insubordination in the workplace creates a not so pleasant work environment. This is both for business owners and often other coworkers who may not be a direct part the incident. It is very unpleasant, and there’s a fine line between what’s insubordination and what’s not.
Especially in the mind of the person who practices insubordination in the workplace. Many employees have to terminate staff members as a result of such behavior. However, others have put disciplinary policies in place in an effort to set a standard. It’s important to note what type of behavior we do not tolerate in the workplace.
10 Ways of Handling Insubordination in the Workplace
Below are 10 ways that your company can address insubordination in the workplace. To reduce its occurrence or eliminate it, include the following:
1. Address Insubordination in the Workplace During the Hiring Process
Employers who take the time to address insubordination in the workplace during their onboarding process tend to do the right thing. This will likely discourage employees from abusive, disrespectful, and other insubordinate behavior. This could include orientation that could take place before the employee begins work. It could cover insubordination and disciplinary actions that will likely follow. Employees who are aware of this before beginning their work assignments can be sent reminders of the policies should the incident occur. This could be followed by whatever disciplinary action the manager or supervisor deems necessary.
2. Issue Written Warnings
Whenever an employee practices insubordination in the workplace, the supervisor or manager can issue a written warning. This alerts the staff member that further disciplinary actions will take place it such behavior continues.
3. Ongoing Employee Training Programs that Address Insubordination in the Workplace
Employers sometimes implement on-going employee training programs. They can be proactive by ensuring that staff members are fully aware of what constitutes insubordination. They mus also present the disciplinary actions that will likely follow.
The good thing about ongoing employee training programs is that it offers solutions to problems before they occur. This could eliminate outburst, disrespectful language, disrespectful behavior or other insubordinate actions that could take place in the workplace.
4. Request an Immediate One-on-One Meeting
If the situation gets out of hand, it’s important that the employer does not do or say anything that further escalates the matter. Sometimes a private one-on-one meeting, whereby the employee is allowed to discuss their behavior, is all that’s necessary. It gives the supervisor or manager the opportunity to hear the employee’s side of the story. Yet, it also provides verbal correction in a manner that addresses any confusion about the unacceptable behavior in question.
Employees may need a reminder about where to draw the line concerning their behavior. Or they may not really know what’s acceptable and what’s not.
Having a one-on-one meeting with employees also allows them to address what may have triggered their insubordinate behavior in the first place. Sometimes managers and supervisors are responsible for provoking unwelcome behavior from employees. In cases like this, an apology from the supervisor or manager could be a really good gestor on their part as well. Abuse in the workplace by supervisors and managers create low morale, low turnover rates and in some cases, outburst or other actions that lead to insubordination.
5. Allow the Employee an Opportunity to Apologize
Some managers and supervisors can allow regretful employees the opportunity to apologize for their behavior with the intent of ensuring that this type of behavior will not take place in the workplace in the future. We often do and say things that we wish we could take back. But when it’s too late, an apology is often a good gestor. When an apology is initiated by the employee, they may not receive further disciplinary actions.
6. Add the Incident to the Employee’s Permanent Records
Supervisors or managers can also inform employees that their insubordinate behavior can result in it being placed in their permanent employee records, which could prevent or delay the chances of further promotions and advancement in the company.
7. Pass the Issue Over to Other Department Heads or Corporate Offices
Based on the size of your company, if there are several channels of command, supervisors can also threaten to pass the issue to the HR department, department heads or to the corporate office for them to address the issue further. This may be necessary if the issue has gotten out of control or cannot be resolved by the supervisor or manager directly. However, most supervisors and managers prefer to handle insubordination themselves rather than passing it along for others to handle for them. But based on the severity of the issue, there are times when passing the issue along to those who are higher in command is necessary.
Unwarranted insubordination in the workplace can often result in suspension. This allows staff members to recognize the severity of this issue and that insubordination in the workplace is not tolerated. It also provides employees with the opportunity to alter their behavior before returning back to the workplace.
9. Suspension Without Pay
No one likes to have their pay docked, however, it is a great disciplinary action. And based on the severity of the employee’s actions, it can often serve as a corrective measure to prevent employees from practicing insubordination in the workplace in the future. It also sends a message to other staff members in the workplace that such behavior is not tolerated.
For companies that keep good records of prior, on-going insubordinate behavior, there are typically grounds for termination. Ongoing insubordination can and should result in termination. When employees receive several warning, necessary policies and procedures need enforcement. I this case, termination is often the final resolve.
Since insubordination in the workplace is considered one of two primary actions, 1) refusal to carry out an action given by a manager or a supervisor and 2) disrespectful language or behavior in general towards a supervisor or manager, the steps above are designed to implement disciplinary actions towards the employee, which can also serve as a means to discourage other staff members from practicing insubordination in the workplace in the future.
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