Business requires having a common goal and standard of doing things. This is always the duty of the management team to instill the required procedures. This ultimately results to insubordination and thus the need to counter it.
Most managers and business owners have had the displeasure of dealing with an employee who failed to follow instructions, but even people who are experienced at the task still encounter difficulty with determining how to handle employee insubordination.
It is necessary to address the issue, however, before it has time to manifest into something more serious or something detrimental to your company. Therefore, it is important to understand the various techniques for handling employee insubordination.
Do not ignore the problem.
If an employee is causing problems (even if they don’t realize it), it’s very important that you address the issue quickly. By ignoring the problem in the hopes that the issue will simply resolve itself, you not only put yourself in the uncomfortable position of resenting the employee for a problem you haven’t even told them exists, but you also allow the employee to set a bad example for the other individuals who work at your company.
Therefore, it’s best to speak to the employee about the issue as soon as an appropriate time arises. Take them aside in a private location (It’s never good to criticize employees in front of their peers.), and begin to outline your concerns.
Find the root of the problem.
When speaking to the employee, be courteous and respectful, but also make sure you get your point across effectively. If they leave your discussion with little understanding about the problem or your proposed solution, then you haven’t done your job properly.
During your conversation, it’s important to try to discover the root of the problem. Give the employee the chance to present their side of the story, as it may just surprise you. There is also one important question you should ask yourself during this conversation: Is the problem rooted in knowledge or attitude?
Oftentimes, an issue that you thought was caused by a negative attitude could actually be the product of poor or inadequate training, something that may not be the fault of the employee. Perhaps they were ill-informed or poorly trained, and as a result, the employee genuinely did not understand that what they were doing was wrong.
Therefore, before deciding on a solution for the employee’s insubordination, you should first determine who is truly at fault: the employee or the company itself.
Determine the right course of action.
There are no rules set in stone for how to determine the right course of action for employee insubordination. This means that you’ll have to use your best judgment as a manager and find a solution at your own discretion.
When doing so, understand that while it’s important to adhere to any company policies that may be in place, it’s equally important to pass judgment fairly. Rules are important, but so is your intuition.
For example, is the employee a repeat offender whose problem you determined was rooted in attitude? Or are they normally an efficient and loyal worker whose problem you found was actually rooted in poor training?
“The punishment must fit the crime,” as they say, and if you enact a harsh punishment on an employee who didn’t even realize they were making a mistake, you could actually stand to worsen the situation. Employees who feel they were treated unfairly are likely to resent their situation, and their loyalty to your company could suffer as a result.
Whatever you decide for a course of action, be sure to explain it clearly to the employee. This helps them to understand two things: First, they know what they should do next to rectify the situation, and secondly – and just as importantly – they understand why you made the decision that you did. They may not like your decision, but even so, helping them to understand it often serves to lessen any feelings of resentment.
Although employee insubordination is never a pleasant issue to address, it’s important that you do so for the sake of your company. Evaluate the situation using a combination of company policy, the employee’s input, and your own judgment as a manager, and then define a solution based on your conclusions. Hopefully, this will help to keep the problem from arising again, which allows you to focus on strengthening your employee team, thereby strengthening your company.
Productivity definitely depends on employees meeting their targets. This roles and duties need to be well stipulated to ensure that each employee is accountable to the quality of work and meeting targets.
Employee performance in the workplace is a subject that can be evaluated from a multitude of different standpoints, one of which is the importance of setting employee performance standards. Establishing standards for measuring employees’ performance allows you as the business manager to evaluate employees’ achievements and effectiveness and make the adjustments necessary to encourage an increase in overall productivity.
Many business owners, however, make the potentially disastrous mistake of not establishing clear performance objectives for their employees. This can become extremely problematic for your company and should be corrected immediately.
By failing to articulate specific performance objectives for your employees, you are failing to provide them with your expectations. You cannot expect employees to meet expectations that have not been clearly explained; nor can you hold them accountable for failing to complete objectives that have never been explicitly outlined. An employee should receive a clear list of your objectives at the very onset of their employment, and from this point forward, they should be held accountable for meeting these expectations.
Obviously, you must allow a grace period for your recently hired employees to adjust to their new positions within your company, but this grace period should be limited, and this limit must be clearly articulated to the employee. Establish the expectation that after this grace period has passed, the employee will be held responsible for meeting all performance objectives.
Once you have established these performance standards, inform your employees that they will be held universally accountable. By not holding all employees to the same performance standards, you risk creating an imbalance in the workload. If employees are permitted to develop poor work habits, deficient ethics, or inadequate skills, their performance and your business’s productivity will both be severely negatively affected.
The unfortunate mistake made by many business owners whose employees are not meeting performance expectations in terms of attitude or competency is to shift the majority of the work burden from the shoulders of the unsatisfactory employees onto the shoulders of the company’s best workers.
Managers tend to make this mistake for a number of reasons. First, many hold out hope that the weak employee’s performance will improve. This hope is rooted in professional optimism at some times and personal naivety at others. The simple fact, however, is that if you have already made efforts to improve the employee’s performance and they still are not demonstrating marked improvement, there is little possibility that they will make much progress. This could be due to a variety of factors, including the poor work habits they have been allowed to establish, the fact that they know they are unlikely to be held accountable, or just a genuine inability to adequately perform the requirements of their position.