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Employee’s Insubordination: What Should Manager Do?

Thomas Simon

Any work is a place where a large number of people from different areas of life meet and work together to achieve a common goal. All these people bring a number of conventions, have different relationships with each other, have different perspectives and each has a different approach to work. Some workers will always try to be the center of attention, using tricks to achieve success. Others do their job in silence, without engaging in any organizational discord or seeking promotion.

There is another class of workers who come with their own set of rules and regulations. Simply, such people are called “to a foreign monastery with their own decree. These employees do not want to obey their superiors and established rules. Such people rarely enter the active life of the team and struggle to promote the company, and often soon the management fires them. The task of a good manager is to recognize such sluggish, non-initiative and non-targeted people when hiring.

The first signs that the employee will not obey:

Lack of Integrity

When writing a resume and a personal interview, a person lies a lot, and it is easy to notice. This lie can be felt even in the slightest detail.


An incompetent employee with slow or insignificant speed of training will become a living example of your ignorance of people when hiring other employees. And secondly, such employees often have difficulties in understanding the way work happens, they will be more inclined to disobey.

Resistance to change

An employee who is used to uniformity and well-established rules most often becomes a problem for a manager because he or she does not want to obey any new changes. Such an employee provokes other employees to various “strikes” in order to defend their point of view. And it is not important for him that the changes will benefit the company. The main thing for him is not to change the mode and way of his work.


If an employee is often late, does his job poorly, or encourages his colleagues to take incomprehensible actions, then this person will most often be a problem for the manager. Insubordination of such an employee is extremely dangerous, because often a single person’s failure seriously affects the success of the company.

How to influence your subordinates

As the owner of a small company or HR manager of the company, as well as the chief executive, you must take care of the promotion of the company, and thus of the employees who work for it. Simply put, for the productivity of your company, you need to take additional measures in recruitment. Hire a psychologist who will tell you everything about this or that person after the interview. Simply hiring a person with the above qualities, you risk to decompose the atmosphere in the existing team, and completely deprive the firm of success. As one famous person said: a company is a huge watch, and every screw in it should work in harmony. If the screw starts to jam – it is lubricated or changed for another screw.

Decrease in employee productivity

Many may disagree, but it is a bitter truth that insubordination even from one employee will lead to a decrease in the overall efficiency and productivity of the organization. The person in question sets his own rules at the workplace, including the time to complete the assigned work and his attitude towards his superiors. If the manager ignores such behavior, other employees will consider it the norm and start to be lazy and dictate their own conditions too.

Staff security issues

Not all employees follow safety procedures, and for you and your company it can be devastating. If you are injured at work, you can go to court to get compensation. And for the image of the company it is not the best prospect. So hire a person who will be responsible for employee safety and who will be responsible for educating employees about safety at work. If there is an incident, there will be someone to ask.

Laying off staff

If your organization needs to reduce one or another employee for various reasons, it can lead to a sharp decline in morale of employees and to a riot of other subordinates (especially if the team got friendly).

How to prevent employee insubordination

Above we described the first signs and consequences of employee insubordination, it is time to talk about remedies and preventive measures to avoid such issues.

Attention during hiring, severity to the personnel, timely salary, quality working conditions are the main factors of normal work of the employees.

In case of employee’s insubordination show your will qualities of a manager. It happens that the employee has been working perfectly for a long time, and suddenly his performance has fallen dramatically. Here it is necessary to analyze his behavior together with him and determine the reasons. Often, a person’s personal problems radically change his productivity.

If you have more than one employee who breaks the rules and disobey your instructions, here is a list of actions you can take. Examine the situation. There are always hidden factors that provoke employees to disobey.

Discuss the behavior of these people with the staff and HR department. Very often the bosses do not know many things, their subordinates do.

Talk to employees who refuse to accept your terms. Perhaps the point of view they put forward will be more rational than yours. When discussing a problem, try not to turn the conversation into a heated argument.

If the compromise is not found, the only way out of this situation is the dismissal of stubborn employees.

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