Insubordination Interventions

Naturally, employees want to keep their jobs, and managers want employees that carry out instructions. Sometimes there are legitimate clashes of ideas and personalities which can make this difficult, but here are some things managers can do.

First, prevention.

  1. Set clear boundaries. If you let employees know your limits at the beginning, they know what they need to do, and conflict doesn’t arise as often.
  2. Listen to your employees. In many cases, insubordination results from a genuine disagreement over what the right action is. If you have an open relationship with your employees and listen when they say, “I don’t think we should do this,” you’ll have an opportunity to find a solution before insubordination occurs. Additionally, if you insist that your instructions are the right one, you’ll have a chance to explain the reasoning behind your order.
  3. Follow all laws and ethical standards. In the last two examples above, the employees felt that their employers were not following proper safety guidelines. Of course, the employers say there was much more going on than the employee objecting to the safety guidelines. If the employer had focused on following the health department guidelines, the employee wouldn’t feel the need to rebel. You’re also much less likely to lose your case in court or before a labor board if you’re careful to follow the law.