Learn how to stop insubordination in the workplace


Dealing With Insubordination Of Employees

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Help for employers with insubordination and employee termination



There are various degrees of insubordination, and you should not handle every case of insubordination the same way. Just because an employee makes a rude remark to a supervisor or business owner does not necessarily warrant immediately dismissal from the company. But, if an employee physically threatens or extends physical harm onto a supervisor or owner, this should always result in an immediate firing.

To give small business owners and Human Resource managers an idea of how to handle insubordination, you must consider a wide range of examples. This will give you a feel for the various problems and their corresponding discipline.

Examples of Insubordination

1. Making a Rude Remark to a Supervisor - Even rude remarks have different levels of severity. That said, your must note rude remarks suggesting an employee's refusal to comply with a supervisor with a verbal warning, a written notice, or a first time written warning. Of course the warnings should increase severity with each subsequent occurrence. A problem employee who continues with bad behavior will almost never just go away. Their offenses may become increasingly worse.

2. Disobeying an Order - Here again lies the problem of classifying all insubordinations under one heading. Your employee might have a valid reason for not performing a certain task. For example your employee may be Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or any other religious affiliation that doesn’t recognize Christmas. If you ask them to work on Sunday or participate in a Christmas celebration, this is clearly not insubordination. They have a religious reason for not performing the task. You must carefully weigh the severity of the refusal. Most disciplinary actions for a disobeyed order should fall between the lines of a written warning, suspension from work, relocation to a different department or even termination if it harmed a coworker or it seriously affected the company.

3. Physical Violence of Threats of Physical Violence- Unless the employee has a medical explanation for a physical outburst, whether it be towards a supervisor or a coworker, you should never tolerate this insubordination. You should suspend or immediately dismiss this individual. Keep in mind that you must make note of an employee’s medical records on this occasion. Was there a reasonable explanation for the outburst or was it just an employee who let their temper get the best of them? Even if you only suspend the employee, it is essential the employee receive a psychological evaluation before returning to work to ensure competence.

You don't have to take it anymore!!! Here's our recommended termination procedure for insubordination and other offenses


The Notice of
You can fire an employee
for various reasons. As an
employer, you will find a
notice of termination
helpful. This protects you
in case the former
employee charges you and
your company with
unlawful actions resulting
from termination.

Don't Allow Insubordination Problems at Work to Remain Unanswered

It is every manager's worst nightmare. The first time they fail to do what you ask, you assume they did not hear you. Perhaps they forgot to make that phone call or finish their tasks by the set deadline. Maybe they got distracted. But soon you realize this is not the case. You have an insubordinate employee who is willfully testing your authority.

Unfortunately insubordination problems at work will intensify over time. You must deal with them properly from the beginning. Otherwise the insubordinate worker may start encouraging his coworkers to engage in this behavior.

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