Dealing with Employees who Don’t Listen to Instructions
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.