Personality clashes and misunderstandings are common occurrences in the work place. This is due to the fact that all human beings are unique in a way and it is expected that they pose divergent ideas concerning different issues in the work place. Often, whenever a dispute between a boss and a subordinate arises the boss normally wins by virtue of their superior position. In the end the subordinate does not feel good because sometimes the boss might be wrong (Askeland, 2009). It has to be noted that even though the there are many disagreements in the workplace, insubordination does is not the same thing as these boss/subordinate disagreements. This paper therefore presents the impacts insubordination has in the work place. To do so however, the paper will first look at the meaning of the concept of insubordination and the acts that constitute to it in the work place.
Askeland (2009) defines insubordination as the willful refusal of an employee to perform what they are told by a person an individual in authority such as a department head, a boss or a supervisor tells them to. Consequently, an insubordinate worker is a person who inexcusably and intentionally refuses to abide by a reasonable request relating their job function and does not act respectfully towards their seniors. Employee problems and insubordination go hand in hand and it is the responsibility of a boss or a supervisor to ensure that there are rules that everyone should abide by. Examples of insubordination or acts to undermine the authority at workplace include: actively criticizing or challenging the orders of a supervisor, displaying open disrespect toward a boss or a supervisor, get in the way of the management, using physical violence or coercion or making threats, ignoring instructions openly, asserting malicious statements or using abusive language.
There are many negative impacts that insubordination has in the work place. Most significantly, it leads to decreased production at the work place because there is a direct link between employee production and insubordination. Research indicates that even having just one insubordinate employee brings about adverse effects on the production of a given organization hence making it a very crucial issue (Askeland, 2009). An insubordinate employee assumes that they make the rules, therefore the tendency of deciding when and how they want to work is very high. This is very dangerous because as other employees observe their colleague getting away with his/her defiance, they will also start demonstrating signs of disrespect and insubordination. Eventually, there will be not just one insubordinate person but the entire staff can be filled with them. The performance of the company will definitely be compromised.
Other being a problem to the boss and the supervisor, insubordinate employees can also harm the atmosphere at the workplace. The acts of disobedience among employees can estrange both current and future clients in an organization. Additionally, employees who do not abide by the rules and regulations of the company can portray the image of the supervisor as very inadequate in the eyes of other management and other employees (Askeland, 2009).
Insubordination has far reaching consequences in work place if not carefully managed and solved. It has been noted to cause headache for those in charge of workers. These may be managers and supervisors. There is a higher chance of failure by those in supervision if other workers are not willing to execute the orders. The consequence is a general collapse in the operations as a result of inefficiency in the entire company operational system (Levy, 2010)
Has a potential of making the work place unconducive for other workers. Bad relation between the supervisor or the manager and one or several insubordinate workers leads to poor or total lack of communication within the firm. The normal social state of the work place may lack and this comes as an anomaly to the rest of the workers in that consultation with their superior becomes problematic. This kind of working environment is undesirable.
Insubordination by employees of a given company may portray a bad picture for the company. This is common in cases where by the workers have a direct contact with the clients. The workers may decide offer poor services or use of abusive language. This is disadvantageous to the company as it can push away existing and potential clients (Borrego & Rodriguez, 2010).
Additionally, workers who deliberately refuse to execute their duties may cause emotional upset for the supervisors. Once emotional, one can never make rational decisions. This boils down to inefficiency in leadership at work place. Besides, insubordination demeans superiors in a work place and portrays them as incompetent before the management and other junior workers. This has negative future consequences to the place of worker since the other workers may no longer obey their superior leading to failure of the company.
Levy (2010) observers that at the work place, there is usually division of labor. If the insubordinate worker happens to be in charge of duties that directly concerns other staffs' and/or clients' safety and health, then their deliberate failure to perform their duties may lead to a potential danger to the general safety and health of other workers and /or clients. For example a cleaner in an institution; if he or she fails to undertake his sanitation duties properly, he or she exposes the members of that institution to the danger of contracting infectious diseases.
Insubordination also has a potential to lead to loses. Workers are paid for their services and refusal to deliver services that they have been paid for leads to financial losses by the employer. The conduct of insubordinate workers may also lead to loses in terms of stall projects and spoiled property due deliberate mishandling.
Askeland (2009) explains that insubordination also has negative effects on the workers. In most cases, insubordination by workers attracts disciplinary action from the management and / or supervisors. Disciplinary measures ranges from suspension, verbal and written warnings, referral for training and counseling. The type of disciplinary actions varies with the employer. Depending on the type, disciplinary actions may have far reaching effect on the defiant worker. It either makes the worker more competent and compliant, more productive and more obedient than before. Similarly the disciplinary actions could work against the worker by killing his or her morale. Some disciplinary actions make the worker to appear incompetent before the management and fellow workers.
At times, insubordinate workers are terminated from duty. This usually comes as the lasting solution to defiant workers who have resisted change that is usually expected from disciplinary actions. Termination of an employee has an effect on both the employer and the worker. First, salaried workers will lose their source of income (Levy, 2010). This might have long term socioeconomic and psychological effects to the worker. On the side of the employer, he may be forced to lose competent workers because they have become defiant. Employers might find it hard to replace their good workers.
Workers also stand a chance of financial lose and legal charges. This happens where by the employers sues the worker on the basis of the loss incurred due to the employee's deliberate failure to execute his duties that is deemed to breach the contract (Borrego & Rodriguez, 2010). The same way the employer is also answerable to the losses by the worker in the course of insubordination in cases where the work in question had a potential risk to the safety and/or the health of the worker. Also sometimes the worker may refuses to take orders if he thinks they violate the law.
Even though insubordination can bring the image and the performance of an organization down, there are various measures that the management can take to minimize the potential harmful effects of the insubordination. There are a number of straightforward and simple measures reduce the probability of insubordinate behavior in the work place. The measures, if well implemented can reduce the potential of disrespect that often leads to conflict at the work place.
Borrego & Rodriguez (2010), state that the management has to review job descriptions on regular basis. This could be done through obtaining employee input to guarantee that workload is practical and handle any issues in good time. Mangers have to make sure that there is clear definition of job roles at the work place. Consequently, confusion will be prevented and arguments among employees concerning their own interpretation of the task or the job at hand will be reduced.
Relationship building has also to be enhanced within any organization. It is important that managers build effectual working relationships with employees to promote an atmosphere of mutual respect and collegiality (Askeland, 2009). One-on-one sessions between the managers and employees and formal group or staff meetings are very important and should be held regularly because they help to provide opportunities to talk about and address issues and also help ease tensions.
Communication has also to be enhanced at levels of the in the work place because good communication leads to a feeling of trust. Managers have to communicate both in writing and verbally regarding plans, expectations and expected changes to keep employees enlightened on issues that could affect them. Correspondingly, managers have to request for frequent status reports and written updates on team and individual efforts (Borrego & Rodriguez, 2010).
Provision of training programs for employees and managers can largely help decrease conflicts in the workplace. Trainings have to entail seminars on listening and communication skills, conflict management and interpersonal dynamics in good working relationships.
Developing measures for routine tasks to ensure that all employees know what is expected of them is very important. There has to be a daily routine that lists tasks and projects to be realized to keep everyone clear on the present goals and goals (Borrego & Rodriguez, 2010).
Lastly, discipline is in most cases a suitable response to insubordination but before doing so, many factors have to be considered including the magnitude of disrespectful or rebellious behavior. These will serve as a basis upon which an action that best fits the situation will be taken.
In conclusion, insubordination is the refusal by the worker(s) to take and execute order from the management or the supervisors. Sometimes insubordination leads to disagreement between workers and their seniors. Insubordination has no defense whatsoever. Whether the duty assigned undermines the safety and health of the worker or other employers, the worker is expected to take and execute orders from their seniors and air out their concerns later.
Insubordination has negative effects to both the company and the worker. The effects to the company include emotional stress to the supervisors; insubordination makes the working environment unconducive; bad conduct of insubordinate workers may cost the reputation of the company in future; insubordinate employees makes their supervisors to appear incompetent before other workers and the management and finally defiant workers are averagely unproductive to the company. Insubordination also affects workers. Defiant workers may be suspended or face job termination all together. However insubordination and its negative effects in work place can be prevented. Insubordination can be prevented by regular review of job descriptions, proper training of workers, enhancing of good communication at work places, and developing measures of routine tasks to ensure that all workers understand their job.