Of all the topics out there related to what I do, I’ve almost completely overlooked this one. Let’s take a look at insubordination.
What is it? "Insubordination may be described as resistance to or defiance of authority, disobedience, refusal or failure to obey reasonable and lawful instructions, insolence, cheekiness, rudeness, brining the employer’s name into disrepute, and rebellious or mutinous behavior resulting in an actual work stoppage." (As a sidebar, I really like their use of “cheekiness”… he was a rather “cheeky” fellow… c'mon, this definition was from a South African site)
So what is it really? Every instance I’ve read about maintains that it is an employee’s willful disregard of an employer’s directive. It is also suggested that “inappropriate” language may sometimes (ahem) accompany the insubordinate behavior.
At Itssimple.biz, they caution: In cases of abusive language, consider the context in which the incident occurred. An employee is more likely to be found to have engaged in insubordination if the abusive language:
- was not provoked by the supervisor
- was spoken in the presence of other employees or customers
- was not an example of shop talk in the workplace
So how is it OK for a supervisor to provoke an outburst in an employee but then write that employee up for insubordination? What I’m getting at here, bottom-line, is that something needs to be done about this. If employees need to watch their p’s and q’s with management, why is it ok for management to walk all over their employees? How very cheeky of them.
Then when the employees approach HR for support, HR hangs them out to dry and frankly, the employee has no other good option but to find a job elsewhere. Something needs to be done about this. I understand that life isn’t fair, but I just hear way too many instances of these things happening.