It’s a smart idea to establish criteria for times when insubordination results in firing. This month’s HR Magazine provides three examples of things an employer must do to prove insubordination:
- A supervisor made a direct request or order.
- The employee received and understood the directions.
- The worker refused to comply through action or noncompliance.
Depending on context, however, the levels of insubordination may be significantly different. You might consider a less serious consequence for a first offense such as leave without pay. That way, you can address the negative behavior, but allow the employee the opportunity to improve.
Most importantly, employers should think about developing a list of what qualifies as insubordination and what they will do for first offenses and any subsequent offenses. These should be spelled out in the employee handbook.