What To Do If Employees Don't Carry Out Your Instructions?

09/11/2018, 20880 views
Share this post:
What To Do If Employees Don't Carry Out Your Instructions?

What should you do if the employee doesn't obey you? He misses the deadlines, finds excuses, and even directly refuses to carry out the objectives… There can be all kinds of reasons for that. Paraphrasing Tolstoy, each unhappy executive is unhappy in his own way.

So how do you make subordinates listen to you and force them to carry out your orders? If you are faced with such task, then it is absolutely necessary to solve it as quickly and effectively as possible. After all, your competence as a leader depends on it. 

Sometimes the subordinate may carry out your instructions, but he does it reluctantly, his whole behavior screaming that he doesn't recognize you as a leader and just complies with formalities. Such behavior of the employee also won't give you bonus points in the leadership department among the personnel, and, therefore, such display of rebelliousness can also be included in the group of problems we’ve described.

In this post we will discuss the main ways of fighting the disobedience of subordinates.

Talk in private

The majority of problems in the team can be solved with a simple conversation in private. In such conversation you can find out in plain terms what your subordinate is dissatisfied with, find solutions of this problem together, and, at the very least, prove yourself to be a wise, compassionate leader who cares about his subordinates' problems.

For example, if your employee doesn't take on a task, because he hadn't done anything like that before, you can suggest him tackle this task together with you the first time.

If the subordinate is dissatisfied with his new responsibilities and thinks that he already has a lot of things to deal with, suggest him set priorities together with you. 

It is also important here to choose the correct tone of the conversation, walk the fine line. You are neither a teacher nor a judge; you are but the leader, conductor. 

Prepare for this conversation in advance. Consider all the ways your subordinate can evade the questions you ask. The time you take to prepare for that will give you significant advantage in the conversation.

Ask your senior management for help

There are times when the team meets the new leader with hostility. And it doesn't matter whether he is a newcomer or he's taken a step up the career ladder in that very team. Perhaps, it happens even more often in the second scenario. 

The easiest way to avoid such problem is to ask the senior management to introduce you the right way. 

- This is Alison Watson, your new head of department. I completely trust her and I consider her competent to carry out the duties, assigned to her…

With a welcome address like this, your immediate superior kinda gives you a piece of his authority. That can sustain you for quite a bit until you establish your own authority…


Sometimes compromising is a sign of strength, not weakness. Besides, there are different ways to say, “Okay, let's have it your way.” Great French theorist of semiotics Roland Barthes said that words are ancient tools for transference of thoughts, invented hundreds or even thousands years ago. Nonverbal communication is much more effective in getting the true essence of things across.

You can go with, “Okay, we'll do it your way this time, but you've just used up one ‘well, let's have it your way’ out of three, now there are only two left.” Or you can go with, “I just don't want to conflict with you, and thereby I admit my own incompetence.”

By the way, you can be simply wrong. Recognizing your mistakes after you’ve listened to convincing arguments of the subordinate is a gesture of the strong person as well. Show compassion for your employees. Petty tyranny and forcing people to carry out your orders even if these orders aren't completely adequate won't make you more popular.

You're not bossy, you are the boss. Turn up your authoritarianism

Nobody is asking you to keep your team in the constant state of terror, but it's better to establish boundaries for the subordinates that they shouldn't cross. Fury, rage, execution – all is fair. Joke. It was a joke; we didn't mean execution execution. It's not something we would advise you to do.

Show once that insubordination is very painful. It will definitely work. That is, if you are able to awaken your inner boss, of course.

Be cunning. Manipulate

Figure out how you can influence your subordinate using other employees. Collective responsibility is sometimes a very effective way to force somebody to obey, which is still practiced, for example, in the army.

If your subordinate's misconduct leads to someone else losing their holiday or bonus, then they will hardly be grateful to him. Like we've already written, collectivism is an important feature of the Russian workers.

Prove that you are a true professional

It takes a lot of time, it is difficult, it is not for everyone, but you've got to admit that it is the most effective method, which is also the most effective in the long run. Prove to the subordinates that you are a talented leader and that under your control your organization, management, department will prosper and develop. Prove that you know your area better than anyone else, you are ready to help everyone by offering your advice, but at the same time you listen to opinion of people around you and you do it sincerely. They will surely start to respect you, and it will be genuine.

Fire them

It is seemingly the obvious decision, however, it's not always the most effective one. You should do it only in extreme cases, when the employee has completely lost touch with reality and nothing else can influence him. 

Have you done everything in your power to change his mind and make him carry out the instructions? Do you need this specialist; do you need his professionalism to achieve the objectives? Will his resignation make you look more authoritative among the team? If your answers to these questions are “yes, no, yes,” then feel free to fire them; it's the right thing to do!

But how can you understand who is messing with the atmosphere in your team? How can you find out which employee works tirelessly and which employee just sits around during his work hours? It's simple! Install the employee monitoring software Kickidler.

Kickidler Employee Computer Monitoring Software

Did you like this post? Follow us on social media.

09/11/2018, 20880 views
Share this post:

Here are some other interesting articles: