How to Write Up an Employee for Insubordination

One of the challenges you would face as a manager is dealing with employees who are difficult to handle and even deliberately choose to be derelict of their responsibilities, which can affect other members and even your entire organization. With that said, you should keep in mind that those who do not fulfill their tasks or do not comply with the rules stipulated in their contract are manifesting insubordinate behavior. As manager, you should rectify this unacceptable attitude in a professional and legal manner by writing up an employee for insubordination, which will be for the best of your business. Here are things to consider:

1. Gather Facts That Surround The Incident.

Try to have all the accurate information, including the actions and verbal discussions that have led to insubordination. Focusing on actual facts, write down in verbatim the dialogue that took place. Also, remember to mention if there were previous warnings issued to the employee and include other incidents related to his behavior. You can encourage input from people who were present during the incident.

2. Make Sure To Be Objective.

Though it might be clear that you have an employee with an “attitude”, it is wise for you not to use this term in the letter, as it is considered to be subjective. Now, if the case will be brought to court, using such a word might go against your company, since the court would look upon behaviors and actions that were documented and not on mere conflicts of personalities, which the term would suggest.

3. Cite Some Company Policies Regarding Insubordination.

Your strongest weapon would be the employee’s handbook, which you can use to cite company rules and regulations. You can itemize what policies the employee has broken, so he will be aware of the violation he committed. It is also wise to mention the time and date of his orientation regarding these policies.

4. Mention The Consequences Of Insubordinate Behavior And Include Some Action Plan Expectations.

See to it that the employee takes the matter seriously to prevent the incident from being repeated. Tell him what is expected of him to correct such behavior or else he might be given unfavorable sanctions, such as suspension or, at worst, termination. In case you do not plan to fire him, you should ask an action plan from him.

5. Point Out The Employee’s Good Qualities.

Apart from stating the occurrences that led to the disciplinary action, you should also include the positive traits of the employee in question that have contributed to your organization. This would help with motivating him to improve and change for the better when it comes to his behavior.

6. Make Sure The Letter Will Be Signed By All Of The Involved Parties.

Before you end your meeting with the employee to present the letter, ask him for clarifications and, perhaps, refutations on the document. If everything is clear, make sure you have it signed by him in acknowledgment that he understands everything that is written. You should also sign it to prove that both of you agree on the facts stated.

By writing up an employee for insubordination, you can resolve issues on its early stages and minimize the risks that can affect the entire organization.

Author Biography
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.