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Refusing to obey a task or an instruction. How do you solve this?

by , 23 February 2015
If you are confronted with a situation when the employee refuses to obey an instruction, there are several aspects for you to keep in mind.

A very common reason for refusal is the argument that the new task is not in the job description. Have you ever been confronted with that? How can you deal with it when it happens?

You should know that if the required task falls within the parameters of the job description, and providing the instruction is reasonable and lawful, you will be able to demand that the employee does it.

What should you include in the job description?

- include the tasks that the employee is expected to do
- some tasks, however, are included by implication and we might as well call them "invisible on paper" tasks
- a bigger task may include smaller tasks

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Processes also change and an older task may now include new tasks which still fall within the previously fixed or negotiated parameters.

As the rules in this case state, if the employee, or others doing the same job, have performed the task in the past, and it is lawful and reasonable, then the employee must continue doing it now, even if the task is not mentioned in the job description.

Attention, please: a job descriptions doesn't replace company procedures nor operating procedures.

When a new task appears, you should inform the person about the performance parameters and expectations. Also, if you are an employer, you should also explain how the new task fits the job description.

This should be lawful and reasonable! Only when the employee cannot show that the new task shouldn't be on his daily instruction, the behaviour is considered to be a misconduct.

As an employer, you should also pay attention whether you are choosing the right person to perform a certain action or task. Several cases of refusal may have as an argument the valid argument on the employee's side.

If the reason for refusal to obey is not unreasonable, than the employer has to find a new way to delegate or perform the task. Both parties should find solutions through communication and willingness to understand each other's arguments.

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