You are indeed considered a lucky manager when your employees are good at taking directions and hardly rebel. It’s quite easy to manage employees who are good team players and are keen on learning new things. The problem arises when you encounter an employee who likes to be completely independent. Flexibility at workplaces has its own advantages and is largely sought after by employees these days. It is because autonomy is believed to enhance creativity and overall productivity. But too much flexibility or independence can be difficult to manage in businesses of all kinds. Given that such employees are difficult to manage and deal with, the independent employees are generally referred to as ‘workplace rebels’. Avoid making bad hires with Recruiteze. Recruiteze is the number one free recruiting management system on the market. Click here for a free trial.
Talking about workplace rebels, all of them seem to have certain common characteristics. They tend to resist authority and control. It is because of their nature that they seek flexibility in their work schedule along with the processes that are carried out at the workplace. Even more, they hate traditions and inflexibility. Rebels have this habit that they like to challenge the status quo all the time. There are times when they do it just for the sake it of it, but then there are times when they actually feel they are right and others are completely wrong. As seen from the manager’s perspective, rebels tend to question authority, control, policies, and opinions of others in the workplace. However, when seen from a different perspective, these individuals are usually creative, confident, and innovative bunch of employees who like to experiment and innovate. These employees can, therefore, prove to be a valuable asset by bringing about positive change in an organization. This happens as they identify existing practices and policies that represent scope for improvement and can be modified for the benefit of the company. The rebels are passionate and committed to the company’s growth and can easily be counted for what they value and believe in.
Managers often find it difficult to manage workplace rebels. It’s a challenge for a manager to control employees who detest being managed and represent dissenting views that don’t work in favor of teams but against the teams. The managers start finding themselves in a difficult situation as there is no way they can escape their job. Also, the workplace rebels, even if they are independent, need control and supervision to some extent just like any other employee.
The obvious solution might just be to ignore the rebel. But, as a manager, you have your own set of responsibilities and duties to be performed. You have to strive hard in maintaining a fine balance between exploiting the true potential of rebels for the benefit of the organization and managing them so as to align their goals with company’s goals. The methods given below can help you manage and monitor the performance of independent employees. If you find yourself in a hiring situation, be sure to use the best recruiting management system on the market. Recruiteze will save you time and money!
1. By Making Sincere Efforts to Offer Workplace Rebels Desired Levels of Independence
Embrace your independent employees and work towards offering them desired independence and flexibility at the workplace. The more you try to control them or alter their behavior, the more they are going to rebel. By giving employees autonomy, you will not be losing anything significant. Rather, it is going to benefit you in a number of ways as given below:
- Employees, when given a flexible environment, outperform employees that work in a rigid and traditional environment.
- The flexible environment reduces the stress levels of employees and thus, they are able to focus more on their work. The result is improved employee performance and their enhanced productivity levels.
- The decision-making abilities of employees improve significantly and they feel motivated to yield better performance.
In order to give employees their desired independence, you might consider allowing employees to decide their objectives and goals on their own. This will give them the determination to succeed and even offer them job satisfaction. The crucial thing, however, is that their goals must align with company goals. And if that happens, you should have no reason to stop workplace rebels from experimenting and trying different approaches to solve existing problems and come up with effective solutions. In order to encourage your employees to deliver their best performance, you need to stop micromanaging them or hovering while they are working.
2. By Teaching Independent Employees Why They Simply Can’t Do Without Clear and Regular Communication
It is vital that you encourage transparent and honest communication with your employees at regular intervals. By doing so, you will be in a position to understand their behavior better. Do they feel ignored? Are they frustrated because they are unable to use their creativity to its maximum potential?
Consider deploying the strategies given below in order to encourage an honest and clear communication with independent employees:
- By offering feedback and assistance at all the times, whenever an employee requires it.
- By making performance discussions compulsory and not optional.
- By replacing annual appraisals with monthly performance discussions so as to help employees stay in the loop with events and issues taking place in the workplace.
3. By Making Your Expectations and Objectives Clear to Your Employees in the First Place
It helps when you and your employees are on the same page regarding your goals and objectives. It makes it easier for you to measure the performance of your employees and you get clarity on the work being done by them. While recruiting new employees, you must explain in detail to them the organization as a whole along with its existing policies and procedures. Along with this, you need to make your expectations and objectives clear to them. Once they succeed in meeting your expectations, you should have no problem accepting their suggestions or allowing flexibility and independence at your workplace to help new employees adapt easily to new surroundings.
4. By Reminding Workplace Rebels of Their Role Within an Organization
It’s a commendable practice to accept workplace rebels as creative, independent, and ambitious employees and give them their space and freedom. But that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to isolate themselves completely. The fact is that they still very much remain an integral part of the organization. For it to function effectively they will have to work as a team member. It’s alright if they want to work alone, but that doesn’t mean they can escape from group meetings or carrying out communication with fellow staff members. You should, therefore, spend time coaching them about why and how to work as a team member. This is important if desired results are to be obtained for the company’s benefit and growth in long-term.
5. By Letting Rebels Know the Significance of Their Performance
Even if you have no problem in encouraging independent employees to work on their own, it doesn’t mean you will stop bothering yourself with their performance. You would want them to perform well and yield results that can help your company maximize its productivity and achieve higher levels of performance. It is, therefore, important to let them know their freedom and independence remains intact only until the time they continue yielding results as otherwise, you will have to step in and take the matters in your hands. It might mean more interference and guidance to your employees by making them do their work in a controlled environment. The employees should be ready and willing to accept that if the situation demands it. Flexibility is certainly important, but only if the employees are successful in demonstrating right drive and characteristics of working in a flexible environment.
6. By Channelizing Their Energies
By channelizing the energies of workplace rebels into a specific task or project, you will be giving them an opportunity to prove their proposals within the existing parameters and yield results that can help them win over the trust and faith of fellow team members. It will help them unleash their true potential so that they are able to deliver their best performance and contribute to the success of an organization they are working for.
Given that every employee has a different style of working and the needs of one employee vary greatly from another, you will have to alter your approach every time you are working with a new employee. It is in your interest to adjust yourself a bit according to the needs of your employees as this is important to keep them engaged and motivated. Above everything, it will help you save a tremendous amount of stress when you are faced with a situation of dealing with workplace rebels. The final thing to remember is rebels can prove to be valuable assets by bringing their innovative ideas to the table. It’s just that they need to be reminded the importance of working in teams and carrying out communication with team members for an organization to be successful.
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