Vincy Workplace
July 16, 2004

Workplace Rebels

Every workplace has one or even a group of employees who test the organizational structure, the quality of the leadership and push employee morale to its breaking point, yet many organizations choose to ignore the negative impact of these caustic employees.
Workplace rebels take diversity of opinion and freedom of speech to another level. {{more}}They not only try to challenge every decision made by the leaders but they voice their opinions and ideas about how the organization should be run, which are usually contrary to the current administration’s. It’s also not unusual to find that these employees are exempt from following certain company policies, which in essence increases their sense of control.
Organizations shy away from addressing these destructive employees for a number of reasons. Sometimes the employee is well trained, skilled and replacing that person will be costly, time-consuming and the employee knows that fact. In other instances, it’s an older employee and the company is basically waiting for him/her to retire, as a dismissal may not be the politically correct move after their contribution to the organization. Some organizations even choose to ignore the problem hoping it will go away as no one wants the task of confronting these emotionally volatile people.
More often than not employees become rebels because they are not given a forum by the leadership to constructively address their concerns, receive feedback and see action in a timely fashion. Although rebels may have good points, their approach to get attention is unacceptable and should not be tolerated; it undermines employee morale, which always affects productivity and ultimately the profitability of the company.
Progressive leaders should make every effort to constructively harness this feedback through open forums, online discussions, brown bag lunches, focus groups or some means of staying in touch with the needs of the employees.
Some rebels have revolutionary ideas and may even have solutions to problems that face the organization and should be heard, but their lack of problem-solving skills and diplomacy must be addressed to discourage this type of unprofessional behaviour in the future.