How are you handling subversion in your firm?  Don’t think you have any? You’re probably in denial. Subversion exists in all organizations. Moreover, subversion is helpful.  In improving processes and management, subversion is a valuable job disrupting the ‘SNAFU’ or operandus modi status.  Subversion can be the chaotic first signal that something is amiss.

Sure subversion sounds like inciting discontent.  And normally this malcontent element would be something an intuitive manager should weed out – and quickly. But in the case of a dysfunctional group, the so-called ‘loose cannon’ may be the prescient voice announcing valid discontent.  How you handle the subversion can result in improvements.  Listen to this voice.

Provide a platform for them to communicate issues and you may be able to either improve your system or make personnel changes better for you and the employee in question.  At the very least, you may be able to isolate a critic removing the infectious attitude.

In the worst case, the negative element is fired or leaves of their volition.  This is not necessarily a victory as it is widely known that employees leave bad managers rather than organizations.  Therefore, the danger in ignoring the subversive view is allowing discontent, dysfunctional and malcontent people and/or processes to fester while building a high turnover.   High turnover is costly and negatively affects your brand reputation.

If you have a high volume of dealing with subversive employees, perhaps you should inspect your people management and processes.  The problem may not lie in the subversive employee but rather in your company processes and culture.

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