Get 70% off QuickBooks
for 3 months. 

Ends May 31st. 
Diverse people covered with emoticons
manage employees

Dealing with non-compliance in your workforce

Have you been dealing with disrespectful or ill-behaved employees within your business? An employee’s inability to follow directions or complete disregard for your business’s code of conduct can result in non-compliant behavior.

As the business owner and manager of your workforce, you will need to know how to deal with this non-compliance in the workplace when it inevitably arises. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to managing non-compliant employees.

What is non-compliance?

Non-compliance refers to an individual’s failure to act within stated boundaries or refusal to comply with such regulations or rules. Non compliant behavior can be both intentional or unintentional, depending on the situation.

Non compliance in the workplace refers to employees who do not follow the code of conduct, health and safety regulations, or any other set of guidelines required within the business. As a small business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to deal with the failure or refusal of an employee to conduct themselves in the appropriate manner.

Examples of non-compliance

When businesses take on new hires, the employees must sign a contract regarding their position’s responsibilities, as well as the appropriate form of conduct within the company. A worker’s failure to comply with these stipulations results in a non compliant employee.

Non-compliance takes many forms, from blatant disregard for a business’s workplace policies and outright defiance of orders to unintentional failure to comply with health and safety protocol.

Here are some specific examples of non compliance and compliance issues you might face as a small business owner within the workplace:

  • Disregard for the health and safety regulations, such as failure to wear the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) when undertaking specific tasks
  • Refusal to obey the code of conduct by disrespecting or harassing other employees or customers
  • Continuously showing up late to shifts or not showing up at all
  • Working within the business or industry without the proper certification or training
  • Failure to take directives and complete job duties and other worksite responsibilities

Communicating with non-compliant employees

So, how can you, as the business owner, deal with non-compliant employees? When managing and dealing with disrespectful or ill-behaved employees, it’s important to stay level-headed. Here are some tips for communicating with and managing non-compliant employees:

Start a conversation

You should always set up a face to face meeting with employees who are causing problems. Starting a conversation is the first step to finding a solution. Create an open discussion with the staff member as a means to discuss their non-compliant behavior and to discover if there are any underlying causes for their actions.

Keep calm

When interacting with staff members who illustrate non-compliance, it’s essential to keep calm and level-headed. If they grow angry, do not rise to their level. If both of you become upset, then it will be harder to find a solution to the issue. And who knows, they may just need an understanding ear that will listen to their problems without judgment.

Explain the why

Keep that conversation going, and explain to your employee why the policies and workplace rules are in place for their safety and consideration. Discuss why you have given them the responsibilities you have and the reason for your choices. Sometimes they just need some clarification or understanding of why their behavior is considered disrespectful and non-compliant.

Clearly outline the consequences of their actions if they fail to comply with the business’s rules and regulations from here on out.

By educating them on the repercussions of their actions, you have placed the responsibility of the employee’s actions back on their shoulders. You have done your duty as the owner or manager of the business.

Determine reasonable limits and stick to those limits

Some individuals who exemplify non-compliant behavior will try to push the limits of you and your business. Setting boundaries and informing employees of those limits can help you negate these problems. It’s vital to determine what the limits are before situations arise, so you and your employees know where the line is that they cannot cross.

Once set, you must stick to those limits, as the disrespectful employee might try to push and push to see what they can get away with. Inform them of the impending consequences if they cross the line. If they do end up crossing this defined line, you will need to follow through with those repercussions.

Employee compliance and non compliance can spread throughout the workplace and between co-workers. If one worker sees another getting away with rule-breaking without issue, then they may follow suit. Nip the problem in the bud by setting and sticking to limits in a consistent manner. In contrast, if you discipline such behavior, your staff members will notice and be more likely to follow the rules set out for them.

Focus on the positive

Positive motivation can do a lot more for an employee than negative reinforcement does. Inform your staff of the repercussions of non-compliance, yes, but then shift the focus to incentives rather than consequences. Consider creating rewards or bonuses for their individual accomplishments, and you could see a significant improvement in their behavior.

Non-compliance penalties

So what consequences or penalties can employees face for non compliance? As the business owner and authority figure, you will need to decide how to deal with such discord when it inevitably arises. Depending on the situation, you have various options available to you:

  • Limit their privileges
  • Limit their promotions
  • Take away their bonus
  • Place them on probation
  • Terminate their contract

In severe cases of non-compliant behavior, you are well within your right to fire the employee for their disregard of the rules. However, in such cases, you will need to gather information and evidence of their negative behavior and have enough of a cause to warrant the termination of their contract in accordance with employment laws.

Employer compliance and penalties

Employee compliance is important, but so too is your business’s compliance with U.S. labor laws. Just as your staff must follow the business’s rules, employers must follow the government’s regulations concerning how you treat employees.

Unsafe working conditions, wage garnishment, and improper remuneration for work hours and overtime are all instances of non-compliance of your business. Failure to comply with the U.S. employment laws can result in penalties against you. Such penalties include a fine or ticket, a summons to the department of labor, prosecution, and possible jail time.

Managing employees to limit non-compliance

One of the ways to stop non-compliance before it happens is to manage your employees fairly. With the help of QuickBooks Time employee scheduling software, you can streamline the shift-making process to lessen the strain on you and your employees. With GPS and time tracking, you can keep tabs on your team while ensuring they are accurately compensated for their hard work.

Keeping on top of the payroll processing can help your business with employee compliance. Try it free today!

Recommended for you

Mail icon
Explore what you can do with QuickBooks
No Thanks

Explore what you can do with QuickBooks

Image Alt Text

See profit at a glance

Get a clear view of what you make and spend over time.
Teal blue circle with a white icon of a credit card with a circle of arrows in the top right corner

Pay your team

Get payroll done right, and payroll taxes done for you.
Image Alt Text

Get live expertise

Access personalized help and guidance right from the start.

Looking for something else?


From big jobs to small tasks, we've got your business covered.

Firm of the Future

Topical articles and news from top pros and Intuit product experts.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.