One Simple Secret to Reduce Mistakes at Work

June 4, 2015

One Simple Secret to Reduce Mistakes at Work

Do you want to learn how to reduce mistakes at work? Great – keep reading!

However, if you want to learn how to prevent any mistakes from ever happening at work again… then you might as well go do something else (like search for online videos of pigs flying) – because the secret to reducing mistakes at work, is actually allowing mistakes at work.

Let me just repeat that for dramatic effect:

The secret to reducing mistakes at work, is actually allowing mistakes at work.

Why You Should be Happy When Employees Make Mistakes

A wise person once said: “Good employees make mistakes. Great leaders allow them to.”

I know of three very good reasons for this straight away – and there are many more:

1. Fear of Mistakes = Lower Productivity

Did you know that one of the things people worry about the most is making a mistake at work? This is especially true if (a) they have just started a new job; and/or (b) their managers are a known for being a little heavy-handed when things go wrong.

If your people are scared to get things wrong, then they are going to be lacking valuable confidence at work – this can lead to a very passive (and non-productive) approach to working.

Make it clear to your employees that it’s OK to make mistakes – this means telling them with words, and then following up with your actions.

2. We Learn From Our Mistakes

It doesn’t matter how many times you tell a child that fire is hot, they will never truly understand what that means until they touch it.

The fact is, we learn new things when we make mistakes – and whenever we face the same decision in the future, we’ll know which choice to make.

Instead of punishing mistakes, why don’t you sit down and discuss what the experience taught both you and your employee? Do this in a positive way – and try not to be patronising!

3. It Pays to Try New Things

A person who is afraid to make a mistake will never try anything new. And no matter how good you think your processes are, how will you know if another person’s method is worse unless you try it out?

Here at People™, we actually encourage risk-taking. We basically believe that when you try something new, the end result will always be positive – either it will work as intended; or we will learn something new.

And do you know what? This way of thinking has brought us some of the best work we’ve ever seen.

Why not learn more about our company culture by reading our employee handbook?

How Else Does Allowing Mistakes Benefit Your Bottom Line?

We’d love you to add to the list of reasons above – just pop what you’re thinking into the comments box below.


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