Everyone makes mistakes – even leaders! As a business coach, I often hear about a poor choice my client made. He only tells me because I’ll keep his confidence. He wants to smooth it over and get past it. Is that the best solution for workplace mistakes?
Or, another client tells me about a mistake a member of her team made that cost time or money. She can’t let that happen again! What kind of punishment is the best course to be sure it doesn’t happen again?
Or, I see this when I enter a business: Somebody made a mistake and the boss wants to know, “Who’s to blame?” I pity the poor employee who steps up and says, “It was me.” Or worse yet, nobody owns up to it. Why would they?
So, What’s the Best Solution for Workplace Mistakes?
Why not celebrate mistakes? (First, you have to realize that mistakes happen!) Let your employees know that mistakes are part of trying, of growing, of learning. Tell them that mistakes are OK (but not repeated mistakes.) Here are a few tips for handling mistakes that will motivate your people and help your business soar:
- Schedule time at staff meetings to talk about workplace mistakes.
- Share your own latest mistake, and explain the lesson you learned from it.
- Encourage your team members to share their mistakes and lessons they learned, too.
- Discuss how these lessons can help other employees avoid making similar mistakes.
- Encourage employees to try new things that may improve perfomance.
- Award a fun prize for the “mistake of the month.”
The best solution for workplace mistakes is celebrating them instead of trying to stop them! If you do that, your employees and your business will grow. Take the stigma out of the word mistake and make it an opportunity to improve and excel. You haven’t peaked yet!