Finance News & Insights

When mistakes happen, remember these 2 rules

How a manager handles an employee’s mistake can impact morale and productivity. 

Come down too hard on the person and the result can be staffers being wary of bringing up problems next time.

Think about it. How often do the problem solvers in life made a mistake? When it comes to entrepreneurs and inventors, many fail at venture after venture until hitting on “the big success” that cements their reputation.

Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken Fame, for example, went broke on one failed business after another until finally hitting on his spicy chicken receipe near the end of his life.

‘It’s a mistake … everyone makes ’em’

Here are two best practices for handling errors that staffers make:

  1. Let the staffer own it. Hopefully the staffer steps up and admits the mistake. Unless you’re partially responsible, let the staffer take ownership of the mistake.
  2. If necessary, give advice on how they can prevent a repeat error. Then leave it in the past.
    Once a mistake is corrected and the lesson learned, let it go. Dwelling on it doesn’t help the staffer.
    Resist the ugre to bring up the mistake again later. All that does is send the message that you can’t let others’ mistakes go or like to blame people.
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