The relationship between an employer and the employee is a delicate one that has to be cultivated carefully. This is especially true when an employee makes a mistake. Often when bosses hang their employees out to dry after they commit a genuine first-time mistake, this not only shows a lack of character, but serious problems with his or her competency as a leader.
On the flip side, certain types of mistakes can be devastating to companies and wreak havoc on bosses’ nerves. However, unless an employee is known for making mistakes over and over again (which is more a sign of obscene oversight or incompetence), a good leader needs to take full control of his team’s reigns and work with the employee to ensure that the plunder is never repeated again. This article gives 3 reasons great bosses take the time to teach their employees what to learn from their mistakes instead of throwing them under the bus anytime something goes wrong.
Reason 1: Learning from mistakes makes employees more competent at their jobs.
Nobody likes to make mistakes. When we make mistakes we feel sudden onset panic at what the repercussions will be. Questions like “Will I be fired?” go through our minds and we begin to seriously doubt our abilities. This is also the time though, that employees are most alert and willing to learn. If an employee of yours makes a mistake, be sure to take this time to approach them in a formal manner and teach them not to do this again by asking them:
1. What they could have done better.
2. What they plan to do to avoid this in the future.
Reason 2: The first time a mistake is made, it’s most likely a shame on them (the employee). The second time the same mistake is made; it’s a shame on the boss.
Leaders that do not take the time to teach their employees to learn from their mistakes the first time they’re made absolutely have to share the blame if the same blunder occurs again. Instead of allowing employees’ mistakes to slip through the cracks only to sit around and fester as ticking time bombs waiting to happen yet again, a great leader will stomp out the confusion and misunderstanding which lead to the mistake in the first place. If a boss fails to come up with an organized plan of action (be it big or small) to prevent this mistake again and the same mistake is indeed repeated, he absolutely shares the blame for its re-occurrence.
Reason 3: A boss who works with his employees to create a plan-of-action to avoid the same mistakes from reoccurring, helps to create a heightened sense of accountability within his company.
By allowing your employee to work with you to create a plan of action, you create the path to absolutely hold them accountable if this should ever happen again. In fact, by letting them know upfront that you plan on holding them accountable for this (if it should ever happen again) your employee will be so shaken by this that they are unlikely to make this mistake again.
Mistakes are unavoidable in this imperfect world. They are made by every single person on every single continent on every corner of the world. However, what makes a good boss great is how he reacts to those mistakes that occur on his team.Photos courtesy of 123RF
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