Five ways to deal with employees’ mistakes

If there is one problem managers would love to avoid, it is dealing with employee mistakes. In an ideal world, everybody would do their work flawlessly and everything would proceed without a hitch.

But sine it isn’t a perfect world, managers may as well gear up for the challenge.

The idea is not to demoralise the employee, but to help the person use the situation as a learning opportunity. Here are some tips on how to get it right.

1. Don’t Make it Public
“The adage, ‘Praise in public, reprimand in private’ holds true,” says Meenakshi Roy, senior vice-president, HR, Reliance Broadcast Network. Never criticise in front of others.
If you want employees to be open to criticism, don’t alienate them by embarassing them. “You would do well to respond with this in mind,” she says.

2. Keep an Open Mind
There are always different sides to every story. Keep that in mind and get a 360-degree perspective of the situation. It may happen that extenuating circumstances have a role to play in the mistake.
“Once while confronting a junior about a mistake, it came to light that there were certain issues beyond his control. And others were affected as well. We fixed the loopholes, and that mistake was never repeated,” says Salil Seth, senior sales manager in an FMCG firm.

3. Don’t Lose your Cool
There may be times when the employee’s mistake is big or serious enough to make you want to blow your top.
Wait till you’ve calmed down enough to tackle the situation in a professional way, without losing your cool. Yelling and screaming is definitely not the way to go.

4. Look for the Solution
Get to the root of the problem, and do whatever is necessary to fix it. Sometimes, an employee who is otherwise efficient and enthusiastic, may lack knowledge or skills.
Provide the person with training. “Respond with an attitude of eliciting learning from the situation and course correction, rather than who, what, why etc,” says Roy.

5. Drive Home the Lesson
If you come down too hard on a person for the first mistake, it puts others in risk-averse mode, says Ma Foi Randstad MD & CEO E Balaji.

That way, people become very cautious and are loath to try something new. “A good organization allows a mistake once.

But no manager should allow the same mistake the second time,” adds Balaji. “The manager needs to sit down with the individual and discuss the problems and its learnings.

It’s important that the lessons are learnt and communicated down the line, so the same mistake is not repeated.”

Source : Economic Times

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