Workplace mistakes can and do happen to the best of us, and quite often the mistake itself will be quickly forgotten – but how you dealt with it may not. In a professional context admitting mistakes or failures can be tough, and depending on the size of the error can have massive implications on your career. However, owning up to a mistake and working towards fixing it can shine a positive light on you, elevating your profile with management in the process.
Here are 8 quick tips to help you deal with a major workplace mistake:
- Report the incident to your colleagues or management immediately. Time can often be critical when dealing with a potential crisis.
- Analyse who the affected stakeholders potentially are and work out how you will rectify the issue with each of them, different approaches may be required.
- Review your diary for the week in which the incident occurred and make notes against each of the day’s activities to the best of your recollection. These may be critical if the incident becomes a legal matter.
- Allocate time to repair relationships or provide solutions to the issue. If your job is on the line, your efforts & ability to assist in rectifying the issue will work heavily in your favour.
- Maintain communication – know the status of the issue, and ensure you’re aware of the problems potential for escalation.
- If this is a potentially career ending error, speak to the Human Resource Manager to see where you stand in terms of your employment status. Companies need to act within the terms of your employment contract. If there is the scope for dismissal you need to be aware of your rights.
- If the incident occurred due to unclear instruction, inadequate skills or training, unrealistic client demands or ongoing personality issues then it is important to identify this and detail it back to the business.
- Reflect on your experience, identify key learnings and take steps to ensure this issue won’t arise again in the future for you or anyone else on the team.
Have you ever made a major workplace mistake? What happened?