If you’re in a management position, you’re bound to have to deal with an employee and his or her mistake at some point. Everyone makes mistakes, as the cliche goes, and the people in your office are no exception. What happens after a mistake is made is what can define you as a manager. Here’s how to handle mistakes in the best way possible:
Don’t micromanage. Looking over an employee’s shoulder while he works is a sign that you don’t trust him to do well, and that knowledge is likely to make him nervous. Of course, when you’re nervous, it’s harder to perform well, so your micromanaging can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s best to step back and give your employees room to make their own mistakes and deal with them as they come up rather than trying to prevent them by being overbearing.
Explain the issue. Once a mistake has been made, it’s important to be sure that your employee understands not only that one has happened, but that they understand the consequences as well. Don’t berate them, but do make sure they understand the impact that their actions have had. For example, if a package didn’t get in the mail on time, make sure they understand there is a customer who is waiting for it to arrive and will likely be angry when it doesn’t show up on the expected date.
Encourage personal growth. It’s important that you make it known that your office is a place where it’s okay to make mistakes, and that you’re the kind of manager people can come to and admit having made them. Being understanding when your employees make mistakes is important, because giving them the opportunity to improve will make them feel connected to both you and the company, and make them less likely to leave for a new job.
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