Of course, no one likes making mistakes. However, increasingly, organizations are looking at mistakes and errors as an opportunity to identify and implement positive change and better processes. To turn a mistake into a training opportunity, consider the following:
- When possible, give employees a chance to fix their mistake.
- Dissect the mistake, but focus on the process, procedures, and system that made the error possible instead of the person erring. For instance, Jill may be responsible for a typo in the annual report, but perhaps that process didn’t give her enough time for proofing; or someone else made changes unbeknownst to her after she signed off on it.
- Don’t let good behaviors get mixed up with the mistake. Don’t dismiss consistently good work and dedication because of one mistake.
- Let people/teams teach others about their mistakes. Encourage people to see mistakes as learning opportunities and not a source of shame and embarrassment.