Most professionals understand that mistakes happen. However, even knowing that nearly everyone will have a misstep from time to time, that doesn’t mean that owning up to an error is easy. In fact, it is often pretty scary, especially since, at a minimum, it can result in some negative feedback.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be afraid of the mistake you made at work. By taking the right course of action, you can mitigate the damage, both to the company and your reputation. If you want to make sure you handle a misstep the right way, here are some tips that can help.
Own Up Right Away
First and foremost, if you make a mistake at work, you need to accept responsibility immediately. By being upfront, you are positioning yourself to take corrective action as soon as possible. Plus, trying to hide or deny your involvement, or attempting to blame someone else, won’t play out in your favor once the truth comes out.
Even if you are only partially responsible for the outcome, take ownership of your role as quickly as possible. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and commit to working diligently until the situation is corrected. By going that route, you’ll make the best impression possible given the circumstances.
Address Everyone Who Was Impacted
Companies are much like hardworking machines. When a single piece doesn’t operate smoothly, it can cause issues in other parts of the system, creating a cascading effect that impacts a larger group than you may have assumed.
If you make a mistake at work, take a step back and look at the big picture. Consider who may have been harmed by your error, including co-workers, managers, and customers. Anyone who felt the impact should be addressed, so offer them an apology and offer to help make it right for them, too.
Fix Your Mistake
After everyone involved has been addressed, you need to focus on correcting your mistake, if appropriate. This could involve redoing work, taking on extra tasks that result in a fix, or anything else that makes things right.
There are times when, after a mistake, the situation will end up out of your hands. If this happens and someone else has to shoulder the burden, consider reaching out and seeing if there is anything you can take off their plate in exchange for the inconvenience. That way, their workload can be rebalanced, decreasing the odds there will be hard feelings between you.
Make Prevention Your Next Priority
While some mistakes are one-offs, others might reoccur. If you believe this error could be repeated, look for steps you can take to prevent it in the future. Examine your misstep carefully to see where the issue occurred. Then, come up with a system that will prevent it from happening again.
If others could benefit from your solution, share it with them. However, if the problem is firmly only in your arena, you can limit the discussion to your direct manager. That way, your boss knows you are taking steps to reduce risk, which is beneficial.
By following the tips above, you can handle it if you make a mistake at work. If you’d like to find out more, the staff at TempStaff can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our guidance can benefit you. If it’s time to find a new Jackson, MS job opportunity, click here!