Everyone makes mistakes, even managers. It is often what you do after you discover the mistake that will make an impact on supervisors, employees and customers. When you take the right steps, you will be able to mitigate the damage, prevent future issues and perhaps even impress stakeholders with your crisis management skills.
Don’t Give in to Panic
When you discover a mistake is, resist the urge to panic. The bigger the mistake is, the more you will want to cover it up or make rash decisions. These impulses can often make the situation worse and can have a negative effect on those around you.
Look at the situation calmly and rationally, if you hope to repair current and future damage that may occur. Take time to calm down before assessing the situation.
Determine Present and Future Ramifications
Some mistakes will have a ripple effect. They could spread to include other departments, vendors or customers. Other mistakes may impact future production, revenue or company reputation.
Understand all the ramifications that will result from your mistake. Gather as much information as possible in order to create a plan for damage control.
Get Ahead of the Damage
Try to get ahead of the damage as much as possible to reduce the amount of harm to your company and its reputation. If possible, eliminate future damage or at the very least, stop the bleeding.
Don’t Cover Up Your Mistake
There is no way to successfully cover up a mistake, especially if the error was a major one. Owning up to the problem and showing how you plan to resolve the issue will show management you are a professional who can handle any situation.
Let your employees know about the situation. During this discussion you’ll have to admit that you were the one who made the mistake. Showing you are human and accepting responsibility for your actions will encourage your employees to do the same if they make a mistake.
Take the Lead in Fixing the Mistake
Not only will you have to admit your mistake and accept responsibility, you’ll also have to take the lead in fixing the problem. Be aggressive in your attempt to minimize the damage and come up with ways to make it up to vendors or customers to preserve the company’s reputation.
Don’t Let It Happen Again
Mistakes are a learning experience, if you understand what happened. Analyze the situation to determine why the mistake was made and how you can avoid making the same mistake again. Analyzing the problem can also help shape company policy so others won’t make the same mistake.
Mistakes aren’t the end of the world. If you assess the situation calmly, minimize the damage and accept responsibility, you will reduce the ramifications and become a better person in the process.
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