What to Do When an Employee Makes a Serious Mistake on the Job

Scary call

As one of the leading recruiting firms in Phoenix, PrideStaff knows every employee is going to make mistakes. It’s a reality you have to accept. However, not all mistakes are equal. Some are no big deal or can be chalked up to learning experiences, while others have serious ramifications.

If you have an employee who had a big screw up – one you need to ensure never happens again – what can you do? Here are four tips to follow:

Tip #1: Get the facts on the situation.
Don’t blow up at your employee. That will simply put them on the defensive. Instead, try to find out exactly what went wrong and why just by asking, “what happened?” Was there an issue with communication, or lack of training on a certain matter?

Ask questions without judgment so you can get to the source of the problem. You might find out the real problem is rooted in something totally outside the employee’s control. Also, keep in mind, you shouldn’t be focusing too much on placing blame; focus instead on solving the problem and making sure it doesn’t happen again.

Tip #2: Discuss what you expected.
Don’t just point out what the employee did wrong; explain to them what you think they should have done and why. If they don’t have a clear roadmap to follow going forward, it’s going to be hard for them to do a better job next time.

Tip #3: Put the proper checks in place.
Whether fault lies with the employee or somewhere else, you need to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again. How you do that depends on your unique situation, but it might be a matter of making sure a supervisor signs off on all work in the future. Or requiring extra training for certain processes or procedures.

Tip #4: Communicate about consequences.
Make sure your employee is taking the situation seriously. If they’re not, and this mistake is just another in a long line of missteps, then you need to have a talk about the bigger picture – and the pattern of mistakes – as well as the consequences.

Your employees are human. That means they’re going to make mistakes. However, by following the tips above, you can ensure you treat them with respect, while still holding them accountable.

Do you need help replacing mistake makers with top performers?

Call PrideStaff.  As one of the leading recruiting firms in Phoenix, we can give you access to highly qualified, dependable professionals for a variety of positions. Get the people you need, where and when you need them! Contact PrideStaff today to learn more about how we can help you.