Everyone makes mistakes. That’s right, even your employees! Although we’d like our employees to be on point each and every time, they will screw up on occasion. This can either be an opportune learning moment or a panic. Before you throw a fit or begin reprimanding them, consider how you can approach this situation to turn it into a positive. This is a great time to teach them and coach them so they can do better next time. Don’t squander it on being petty. Here are six steps for talking employees mistakes they made and how to improve it in the future.
Step #1: Take A Moment To Calm Down
I know your instinct may be to blow up or be upset with them, but this isn’t the right approach. Take a timeout for yourself if needed and sit your employee down with a calm head. Explain to them that they’ve made an error and that you want to help them fix it.
This will leave them more open for growth and will make you both feel at ease.
Step #2: Explain What They Did Wrong
You may have had that boss that got mad at you and half the time you didn’t even know why. This is in no way effective.
You need to explain, in detail, what they did wrong. This way, they will know what to look out for next time and they will understand the nature of the talk so the whole thing isn’t a big waste of time.
Step #3: Explain Why It Was Wrong
Now that they understand how they screwed up, they need to understand why what they did was wrong. Never assume that someone knows the right way to do things. It’s better to take an extra minute and explain why what they did was wrong than assume they know and face the same mistake in the future.
They may nod along because they already know or they may ask questions because they really didn’t see things that way. Either way, you’ve covered your bases.
Step #4: Explain The Right Way To Do Things
This seems obvious, but people actually skip this step. Don’t just harp on them for screwing up. Let them know the way that you want it done, so they can do things to your standards in the future.
If you have a specific way of doing things, they should know them. Don’t just assume they are going to do things the way you want them done.
Step #5: Answer Questions
Now is the time for more clarity. Make sure you are open to taking questions. If you come off as harsh or off-putting, they may be afraid to ask you questions. This will lead to more mistakes in the future.
Be thoughtful with your answers and don’t be condescending. They are asking because they want to do things right.
Step #6: Thank Them
Just because they made a mistake, it doesn’t mean you don’t value them as an employee. Let them know that you appreciate them and thank them for their time. This will leave them feeling like it was a positive experience, which will alleviate any resentment.
Remember, your employees are going to screw up. How you handle it will make the difference between their growth or them screwing up again in the future.