Before computers, erasers were put on pencils because eventually someone
made a mistake and had to redo it.
In the typewriter era, erasable tapes could be inserted under the key and
the misspelled word would be removed.
In the computer era, it's even easier, we press the delete key or the
backspace key and, "poof", the error is gone.
To even double our chances of not making mistakes, computers have spell
check and grammar check. No reason to make a mistake now. Right?
Your employees are not computers, nor are they typewriters or even
pencils. They are human beings who will eventually make a mistake...just like you.
What do you do when they make a mistake? Do you freak out and yell at
them? Do you take away what they do and give it to someone else or do you
encourage them to do better next time?
The answer to these questions lies in the type of workplace environment
YOU have established.
As the leader, you have choices:
1. Establish a zero tolerance for mistakes. Make a mistake and get
hollered at or worse, get fired.
2. Establish a three strikes and you are out policy. Screw up three times
and get hollered at or, worse, get fired.
3. Establish an environment where mistakes are encouraged, initiatives are
celebrated and staff is free to come to you with new ideas.
Bottom line is: If you're employees are not making mistakes, they are not
doing their jobs and they certainly are not helping to build your
How do you deal with mistakes?