mistakesAssuming you employ humans, (you never know these days) it’s a safe bet that an employee of yours has made a mistake. We’ve all been there; a typo in an e-mail, showing up late to a meeting, a technical glitch with a presentation, the list goes on and on. Mistakes are inevitable, but what happens when an employee makes a serious mistake that affects the business? What do you do now?

Here are three questions you should ask before deciding how to react to the situation. The answer to these questions may resolve more problems than this one mistake. You may realize that it’s time to let an employee go or maybe you’re the problem.

1. How did this happen?
First things first, you must get to the bottom of why this mistake happened.
Could the instructions have been clearer? Or was this an act of pure carelessness on your employee’s part? If the problem arose from an issue that occurred and was beyond your employees control your course of action should be much different than if the problem is directly related to this sole employee. Regardless of who is at fault, there is a problem you need to address. Maybe it’s additional training or a team building workshop to strengthen communication.

2. Is your employee taking accountability?
A sign of a good employee is one who takes accountability for their actions. Is your employee taking matters just as seriously as you are or do they not seem to be phased by the current situation? Whether further training is required or a change in work habits needs to be made, an employee who takes accountability for their actions owns up to their mistakes and makes a change to ensure that a similar mistake does not occur in the future.

3. What will prevent this from happening in the future?
Before placing immediate blame on the employee, take a look in the mirror. Is there something that you should be doing to help prevent mistakes of large scale from occurring? Does your training program need updating or do your employees need to take more accountability for their actions? You may find that the mistake was a communication issue or you might find that your employee just made a careless blunder. The most important issue is what will be done to prevent future mistakes.

A serious mistake can be detrimental to the image of the organization, but it’s important to remember, mistakes happen all the time. Before reacting in an uncompromising way to salvage the business, consider this:

Regardless of whether you want to prevent mistakes on your part or you are coaching an employee, people don’t make mistakes on purpose.

For more information on how to deal with issues involving employees, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at AskUs@genesishrsolutions.com or 800-367-8367.

Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.