If you are finding too many errors in the workplace, you simply can’t just ignore them. Poor standards of work can sink a growing company, but where should the blame be placed? One negligent employee isn’t too difficult to believe, but ten? Twenty? Maybe you need to look a little closer to see what the real problem is. Instead of blaming the team for their errors, take a look at these few things and get your company back on the right track.
Set it in stone
Start by reviewing the steps it takes to complete the various tasks. Is there a standardized process in place? In many cases, skilled employees are left to do things in a way that works best for them. This sounds great because they are the ones who actually do the work. But what if they have to be replaced or their duties are shared or given to someone else? Rather than have each person learn from scratch, and all the errors associated with that, you should have the already-existing process outlined for them. Systemizing your business includes documenting the processes that work best so they are repeatable and consistent. This would reduce the training time and errors that have been occurring.
Tech it to the next level
If your business is one in which most work processes are done on IT devices, you need to make sure those devices are up to the job. Faulty, lagging hardware and out-of-date software can lead to major delays, leading to goals being missed. Keeping your business technology up to date and managed by a solid IT support team is essential. Otherwise, not only are you going to be frustrated by employees blaming their hardware, but they’re going to grow more frustrated with the frequent downtime and system errors. If you’re not willing or able to invest in your own technology, consider the possibility of implementing a Bring Your Own Device policy, instead.
Talk about it
When it comes to making decisions, whether it’s deciding on a project schedule or responding to a client, a lack of communication can be a major factor in mistakes. If someone doesn’t have the resources they need or aren’t up-to-date on how you plan to tackle a problem, they are more likely to handle problems incorrectly.
Take a look at fleep.io and similar team communication apps that can make it much easier to centralize all communication. They make it easier for team members to not only reach out to one another and to see messages from others, but they can also be used for quickly sending digital resources that might be critical to your team’s work.
Make your best-laid plans
Collaborative projects can be difficult to manage. If one person slips up, it can cause delays that can limit the productivity of the rest of the team. If that project is poorly planned out, you may not see those productivity bottlenecks until it’s too late. It’s important to make sure you plan out who is doing what, when they need to do it, and who they have to collaborate with. They also need to anticipate future steps and how they impact the completion of the task. Project management software, as featured at www.taskworld.com can help you quickly create organized plans for collaborative efforts in the workplace. You will be able to have a birds’ eye view of who is supposed to be doing what, and when. You can pinpoint any issues that may be holding the rest of the project up.
To err is human
There’s no such thing as a 100% efficient business that operates without any kind of error or loss. As long as people are involved, there will always be some risk of human error. However, you can reduce the rate of human error by relying on digital systems instead. Not sure what areas you should automate? Consider areas such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, HR, and more. Check out www.dataserv.com to learn more and come up with some ideas for your business.
There is new software coming out all the time that help to automate the arduous, monotonous tasks where errors are most likely to appear. Of course, they require some human monitoring and occasional intervention, so the risk won’t disappear entirely, but it can diminish dramatically.
The only thing worse than a mistake being made is when you don’t learn about it until it’s too late. Even when you do, you may not be able to figure out the exact cause. Sometimes, people may simply not be aware that their actions caused the error. If they are aware, the most common reason why they might neglect to take responsibility is that they are afraid of the consequences. You have to be able to tolerate a margin for error and in order to create a company culture that encourages accountability and accepting responsibility when things go wrong. This also includes admitting your responsibility if your team is unable to meet their goals.
You do not want to pass the buck or play the blame game. As the boss, you need to be willing to take “Extreme Ownership” at all times. In short, Extreme Ownership means that no matter what’s happening in the business, the leader takes full ownership and accountability. Take the opportunity to teach and train your team. They will take ownership at their level and work reduce the number of errors.
Don’t make it worse
Simply put, the more you try and force your team to be more productive, the more errors they are likely to make. The rushed pace of work, the stress that comes with such demands, and the simple toll of their ability to focus are all detrimental to a high standard of work. As shown at work.chron.com, you have to be keenly aware of the risk of overworking your team.
Crunch time will happen. There’s often little you can do to avoid it. However, it’s often better to outsource for extra help than to try and add even more onto the workload of a team that’s already being stretched thin. You may even need to delay your plans at some cost to the company to avoid producing low-quality products and risk ruining your business reputation.
Too many errors in the workplace are much more often the cause of bad company culture and low productivity. With the above solutions in mind, look at where most of the errors in your business are taking place. Once you identify them, you can make systematic changes that affect real change. Here’s to your success!
Carolyn R. Owens has over 25 years of proven experience and serves as a Career Strategist, Executive and Leadership Coach. She is the President of Infinity Coaching, Inc. where she can help you up-level your skills, so you can up-level your income, career, business or life. Infinity Coaching, Inc. provides coaching, organizational training, personality assessments, and a signature program, the Infinity Coaching Inner Circle. Carolyn is certified to give both The Energy Leadership Index Assessment and Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. You can find out more he about both assessments and other products and services at http://www.infinitycoaching.net.